Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just How Big is China?

Probably the hardest thing for me to get used to in China, except the toilets which we'll talk about later, was the sheer number of people.  No matter where you went, somewhere between 200 and 2,000,000 of your very best friends were there with you.  It takes some getting used to both the mad press of people and the sheer scale that China is built on.  The border crossing between Lo Wu and Shen Zhen for example sees about 1,000,000 visitors per day.  When you go to the taxi stand there you find not one but two lanes of stalls for taxis to pull up to to pick up passengers.  These lanes are in a big U shape under the bus terminal.  All in all about 60 or 70 cabs can and do load at the same time, 24 hours a day.  And that's just the taxi stand.  There's also a bus terminal the size of a football stadium and a train station there.  It's staggering really.

You remember that Original Star Trek episode "The Mark of Gideon" where there was this planet with no disease and there were so many people no one could move?

Yeah, it's like that.

There are somewhere around 1.4 Billion people living in China.  Numbers like this are a little hard to wrap your head around so here are some handy comparisons.

There are:

1,400,000,000 people in China.
the US population is a whole digit shorter.
This means that there are about 4.2 people in China for every person in the US.

The entire population of my home state of Kansas would fit into Beijing, that just Beijing 7.4 times.

If you worked at $10 and hour 40 hours a week, it would take your 67,304 years to make one dollar for each person living in China.

The total weight of the population of China is about the same as 259 Empire State Buildings.

If everyone in China were to eat a quarter pounder today, it would be the same as one 350,000,000 pounder.

So you get the point.  When you cross the border into China be prepared.  60 stall toilets, 300 table restaurants, people everywhere!

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