Thursday, February 26, 2009


We've talked about how Xiamen has gotten some awards for being the friendliest city, the most beautiful, most livable, and some other best of China items. Every city here seems to have at least one thing that everyone can brag about that makes them unique in this country of billions.

We have also noticed a lot of cleanup and changes since we have been here, older buildings being torn down and the constant construction of high rises and more apartment and office space then a city of this size could ever fill. There was a short panic last year, at least from us, when the city went through one of their beautification processes and we were worried that we would never see the girls that polish our shoes again... Luckily they have returned and we have relaxed a little about losing some of the little things that we love the most about living here.

One thing that had disappeared were the young kids crowding at the major intersections spending time throwing cards into open windows or wedging them under car wipers or into door jams while you waited at stoplights. The card they have a ads for girls - I'm presuming that they are for legit massage services, but I can't read the cards. I saw these on my very first trip down to Xiamen and the guys that had picked me up explained that the use kids to had out the cards since the cops don't care as much then...

But all of that seemed to have stopped, probably at least six months ago, and I never really gave it much of a thought. That is, until today when I hopped in a taxi to return home from the airport. When the taxi slowed down to turn onto the main street out of the airport a young boy stepped forward and slid the following two cards into the taxi window and onto my lap... Strange how we hadn't missed this part of Xiamen as much as we missed getting our shoes polished....

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