Images of China

It is an October evening in Beijing, well past dark but the streets still crowded with rush hour traffic, and I am walking through a wide railroad underpass heading toward a Wal-Mart that I can see on the other side of the tracks.  The acrid mist of polluted air turns the dim underpass lights into fluffy, yellow marshmallows.  I join a single-file line of pedestrians pressed to one side, cautiously bucking a continuous stream of approaching homeward-bound cyclists, four and five abreast, none with lights or helmets and completely silent, the concentration of riding a few inches from others on all sides preventing any conversation and draining all expression from their faces.  The only sound is  the buzz of a thousand bicycle chains passing over cogs.  The cyclists emerge quietly out of the dark, acidic fog and flow past us as relentlessly and inevitable as the future.



About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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