Yes, I’m here again for a short visit.
We all know the cliches about how gorgeous Beijing is in September. But we need to remember that the only reason it’s a cliche is because it’s true. Perfect time to be in Beijing. With all the chaos going on in the world, “where ignorant armies clash by night,” Beijing is like a wonderful haven, oblivious of the world falling apart around it. Of course, China is going to have its share of chaos, too; it’s inevitable. But right here and right now it is the place to be, despite the inflation. I don’t know why anyone would live anywhere else.
This is a super-quickie but allow me to make one political observation. I’ve been very surprised to hear reactions from my Chinese friends about the Wenzhou train crash. Apparently the way the government handled it has created a lot of animosity and distrust, and I’ve never seen enthusiasm for the party at such an all-time low. Cover-ups suck. Maybe the masses are catching on that despite all the smiles and cheerful news on CCTV all is not well, and the government they want so much to believe in is not necessarily their friend.
Update: Well, today the smog is so thick I can’t see out my window. And the traffic has become almost comically atrocious. I actually saw people get out of their cars and talk, waiting for things to move. No city is perfect.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.