lovely sunset
lovely sunrise over the mountains of rahhhssia

Made it to China! After a cozy (read: leg-numbing) flight through time and space where I cycled napping and drinking free beers with watching the Great Gatsby, Despicable Me 2, Midnight in Paris, Princess Bride, and This is the End (Despicable Me 2 was by far the best, sorry I am a simple lady), I landed in HKG. I saw my aunt and uncle for the first time in 15 years. We drove to Shenzhen where my uncle lives, to his newer apartment which is built on top of a mountain.

It’s funny when you travel, you see flashes of your memories of places you have been, wherever you go. The Hong Kong airport reminded of me of Heathrow, where I once carried oars through with some of the greatest boat mates I ever had. The insane drivers and pedestrians here remind me of Parisian roads, the only place I ever thought I would die while in a car, with my friend Pids and our crazy host brothers. Walking through the newly developed streets of Shenzhen reminds me of strolling through Austin one afternoon during a training trip…

view from my uncle's current apartment, eighth floor
Shenzhen is an interesting city. It is a “special economic zone” which just means to me that people walk around in suits sometimes. What I find most interesting though is the glaring juxtaposition of the old and the new. Shenzhen is a big city in China, but the rapidity of development over the past decade makes this city a funny mix of dirty and shiny. Here will be a beautiful paved road lined with well-groomed trees; take a left turn and you’ll be in a scene straight out of Slumdog Millionaire. Look to the right there will be a business man walking down a dirt path that smells of sewage, look to the left there will be a man in rags sitting in the street leaning against a Mercedes. It just is so, the side effects of exponential development. Some patches just aren’t patched up quite yet.

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