Notes on China

It’s silly to try and summarize the thoughts and lives of over a billion people by visiting a handful of spots over a ten day period. But I thought it was worth recording some thoughts on my recent trip to China, broken up into blog-sized posts.

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  1. China is Different
  2. A Few Cautions
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Natural Beauty
  5. The People
  6. Relationships
  7. Social Darwinism
  8. Tourist Technology
  9. Random Miscellany
  10. Conclusion
  11. Photo Gallery

To summarize: It was an extraordinary trip to a beautiful country. I was continually surprised, amazed, and impressed by all that I saw. It’s a colorful, vibrant, and energetic culture. And if China occasionally makes different choices than the USA — such as not wearing helmets on motorscooters — well, I’m flexible enough to admit that we’re not always right, and they’re not always wrong.

The Chinese people I came into contact with were universally delightful. Whether through a formal interaction or just through sitting next to each other on a bus, they seemed genuinely pleased that this bulky sweaty Westerner had chosen to visit their country… and, even with my pathetic inability to speak more than the basic phrases, they jumped through hoops to make sure my visit was memorable.

If any of my readers have a chance to go — whether to China in general, or Hunan province specifically — I strongly recommend a visit. But, if you go in August, pack spare shirts!


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