So, it’s been some time.
I promise I haven’t been shirking my duties as a writer (well, maybe just a little in terms of journaling), but I have been away from bandwidth large enough to support WordPress for some time.
Work has kept me on an extended business trip of sorts, and that trip took me to Southern China.
I have traveled to Japan, South Korea, and Singapore in terms of Asian countries; China stands out in its own incredible way.
If you think about it, no other place has truly withstood the test of time like China has; to put things into accurate perspective, Chinese unification took place in 221 BC under the Qin Dynasty. Called the “Middle Kingdom,” it was believed to be the center of the world, having been given by the gods to the Son of Heaven, the Emperor. China has essentially stood as is for 2000 years; the Roman Empire collapsed after 500. The Chinese were aeons beyond the rest of the ancient world in terms of science, technology, trade, and exploration. China has weathered revolts, invasions, and the rise of the Communists. It is a remarkable place, rich with history and steeped in tradition.
It is also a poor place.
I did not learn about China from a hotel room in Beijing or Shanghai or Hong Kong. I learned about China walking the streets of a place in Guangdong province, where I was stared at, not only because I was white and most of the people had never seen a foreigner before, but because I represented money.
A woman with her children smiled at me from a dark corridor in this dilapidated city; her eyes were bright and she was pretty–perhaps no older than 27 or 28. There was a film of water running over the ground, slimy and tinted green from the constant flow and I wondered if it was indicative of the quality of the water there. We were told not to drink the water; these people did not have the luxury of that choice.
There was a family in front of the building they must have lived in; none of the doors or windows had screens, only metal skeletons. I wish the quality of this shot had been better; but it was a really lucky one to get:
There is way that the candidness can not be recreated. This was China for me.