different area codes

I’m in China…again. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been, but I think something like 30. The thing is, every time I’ve visited, I’ve been in factory towns both known and remote. Shenzhen is the most well-known, and the most high-tech and well-developed…but I’ve also spent a lot of time in towns with literal dirt roads, chickens in the streets, and non-ironic rickshaws. There’s things you see in towns like those that seem to be common…things like outdoor pool tables, garage shops with roll-up doors in a long row, and one Western-style hotel rising out of the poverty to service the business men.

I was thinking about my experience with China, which, if I may be so bold, is pretty extensive at this point…but at the same time, it’s an experience where I’ve never had the opportunity to see the country outside of various factory towns. What do other people think about when they think about China? Do they think about the Great Wall, the clay warriors, Bruce Lee? Is it the exotic and misty Orient full of ancient secrets and wonder?

Probably so, and that’s just as fair of an assessment as any. For me, though, it’s a totally different feeling…

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