About 10 years ago I was regularly visiting Taiwan to teach workshops when the word’s tallest building was opened. It was called Taipei 101 and it was the first to pass ½ km in height. It was started in 1997 and finished in 2003; it has 101 floors above ground and 5 below. I believe it has many other interesting architectural features and I have had a ride in its express elevators, which make the journey in 16 seconds. Since then a number of other tall buildings have gone up to exceed the mere ½ km mark.
Yesterday here in China on the news channel the newest phallic building was announced. It will be built in a major city in China, with 220 floors that must exceed a kilometer in height. However that is not all they announced; they also announced that they would complete the building in 90 days! That is a rate of 5 floors a day! It’s hard to get your head around but that is China in 2012. They will most likely achieve it in this land of mega cities and they will start the building in December to be completed by mid-March.
This is the modern China whose GDP will grow by a mere 8% this year having made the most incredible progress over the last 10 years, for when Taipei 101 was built China was just getting going. Much of the “old” world as we know it is struggling to keep even a decimal point of growth this year as TV screens are full of scenes of the unemployed and the disillusioned; yet here China is going from strength to strength, walking in our footsteps, and still there is a lack, a darkness of the spirit that I find so hard to shake.
I remember Robert Holden saying of someone quite a number of years ago that what they lacked in spiritualism they made up with in commercialism. It is a phrase that seems to haunt me in China but who am I to spoil the party? Tomorrow I start my second workshop of a tour of 5. Sue joins me next week in Guangzhou and we will be home just before Christmas.
I look forward to being home, all 2 floors of it!
Love Jeff and Sue