Home to Maggie Lard

Since we are on holiday and with kids, we do not want make our lives too hard - after all we are on a break from work. Not having to count every penny, sometimes after a long train journey it feels good to find a hotel with consistently hot water in the shower, air-conditioning, and a comfortable bed. So this is what we did in Lanzhou - we stayed in a Hilton hotel in the city center.

It is interesting to watch people in such places. It is not really a very high-end hotel, but probably one of the nicer hotels in the city, attracting upper middle class, local business people and, well, us - travellers from the west who can afford it just because we earn money in a different currency. Cause this is how the world works for now. We definitely don’t fit in here with our backpacks and smelly t-shirts.

But staying here made me notice few things. First of all, from a window on 52nd floor every city looks nice, romantic even - especially in the evening. You don’t see if it is dirty, or smelly, or ugly. You don’t notice if wide streets make the city hard to walk. Even smog gives the sky a purple-gray color adding to the palette. Being there, with bland music playing in the background, sipping pure green tea - you just don’t care. About anything. About the place you are in. About the state of the world. You are just there, isolated from the worlds problems, at least mentally. But also physically - you don’t feel the scorching heat made worse by climate change, you won’t be impacted by a flood (at least not instantly). If you can afford it, you will be escorted out by a helicopter if needed.

So for all those people hoping to be saved by the a brilliant Bezos or genius Musk - stop. I am not going to dispute whether they are brilliant or not, but I am 100% sure they don’t care about us. But maybe more importantly - they don’t understand us. They cannot understand us - in their livrs problems of traffic jams, poor public services, even to some extent natural disasters don’t exist. They are some abstract puzzle to solve at best, or some potential source of profit while pretending they are trying to solve it.

So don’t trust anyone who lives their life in taxis, private jets and hotels. Not because they are evil (they are) but because their head is somewhere else, in a parallel universe you and I will never get access to. For that reason, we should not let them rule ours.