Saturday, January 05, 2013


a few other observations from china:

in developed, urbanized places, people live, or aspire to live, in flat, spread-out places (single-family houses in subdivisions, or in the countryside); and they go to work in tall buildings in concentrated, densely-built places.

in developing, urbanizing places, people live, or aspire to live, in tall buildings in densely-built places; and they go to work in flat, spread-out places (factories, construction).

all i noticed was that in china, even in small towns, once you get out of the little villages (where each family has a house of their own), the common people live in tall apartment buildings or highrises, but a lot of them are going to work in huge factory floors, although a lot of them are also going to commercial or service-sector stuff in big multistory buildings. meanwhile in the US, common people (except for young people starting out, or the urban poor, or anyone living in a big city downtown) live in houses surrounded by open space, but they tend to go to work in service sector or commercial business in tall, downtown buildings, although many are also going to work on factory floors. so, it's not a perfect 'economic chiasmus', but still an interesting little contrast.

also, this happened several times: after using the second floor bathroom, i would stand by the window to reassemble my multi-layer winter clothing, looking outside through the blinds. across the street, i would see the front window, at ground-level, of another house, with white curtains drawn. just in front of the window was a little tree with what i think were seed pods hanging from the branches, so that i saw the branches against the window curtain background. each time i saw this scene, i at first would think that the curtain had large-print calligraphic characters printed on it, only to shift immediately to seeing the true depthful scene - deja trompé! even after the shift, there would still be a lingering feeling of 'what are the characters, they are too small to read', which would then quickly disappear as it was obviously a wrong question. it did make me wonder whether or not the same sort of scene had stimulated some artful styles of calligraphy..

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