this also happened…

A strange week that hasn’t coalesced into a statement so much as it has become fragments in search of glue; thinking as pastiche, and underneath it all a throbbing fear.

This week, I heard a disturbing story about how hospital staff interrupted a natural pregnancy three times in order to force the parents to pay for a more expensive c-section.

I heard several young migrants say that because Shenzhen’s price of living is too high, they’re considering moving back to neidi, to second-tier cities (二线城市) where it is easier to realize their dreams. After all, many say, if they can only afford to live in Bao’an or Longgang (the outer districts, 关外), it’s not like they’re in Shenzhen, so why stay? Shenzhen, they tell me, is becoming a city for rich people.

I’ve noticed more truly abandoned homeless people. Not the decamped families that used to squat as they tried to figure out how to survive in Shenzhen, but the half-dressed, filthy, talking-to-themselves indigents, who wander the street, rough darkness against the City’s teflon surfaces.

This to, I think, could be me and my instinct is to back away. And then I see children throwing themselves forward into the bustle of an urban village or ridiculous amounts of homework (with even more absurd lessons) and I am grateful that I have lived long enough to see their courage as such and the hope that they embody. Today, this seems reason enough to keep trying.

Photos du jour are also mix and match: a mass wedding, rehearsal photos from the upcoming “Oysters and Champagne”, and the floor of a subway car that has been turned into Hong Kong Disney’s Main Street to entice visitors to celebrate Christmas. The location of the mass wedding was a banquet hall on the fourth floor of the Sentosa Hotel, Feicui Nanshan. The hotel is located across the street from the Nanshan Museum. Twenty years ago, before Shenzhen grew into itself, my husband and I used to walk this neighborhood after dinner. This week I became lost trying to find my way to a meeting because an upscale neighborhood has replaced the small park I remembered.

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