Tonight I did a little exploring Shanghai with my camera. While I was getting a sort of substandard photo of the Grand Theatre, I met a very talkative old gent. It seems that producing a fancy camera on the street causes most Chinese to take notice, and a good number of them to come over and chat. We conversed half in Chinese and half in English. Okay, to be honest, it was more 90% in English and 10% Chinese. His English was 90% better than my Chinese, so it only seemed fair. Kind of cool to think that he was 16 when Mao kicked off the revolution. He suggested that Laura and I should bring our Birth Your Dreams exhibition to Beijing or Shanghai because it would be good for my career. No kidding, right?
Afterward, I headed down to East Nanjing Road, which is a seemingly endless, neon-encrusted mall floating upon a boiling sea of consumers. This frenzy of consumerism makes Times Square look like a convenience store. Through the heart of this was a long line of Communist Chinese flags, set out to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Those flags, adorning this, the most capitalist place I’ve ever experienced, created a fascinating contrast even in a country that’s seemingly made of juxtapositions.