I’ve spent some time on this blog talking about why China makes me feel uncomfortable (see: Part 1 and Part 2). But, for #FriFotos, I didn’t want to call attention to any of the many discomforts of China. I want to show something a bit more… uplifting.
Now, my office here in Philadelphia is located one block away from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell complex, so I’m no stranger to the throngs of international tour groups. But what is remarkable about China is that the throngs of tourists are overwhelmingly Chinese nationals. Furthermore, whereas a place like Independence Hall is compact and integrated into the city, Chinese landmarks (at least the ones I visited in Beijing) are wide and spacious. For reference, see this casual snapshot of the Forbidden City:
It’s like you could fit 200 Independence Halls in there!
Now that I’ve established the scene, I want to talk about the players.
Old People Having Fun at Chinese Tourist Spots
Across all of the major tourist spots in Beijing: The Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, I saw these groups of old people smiling, laughing, playing, having fun. And I just want to say, I’m definitely OK with that, China.
*Full disclosure: I can’t stop the little tiny nagging voice in the back of my head that’s begging me to consider that these old people really are players on a stage, put there by the government so that I can forget about Apple Factories and instead feel uplifted about elderly people dancing in National Parks. Have you seen the old people in the parks? Real, or staged?