05 November 2007

Most People are Chinese

Unexpectedly, I arrived uneventfully in Beijing. Seriously, I expected an event, like some sort of Communist-style, hard-nosed interrogation at immigration. Or panicky moments trying to locate a broken-down bus amidst endless throngs of spitting people. Or something weird involving chickens. But there was nothing. In fact, I got to press a button on the panel in front of the customs officer indicating how satisfied I was with his job (I pressed "extremely satisfied"); the airport was orderly and the bus system efficient; and there were no visible chickens. At baggage claim, I was delighted to be ambushed by a high school group from Nagoya, Japan. As usual, I shocked them by speaking Japanese, noting "nihon no koukousei desu ne!" and got at least one of them to jump. Beijing looks more advanced than many American cities and at least as capitalistic. There was a Starbucks at the airport (buy a latte with Mao-portraited money!) and KFCs everywhere else. And thick, brown air.

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