Friday, July 31, 2009

Back from China

I got back from China around a week and a half ago. It was a good trip. The workshop went well and I had a good time with workshop participants and exploring Beijing. As usual, the weather was hot and humid, the food was excellent, and Beijing was dynamic and crazy and fun. A few highlights and memorable scenes:
  • It is not uncommon to see t-shirts with random English phrases on them. Often the phrase is a little garbled but the meaning is still somewhat clear, or at least one could imagine why one might want to put such a phrase on a t-shirt. But not always. I twice saw people selling T-shirts with the following words: "Buying food at a cafeteria." The "i"s were dotted with hearts.

  • Near where I saw these t-shirts there was a book vendor on the street. His cart was mostly filled with English-language books, including quite a few business books. I noted that he had a copy of Capital, by Marx. I picked up the book and thumbed through it. The vendor noticed what I was doing and handed me another book to look at. The book he handed me? Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations.

  • I heard an incredible set mixed by Sander van Doorn at the GT Banana club. Sander was awesome and the crowd fantastic. Everybody was really into it. A great evening. Returning home at dawn my cab drove by the CCTV building and the large, burned out husk of the CCTV luxury hotel. In the early morning mist it was surreal.

Beijing now feels a tiny bit like a home away from home, especially the neighborhood around Wudaodou and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. I've been fortunate to be able to spend parts of the last six(!) summers in Beijing, and I hope to have to opportunity to spend more time there the next few years.

2 comments:

Jonathan Shock said...

I hadn't realised you were in Beijing again. I guess we would have overlapped though I was just there for a short time. Glad you made it to Banana. Sadly I didn't have a chance to go clubbing in Beijing, but Shanghai was another story.

Glad you had a good time though and it's feeling a bit like home.

Arthur Y. Huang said...

I still remember our summer school in BJ in 2007. It was awesome! This school also led me to the world of complexity, which I am still working on. It's so great to have met you in the school. I hope our paths cross again sometime. All the best, Prof. Feldman!