Friday, September 07, 2007

lynch and penguins

Over to Sam, who is in Shanghai now... His blog-posts are now so reliably brilliant that I'm going to have to stop linking to them soon. If his blog, My Brain Can't Make Me, isn't in your favourites list yet then I dunno what more he can do.

An exerpt from his latest post, then. Click here to read the real thing.

Shanghai exhausted the last of my traveling energy, leaving me is something of a slump. Unlike its cultured and self-content brother Beijing, Shanghai is a grasping, aggressive city perfectly willing to sell any soul it had for the fastest buck. All the hyperbolic descriptions ring true; there is no doubt that Shanghai is transforming at a spectacular pace, and I'm sure that this will eventually bring trickle-down benefits for the multitudes, but it is still depressing to witness the wholesale erasure of whole swathes of historical buildings to be replaced with tasteless steel and glass monstrosities. I plodded through the usual tourist attractions, the sterile hotel-like aquarium with its unimaginative presentations and procession of inmates, including particularly forlorn penguins and seals. They were incarcerated in a grim arctic simulation, hidden deep in the bowels of the cavernous complex, bathed in cold, florescent light as if David Lynch had turned his hand to wildlife documentaries.

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