Around the World in 80 Days
Day 46: 9 November
At Xiaoshan industry intrudes onto the Arcadian landscape, dust and smoking chimneys, coal heaps and piles of ballast everywhere.
I meet the nearest thing to a Chinese yuppy, a 24-year-old girl in smart Western-style outfit who has learnt English with an American accent. I ask her where she works and she replies, without a pause for breath: 'China National Light Industrial Products Import and Export Corporation Shanghai Branch'. She's returning from the Canton Trade Fair where she has been selling hurricane and kerosene lamps. I ask what she thinks of the Chinese one-child policy.
'Well, I don't want any children,' she says with great determination. 'We have too many people.'
But she concedes that most of her fellow Chinese wouldn't agree with her. She works a six-day week and for relaxation likes the cinema and going out with her old classmates. She likes Western films but Waterloo Road was the only title she could remember seeing recently.
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- Series: Around the World in 80 Days
- Day: 46
- Date: 9 November
- Country/sea: China
- Place: Guangzhou
- Book page no: 157
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