Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shanghai GaGa

Continuing on my journey through China, yesterday I was on my way  on foot to  the Shanghai National Museum. There are so many people in cars and so many pedestrians that no one can cross the wide downtown streets. They make you go underground to cross each street which entails walking down steps and then again up steps at each corner. While underground people grab you and try to sell you useful items like Curious George slippers and little kitty sandals. Underground there are snaking malls that are packed with people.

  Since I have a torn meniscus in my knee, I was in pain on all the steps.  At one corner, I didn't see that much traffic so I decided to make a break for it and dash across the street and hope for the best. Husband #1 and David  son number # 2-3 ( he is a twin) warned against it saying this was a really repressed society and they would catch me. David, who live in Hong Kong and  knows more than I advised against it. Still I dashed across and low and behold two men in traffic uniforms emerged from the bushes and I was dragged back by the men in grey and yellow uniforms, which are different from police and other official uniforms. They dragged me back to the curb screaming at me the whole time.  I screamed back and adults who passed me shook their heads at my appalling lack of ability to follow the law. I get it -- I was wrong. But I didn't expect people to run out of the bushes in uniform.

There is no Google for they have blocked it, no facebook or twitter so that there can be no 'Arab spring' and no utube. All are blocked and only information that is approved can get through.  All the protests here are never reported and the government  gets away with it. They have prospered and they are out of the dark ages, but at a cost. 

At the museum things lighten up and I am at the Mogolian exhibit and a gaggle of teenage girls come in wearing little red scarves, sort of Girl Scouts for the party kind of thing. They begin to take pictures of me and touch my hair which is pale blond or white and ask all about it. I say "I was born this way" which I have now learned from my friends is a line from a Lady GaGa song. When I say it the girls start laughing and then sing as loud as they can in the museum the Gaga song in English and in Chinese. They raise their fists and scream the whole song. A few verses follow:

I'm beautiful in my way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way, born this way

Yeah, they made a break for it. They gave voice to individualism. The guards came over and went crazy and then the teacher appeared and the guards yelled at her and she in turn yelled at the girls. She was furious. 

Wow Good for Lady GaGa. They block out the news and the info from the west, but no one anywhere in China could block out the words of Lady GaGa. She deserves a medal and so do those teenage girls.

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