Brave new world?

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Are things getting better or just more complicated?

I just signed the contract to rent my new apartment – paperwork was horrid and endless! I remembered as a dream the days when you met the landlord, they appraised you as a human being and if they liked what they saw you both signed a simple standard contract. I understand renting agents and referencing agents are safeguards for both parties, but it seems to have reached a stage of the ridiculous in expensive red tape.

Then there are the phone calls to providers and utilities where you run the gauntlet of endless answering machines then wait ages to finally you get to talk to another human.

For someone who never saw a TV set till I was five, (yes, I am that old lol!) had to walk to a phone box to make a call, found information at the local library, saw my dad repair shoes, make furniture, grow veg and cycle to work and my mum make our clothes on her new sewing machine and prepare all our food from scratch, I question which was better.

For all the medical advances – we seemed to be far healthier back then.

Communication advances – we actually developed social skills lol.

Entertainment advances – we had more fun doing simple stuff before we became over stimulated.

Mental health – most folks were pretty happy – I can’t remember ever hearing of depression or mental health issues. Of course they were not discussed so much back then. For sure they existed, but I suspect they were less prevalent. Following the trauma of the war it is surprising how cheerful and upbeat people seemed compared to now, perhaps due to the camaraderie and natural, supportive interaction of society. What we gained on the swings I suspect we lost on the roundabouts. Mental health became a doctors domain rather than being bolstered by close friendships and family.

Educational advances – more to learn, more pressure, more knowledge but far less wisdom and discernment.

Standard of living – higher for most (though not all) yet all in all I suspect the quality of life has taken a plunge.

While I applaud many of the new advances and innovations I regret the loss of much that was precious to the human soul.

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Thoughts on Cities While in Guangzhou.

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from July 2014 (written 2011)

Song Bird Songs

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(Actually I love Guangzhou and its people, but these are aspects of many fast growing cities)

What lies within these concrete walls imprisoned in its tiny boxes? Souls that once worked  beneath brilliant skies, cut homes from stone or wood and, surrounded by nature, slept vivid dreams of peace. Now all is polluted. The air, the walls, the couch, the bed, send toxic fumes into their heads … repose of soul is hard to find.

Trailing vines dotted with flowers adorn overwhelming tangles of concrete climbing every pillar and hanging in verdant curtains in attempts to incorporate the inborn Chinese love of nature and beauty as spiraling roads obstruct the skyline and towering pollution dims their lines.

Men crawl like teaming ants. I observe them as they scurry to and fro engaged forever in a frantic rush to pile up goods for a winter that may destroy them all. Fighting…

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