(If you're in China, you may not see the image above since its hosted on flickr)

Every few months I get a chance to travel to the US between Seattle and Beijing and essentially go through culture shock and jet lag both ways each time. However, the biggest contrast that I see is that the US seems so slow and ....well boring versus life in China Of course, stability, clean air and enforced laws does have its merit but life in the US seems a bit complacent and comfortable for many people.

Working outside my apartment in Beijing, I see people struggling and sacrificing each day to earn perhaps four or five dollars a day. They are not what I would describe as happy (their life is quite hard) but I do see them as hopeful that things will continue to improve for them and their children. Everyone saves saves saves for things like an apartment and a car. They have no where to go but up.

In the US, I sense a feeling of malaise with a bit of insecurity that China and India is fast on the heels of both the US and the EU. There seems to be less options and optimism bout the future.Housing prices are high, fuel costs are skyrocketing, jobs are becoming more service oriented and the source of financial and technology news seems more and more to be outside the US. Athough, people are still well off, there is a feeling that the trend is downward for themselves and their family.

I am most likely biased as well since I have lived abroad for the last 10 years which means I am risk and novelty seeking to begin with. However, when I see stuff like this (Shift Happens) I begin to wonder as well.

 

comments are welcome

Frank Yu