Having been home for a few weeks now, I thought I would share some reflections on our trip.
Before we departed, I had a pretty disjointed mental image of what China would be. On the one hand, I envisioned an agrarian countryside; paddy fields worked by blue-overalled farmers in coolie hats. Simultaneously, I recognised China as a massive, quickly growing economy; almost all of my technology and clothes are marked, “Made In China,” so there has to be some degree of industrialisation. These were two, fairly distinct, mental pictures though, with pretty much no overlap.
In reality there was, of course, lots of overlap. From the windows of the trains we took, the countryside looks much like the UK; lots of fields (not so much of the rice around here), towns and villages and rural housing with regular industrial areas and manufacturing sites, all frequently under the shadow of power station cooling towers, or the many, many sets of apartment blocks under construction everywhere we went. Continue reading