Hi everyone!Â Sorry I didn’t have an episode this week. I’ve been traveling in Beijing and Shanghai and even though we had an interview lined up in Beijing, my schedule kept me from keeping it. The spotty internet here has made me cancel two gotomeeting interviews as well. So I’m brining you some sightseeing pictures to make up for it. I went to the Forbidden Cityâ€”aptly named because only the Emperor with his 55 wives and 65 offspring was allowed to live there. I went to Linyi, a smaller, manufacturing town south of Beijing that has a cement and coal producing factory.
Anyway, we may miss a week for the first time in a year and I hate that. But I’m throwing some pics up here for your viewing pleasure at least. I went to a bookstore here in Shanghai and to the Shanghai library which was awesome.
Hope you’re all enjoying the gorgeous fall. I’ll keep everyone posted. Soon I’ll meet up with my mad friend Stephen Schreck in Thailand to get scuba certified.
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Me on the Great Wall making a strange face. Probably becuase I’m thinking about how absurd a construction project it was. 2,000 years, thousands of deaths, and to build an absurd wall across China, from the plains to the steepest mountains.Â I heard that the smog was bad around Beijing, but we didn’t have any of that, as the pictures attest. Supposedly the humidity has something to do with it.
A view of the Forbidden City. If the quality of the picture is good enough you can count the little animals on the corners of the roof. The emporer’s rooms had nine animals, and only one special central house had Ten, then number of perfection. His 55 wives’ houses had 7 animals. Five for the concubines and three for his 65 children. I don’t know if the sons and daughters count differed.
Comparing China to America and even Europe years-wise is a great mistake. This 600 Year-Old Tree stands in the forbidden city and is young compared to the structures themselves. Many were destroyed in multiple fires over the years. The pine and cyprus garden planted in the middle of the city were chosen for two reasons. First to provide shelter in case of a fire, and second so they are evergreen all year long so that the emperor can always have a blooming garden.
This is an absurdly enormous fruit basket offering to Chairman Mao in the middle of Tienanmen Square. Pictures and drawings of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung are scrawled across China, from the countryside to the center of Beijing at the entrance of the Forbidden City.
This is me traveling at 420 Kilometers an hour on what I assume is the only operational Maglev train in the world. It goes about 30km at a speed of up to 450 km/hour. It’s pretty awesome. But I was so obsessed with riding it that I didn’t take the time to realize it was taking me to the wrong airport. Bah! Getting there started a 28-hour journey of trying to make up that initial mistake. My flight was changed, I missed the next one and spent the afternoon and evening with an elevated heartbeat, wringing my hands as a tiny flight coordinator got me back on track to catch a 8pm flight to Bangkok.
One notable thing about China in general is the amazing, incredible, unique speed of progress. This picture is a great example and comes from some source I was too lazy to track down. My good friend Peter Ricci sent it along so maybe he’ll pipe up, but I was in the top of the Shanghai Tower which isn’t even pictured here, and is one of the tallest buildings in the world. When China says go, it goes.
Back soon with more Author Feast.