We were not sure what we were going to do in China, nor what to expect.  Everyone said it might be hard to get around, and the food might be bad, but I really wanted to see for myself. I have no idea how Griffin really felt about going to China, but he didn’t seem to mind.  Except when he couldn’t eat the food at the breakfast buffet – then he was upset…

China functions just like the USA, but without white people.  They have all their own domestic airline carriers, dozens of cities with over 30 million people in the metro areas, and an economy that feels much like ours.  Their road signs are in Mandarin, and most people have never heard a word of English in their lives.  Refreshing. Nice to know the USA is not the only country that seems to exist within itself.

Unlike the USA, the cities end very abruptly, and rice fields and pastures begin.  Then over on a hillside there will be a 4000-year old pagoda, you know, just because.

The food was bad, and it was hard to get around, but in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of China.  We probably could have made it easier on ourselves and stayed in American chain hotels, taken English tours, etc, but it was more fun to not.  We saw a more authentic China, and struggling is part of traveling in foreign places.  We really saw what China is  – and that is a country that is doing just fine without external tourism dollars.

China Blog, Day 1. 

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