Dispatches: Happy Year Of The Snake
This past weekend, billions of Chinese celebrated the new New Year, the Year of The Snake. (And now, the unfortunate side effect of all those trips to get home to be with family – Hukuo Hell.
Watching the reports and viewing the photos – who doesn’t love a guy pulling a snake through his nose – I thought back on when I visited China – twice in one year.
In early 2010, I went to Beijing, as well as Tiayuan and Shanxi. It was an incredible experience for me, not only to meet some of my colleagues in those towns, but also see these amazing place, places I never thought I’d get to.
Beijing was very buttoned up to me, very much the center of the political scene. And crowded, bustling too. Not quite the smog issues that have recently been written about.
I remember being at Tianammen Square, and the military personnel that just would not grant my wish to pose with Flo.
And the little girl who’s mother practically begged me to take her picture with my little friend.
From the local tourists at the Forbidden City
To the older folks playing checkers outside the Kingdom of Heaven.
Trinkets outside the Great Wall of China…
When I left a week later, I thought “Well, who knows when I’ll get back her to China.” Little did I realize, it would be just 11 months later. This time, though, a very different experience. This time, it was the bustling, innovative, chic city of Shanghai where I would land. And be met by warm, welcoming people
From walking around the Bund in the morning, watching the older gentlemen flying their kites, to catching some night light in the evening, it was a very different experience.
More beuatiful light when we visited a family in Shanxi in North China. Shanxi means “mountains west.”
Diffrent cities, different attitudes. But one thing remains the same…amazing food.
My visits to China left an indelible mark on me. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
Happy Year of The Snake!