Digging a hole all the way to…America

Colby Buzzell has an interesting piece, “Digging a hole all the way to…America” on China in this months Esquire. He writes about American flags Made in China, Starbucks, Wal-mart, and the great migration to China’s new megacities.

For the piece, Buzzell visits Shenzhen, which is very similar to Guangzhou (where I was) in its batty-ness over capitalism and, in fact, is only about 1.5 hours from G-zhou (that‘s what the cool kids call it).

Some interesting facts about the population of Shenzhen: In 1980 it was less than 100,000. In 1990 it was 900,000. In 2000 – 6.5 million. And today – 11 million.

This map about the great migration ran with the story. There are more than 90 cities with a population greater than 1 million.

Reader’s note: Buzzell’s writing style is very rough-edged type stuff, but the presence of drugs is kind of annoying. Is it really that surprising that you can find drugs in China? Or a foreigner selling drugs? Maybe it’s just the sheltered Ohio farm boy in me, but I always find that when writers are involved with drugs it’s just their attempt to show how gritty they are: “Look at me I’m gritty. Real gritty, like Hunter S. Thompson gritty.” If you wanna smoke a joint, fine. But does it really have any relevance?

Anyhow, you should buy the magazine and read the article (not available online) if you are interested in China.

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Elizabeth says:

hmm, I think the photo in his Wiki profile says it all. Looks like he’s got a lot to prove to someone.

Lots of teens in HK head over to Shenzhen to get their drugs. K has been big in the news since I moved here last year. You’ve got the same kind of problems you’ll see in many border towns – Tijuana, Poipet, you name it, all the bandits and bastards head there for the opportunities.

Kelsey says:

Yep, he’s striking quite a pose in his profile. Way cooler than me, that’s for sure. What is “K” anyhow?

And while I’m revealing my lack of drug knowledge, I might as well admit that I’ve never smoked pot either. Pretty uncool, huh? I’ve been offered plenty of times and I don’t have a problem with others using it. I always respond by saying, “I’m afraid I’d like it.”

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