I’m back

No, I am not sick and I am not being held hostage…I returned on Friday from a two week trip to China. There is so much to tell that it is hard to know where to start.

China is a country with a far greater land mass than the US and with a population of 1.3+ billion people. So why is it that I had heard of about two Chinese cities before my trip: Beijing and Shanghai? It would be like someone thinking that the US consisted of New York and Los Angeles. As we traveled from city to city, we were told that the Beijing area has a population of 30 million people and that Shanghai has a population of 17 million. Small cities had “only” 3 or 4 or 7 million people.

We knew about the Great Wall, but were unaware of other cultural and historical treasures that China has. We knew little of the culture and folklore. The language was a mystery to us.

During our trip we took five internal flights in China on at least 4 different airlines. We were impressed with the modernity and efficiency of Chinese airports, airlines, and hotels.

We saw Buddhist and Taoist temples, beautifully landscaped parks and gardens, and people who enjoyed life. We learned how they made fabrics, processed silk, did fine embroidery, and hand-manufactured cloisonné items.

We saw a country running into modernity with its sleeves flapping. We saw modern multi-layered roadways, tens of skyscrapers, and vast urban development. We learned about their one-child policy and how it has become a huge social experiment.

The trip to China was a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and action. I hope to share some of it with you in the days to come.

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