Shenzhen is one of China’s most prosperous cities. It was one of the first to open up as millions flocked to the metropolis — kind of like California during the gold rush.

Obviously, not everything is rosy. The streets aren’t paved with gold and not everyone finds wealth. I witnessed two of the more depressing sights in Shenzhen.

While I was walking from the train station, I saw a grandmother scooping and eating rice out of a garbage can while she cradled her napping grandson.

And when I was touring a busy thoroughfare, there were beggars — young and old — everywhere. This one girl would “entertain” pedestrians by spinning round and round while she clung on to the revolving stand with her teeth. She would spin, spin, spin  — and stop. Rest for a minute or two. Then bite the cloth mouthpiece to spin, spin, spin again.

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