day 34_Shanghai

"While Confucius stressed order and duties and finding one’s place in society, Daoism focused more on metaphysical questions, finding one’s place in the universe. The two philosophies were later joined by Buddhism. [...] The lack of any firm concept of revealed truth has led to an unhealthy moral relativity in the Chinese mind. Truth has always been relative in China, while political power has not, and the same is still true today.

Mainstream China feels very secular. I don’t think it is coincidence that China also has a faster economic growth rate than other areas of the world. In destroying its traditional ways of thinking, it has done away with any ethical restraints on a headlong pursuit of wealth and development." Rob Gifford (NPR correspondent) in China Road


day 31_Pujiang_'Italian' ghost town

Pujiang, or also known as 'Italian Town', is part of a larger development plan for Shanghai area, called "One City, Nine Towns".

So far, the visit to Pujiang was the most bizarre experience I have had during my long trip. My feelings alternated between a genuine curiosity and a creepy unease as I was walking through the deserted, yet quite well maintained, streets. I have not met a single person during my visit (which lasted a couple of hours), and I kept wondering what actually happened here.

I couldn't help myself from thinking that the ghost of Giuseppe Terragni (an Italian architect who worked during the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini) is lurking behind every corner...

Somehow, new housing developments around the area are still underway...