Very briefly: ate hot-pot last night in Qufu at a townwide feed of sorts and had a gut-precarious train ride to Beijing as a result. But here I am. And how different it seems from Shanghai. Blue hair, irreverence; indigence. Teens, beggars, buskers. The cultural capital to Shanghai’s financial capital, for sure; I’m not confident enough to comment on the power of tradition & continuity (that Beijing has been what it is for many hundreds of years [dont even really know if this is true]) but this city does certainly feel more appreciable to me than Shanghai did, with a sturdier middle class, and I wonder if that’s in part due to Shanghai’s more recent development under a post-Leap semi-capitalist regime, unique in its arrangements, resulting in inscrutable modes. Take all this with a grain of salt–I don’t want to repeat the mistake of the Dutch businessman whose influential 1989 book proclaiming the intentional shiftiness of the Japanese government & its industries failed to disclose the fact that he couldn’t read Japanese. Anyway, it’s all totally inscrutable. But quite fun! Beijing is overgrown with native scholar trees–many line the streets of New York, 4th ave north of Astor especially. Here they are nearing the end of there bloom, petals on the walk. I wonder if they are blooming yet in New York? Conspicuous clusters of small white flowers, leaves of ~9 small pointed leaflets. Tracy Chapman over the hostel café’s stereo. Tummy a-rumble. Soon to bed; tomorrow to tiananmen & the forbidden city. But you can say baby / baby can I hold you tonite!