SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
A Chinese education
As our days dwindle in China, many of us are rethinking our assumptions about this country. Some pictured millions of people, wading in rice paddies, wearing the stereotypical conical straw hat. Many riders grew up during the Mao era, a time when China’s progress looked rather grim. While others had the chance to visit the country after it was reopened in 1978…when wai guo ren were truly a novelty.
China is dynamic and impossible to describe entirely. How can one begin to compare the skyscrapers of Beijing to a mud hut in Gansu province? We have the pleasure of experiencing both these extremes, and everything in-between, walking away with an uncommon impression of China. These impressions manifest through anecdotes, explaining in minutes, where a university professor may explain in weeks.
Robert Ball recently had a ‘China Learning Experience’ during a ride. “We tried to enter the expressway and were stopped at the toll booth,” he begins. The tollbooth attendant pointed to a sign with a list of pictures: no horses, no carts, no carriages, no motorcycles, and no bicycles. Having no choice, the small group took the less attractive side road and battled a gusting headwind for nearly two hours. Having had enough, the riders slithered underneath six strands of barbed wire and clambered up a 12-foot embankment to reach the expressway. The next 100 km were spent on the prohibited expressway, with police passing periodically, but not harassing them in the least. “A month ago I would have assumed immediate deportation for this,” ends Robert.
Leave a Comment for "A Chinese education"