I commented to Joylani last night, this last week in Beijing is kind of an anti-climatic way to end an otherwise pretty crazy year. So rather than recap our day, I’ll write a little about my impressions of China.
First off, I have to say that overall, China really exceeded my expectations. As so often is the case, the people really made the difference. The Chinese people are some of the most helpful and kind people we’ve come across. I think we’re both really thankful for all the kindness and help we’ve received over the past six weeks. Secondly, China is really modern and comfortable. Not super important to me, but when Joylani’s comfortable, she’s happy. When she’s happy, I’m happy. Besides her comfort, the main thing I appreciated development-wise has been the transportation infrastructure with plenty of trains and buses to and from anywhere to everywhere. Thirdly, the food has been good. I’ve mentioned a few times that the food is really weird too (pick any menu and you can find order and vital organ of almost any animal), but you can eat well without eating weird. Along with this, is the fact that China is a beer culture. People always drink beer. Everybody drinks beer with every meal. Alcohol consumption is frowned upon in some parts of Asia, so being a beer guy, I can really appreciate this aspect of Chinese culture. Fourthly, Chinese culture is different. Its unique and doesn’t try to imitate other nations/cultures, due to its size. This was especially difficult for us language-wise as nobody speaks English, but you have to appreciate that its different. Related to culture, my last post touched on the fact that I think Chinese society is somewhat interesting too. There’s a lot that Joylani and I have seen in China and our only response is “why?” (for better or worse). Lastly, China is big and has a lot to see. I wrote a few posts back that China doesn’t have much to see and Joylani wrote a little rebuttal. Well, here’s my rebuttal to the rebuttal: China doesn’t have very many interesting tourist sights, as they’re all a bunch of fake/restored junk. So in that sense, it doesn’t have much to see. But it’s a huge country with very diverse regions and ethnicities/cultures and its worth exploring. There’s things I dislike about China too, but I’ve covered those things to varying degrees of detail in past posts. Overall, I’ve very much enjoyed my past six weeks here in China.