Here are some touristy photos of Shujie and me in the Palace Museum / Forbidden City:
I learned so much about China, Shujie, her family, and also a little bit more about myself. I learned that China’s incredibly vast and rich 5000 year old history is not only found in great walls, gates, pagodas, tombs, literature or artwork, but also on the table at every meal!
It’s hard to summarize my impressions of the country or the people, but I can say that I felt completely safe the whole time, everyone seems friendly beyond measure, proud of their heritage, proud of the current pace of development, excited about the future, determined to succeed, well spoken, void of criticism, eager to make visitors feel welcome and unselfishly willing to help out whenever they can.
On the down side, traffic in the cities and towns is a mess – your life hangs in the balance every time you cross the street. Also, pollution is staggering, but as far as I can tell this will improve very rapidly over the next couple of years.