Spent most of the day in Bao'an, western Shenzen today. The first thing you notice is that it's bloody hot. Really hot. Everywhere we went, and we were largely indoors, there was no air conditioning, just fans. The weather always seems to be more extreme in Southern China than in Hong Kong. When we got back tonight, it was a nice temperate day (about 24 to 26 °C) with a light breeze. In Shenzen, it was 30+°C and stifling. There is a real energy crisis in China, and there's a ban on having the air-con set below 25°C

The second thing you notice (as a westerner) is that the staring is pretty much under control. Traditionally in China, a westerner attracts an audience of yokels who follow him[1] around, revelling in the sight of a hairy monkey who can speak (gasp!), drink tea (shock!) or use chopsticks (Waaaaah! He so clever!) Nowadays, it's just a few goggle-eyed peasants, with most people ignoring you. This is great. The first time I was in China, my hosts kept trying to feed me hamburgers. I kept making them eat the hamburger while I had their spicy chicken (or whatever).

[1] or her. A female colleague had a audience even when trying to attend to a call of nature!

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on May 26, 2005 11:45 PM.

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