Monday, September 26, 2011

Arriving in Beijing

The train from Dalian hadn't yet reached Beijing East Station on its way to the main station on the corner of Second Ring Road when a recorded message over the intercom listed our destination city's distinctive features, such as the Forbidden City, along with superlatives, such as the "biggest public square in the world, Tiananmen." A neighborhood of shanties swung into and out of sight like the motion of a pendulum, time itself; soon those low-rise shacks will be swept aside by the brooms of construction, their dust absorbed by the free-floating elements above, the haze, through which, at that very moment, a piercing gleam in the distance announced the presence of a golden skyscraper burgeoning out of the earth. A small child nearby kept repeating in a manner of singsong, "Arriving in Beijing! Arriving in Beijing!" until his mother told him to quit it. Arriving in Beijing, indeed. Back home.

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