Talking to my neighbor Alex yesterday, about the usual stuff–how fast the kids are growing up, how cold it is (I thought it was going to snow, in fact: spring in the Berkshires!)–and mentioned that Tom, my 19-year-old son, is going to Shanghai to work this summer.
“Does he speak Chinese?” Alex asked. I nodded (though Tom would say he used to speak Chinese, when he was in Beijing, and that he’ll be able to speak it again once he gets some practice). Alex was quite excited by this news and said, “That’s the language to speak. America, America is so over!”
America isn’t over, yet, but isn’t it fascinating that our worldview is shifting a bit? The papers are full of articles about the proposed revaluation of the yuan, or renminbi, and people across the U.S. are tuning in to China in a very personal way, because they worry that their jobs and futures are on the line.