What I Learned About China

  • Beijing is one big motherfucking city.
  • My stomach is not entirely capable of parsing the language of Chinese food (though it all tastes very good).
  • People who drive in Beijing, with few exceptions, are certifiably insane.
  • What they don’t tell you about the Great Wall is that it is freaking steep at places. It basically goes up the sides of mountains at 35 degree angles. It’s also an amazing sight to behold.
  • There is a huge disparity between the rich and the poor, and this disparity creates almost incomprehensible differences in cost of goods. An espresso at Starbucks = 50 yuan = ~$6.00. Our all-you-can-eat Dim Sum breakfast at our hotel = 2 yuan = ~$0.24 per person.
  • Speaking of Starbucks, there is one in the middle of the Forbidden City. That’s some hardcore marketing right there.
  • Peking Duck is quite a treat.
  • I would like to go back.

Thanks much to Mush, Jenny, and Josh at the IGDEA for such a wonderful opportunity.

3 thoughts on “What I Learned About China

  1. You’ll find that imported goods in China are obcenely expensive (for the locals). On the other hand, traditional goods are usually very inexpensive (for visitors).

    So, no matter how badly you want some french fries, don’t ask your host in China to take you out to McDonalds–it may cost them an entire month’s salary!

  2. That is why piracy is going to prosper in that land for 50 more years. I also live in another country that is far from achieving similar prices people in Western countries usually offer. Let’s say an average legal computer game costs about 40 (EUR) or 35 $ (USD), but this seemingly moderate price means actually a 3 times bigger sum for us. So instead of paying 40 , would you throw 120 for a COMPUTER GAME? You can definetely survive without that! Or… support the piracy. Video game consoles usually apply many restrictions that do not allow playing illegal content, so they are practically non-existent in my country. No one is interested in importing games, or consoles themselves, that nobody will pay for.

    Although I can calm down for a while as far as McDonalds is not extremely expensive, but costs more than an average restaurant that offers normal (not chemical) food. That staves off the epidemic of obesity for some time.

  3. I was just wondering if you have past by the Olympic stadium they are building in Beijing. Since my country was the last to host the Olympics I am just kind of curious how the Games preparations are going in CHina. One thing is for sure, Chinese people are not “last minute people” like us Greeks (although I am very proud of the job we did hosting the event). I recently saw a pic of the stadium taken from a helicopter and it looked quite surreal and original (ressembling a bird’s nest).
    On a different note, it is kind of weird having a Starbuck’s in the middle of Forbidden City and all this forced “Westernization” of the country just adds to poor people getting poorer and rich people getting richer. I wish they would put more effort in improving their civil rights instead , that would be true modernization in my book.

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