this weekend judi, xiaomei and i went costume shopping. as they figured out a look for a female pozzo, i wandered the streets of old shekou, wondering when these scenes of early reform would be replaced with more contemporary versions of modernity. once upon a time, only twenty years ago, shekou was new and improved, a beacon for shenzhen’s trail blazers, who had come to build a special economic zone without any idea what that might mean. at the time, even if these latterday pioneers spoke of reform in quite uncertain terms: feeling the rocks to cross the river (摸着石头过河), nevertheless they also spoke of a particular energy: the shenzhen spirit. hopeful, young, at the cusp. today, that world is already outdated and those young visionaries middle-aged. i have posted a few scenes of old shekou.