As I explore the city I am becoming increasingly aware of the conflicting presences of the past and future. It is evident when looking at the street-side bike shops with a brand new Audi A6 parked next to it, or the old man with mattresses on the back of his bike riding next to a black BMW. These images, which seem so contradicting and abnormal to an American, are incredibly common in the streets of Beijing. It makes me wonder what Beijing will be like in five years – I doubt I would be able to recognize it. What frustrates me the most is that I can’t figure out if I am excited for the modernization of the city or sad for the loss of the history. It is an interesting thing to consider: is modernization or preserving culture more important? Is it possible to have both at the same time? This question has haunted me for my stay in China and will continue to pester me when I return home.
I thought it was really interesting that a person was drying their laundry on a busy street.
Here is an Audi driving next to a bike shop. It is pretty common to have bike shops on the side of the road, but this one is a pretty large one.