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.