Sunday, July 13, 2008

China Controls the World

I went to the Great Wall of China yesterday.

You can't look at a wall that used to stretch for over 4,000 miles and not be impressed by China's dominion. But we were more amazed at China's control over the weather. Look at the blue sky. Marvel at the lack of pollution. I'm pretty sure on a normal day I wouldn't even have been able to see the wall from where I took that picture.

I'm not kidding about China controlling the weather. The Olympics are coming, and China isn't going to let little things like nature get in the way. They've been closing down factories outside of the city, and taken measures to reduce the number of cars on the road, and so on. What I just learned yesterday is that they can also control to some extent when it rains. Anyone with real scientific knowledge should feel free to comment here. Apparently, they can shoot chemicals into the air and make it rain, which improves visibility after that quite a bit. And it just happened to be nice weather on a Saturday, when all the visiting foreigners were free?

By the two hour ride to the Great Wall, my impression of China's ability to control the world was probably far higher than it actually is, but still. I didn't know anyone could make it rain when they wanted.

We weren't complaining. The weather was fantastic. I got a lot of good pictures.

The Great Wall of China:

And the Great Wall of China:

And the Great Wall of China:

The most amazing part is looking at one part of the Wall and wondering how in the world they kept building it over the mountains farther than the eye can see. In all of these pictures, you can see the towers where guards could live--and light the torch to stop the invaders, of course. But I think everyone knows how that works. Who hasn't seen Mulan?

There were surprisingly few people to share the Wall with. Here's one, though. Some people in my program are the ones trekking up, the people in Chinese bamboo hats are the workers who collect empty bottles (since it would look tacky to have trashcans along the way) and sell you souvenirs, and I don't know what the umbrellas are about.

And that was the Great Wall. I pass by the bird's nest (the Olympic stadium) every day on my way to and from school. I wonder if China will dominate the world in a throw-back to the good ole days of its powerful reign? At least we'll be sure to have good weather watching them try to make it happen.

*EDIT* Of course they're my pictures! The official ones aren't as good. Seriously, the picture on my entrance ticket is a close-up shot of the Wall shrouded in fog. The pictures in this post are the ones you get when China's steamrolling the world for the Olympics.

1 comment:

Sheri said...

ok, pardon my skepticism, but did you actually take these photos or did you just scan some postcards into this site? the photos are amazing! Can't believe you got to see the great wall with your own eyes and climbed it! Very cool