Adrift in China (Summersdale Travel)

Adrift in China (Summersdale Travel)

Simon Myers

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1840242175

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

China is the third largest country in the world, holds nearly a quarter of the earth's population and claims a recorded history going back more than 3000 years. Foreigners' reactions to China and its people veer from one extreme to the other, as if the gargantuan size of the place demands a sweeping response. Simon Myers spent years in the Middle Kingdom trying to fathom just an inkling of China. Firstly as a Western student, still preoccupied with searching for much-missed dairy products; then as a businessman selling the capitalist icon, Coca-Cola, inaugurated to Business Drinking and losing face; and finally, independence - on the road on a Chinese motorbike and sidecar. In this work he offers an informed and personal account of China, aiming to go behind the cliches and provide a different take on life in this fascinating and frustrating country.

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ventured one friend. I found this hard to believe, having seen the crowd’s visceral reaction to a lost fixture. A continual theme was the lack of mental and physical preparedness of the team. They were viewed as just not tough enough to take on the bigger, more aggressive and fitter Western sides. Whatever the reasons offered, everyone agreed it was a source of national shame and humiliation. ‘China is such a big country, but we can’t produce a halfway decent football team!’ Maybe next time, I

or mourn the loss of traditional environments. In fact, 153 ADRIFT IN CHINA it was an almost entirely foreign occupation to complain and express regret over the demolition of entire neighbourhoods of courtyard-style housing. Many locals, and especially younger Beijingers, had no such sentimental hang-ups. Apart from being dusty in summer and dark and damp in winter, it was like a small village; everyone knew everything about everyone else. What time you left in the morning, when you came back

Fim’s biker trousers were completely impractical and the desert heat would make the leathers extremely uncomfortable. However, expressing doubt as to their practicality was not welcomed. I was therefore pleased when nearly four weeks later in the heat of the desert, Fim sped past me, trouserless, revealing white legs and a pair of skimpy pants (one of two pairs). ‘Hot, yeah?’ I shouted. Fim scowled and pretended not to hear. The acknowledged professional icon of the group was a handheld Global

a curfew, which understandably made people nervous. Back on their own turf, private space was non-existent. Chinese students slept ten to a room in a space reminiscent of crew quarters on a World War II U-boat, while the university dining hall was the size of an aircraft hangar, draughty and uncomfortable. There was a smattering of restaurants where we could go out and eat together unmolested, but this was complicated by a financial imbalance. By local standards we were impossibly rich; the vast

by the gangplank, at the front of a very long queue of passengers. The chief of police shook our hands and wished us well. We thanked him for his reassuringly brief hospitality. He saved his warmest words for Dave. ‘Great pleasure to meet true English prizefighter!’ With that he clasped both hands over Dave’s and looked him square in the eye before turning and climbing back into the jeep. 41 ADRIFT IN CHINA Was that my imagination or did I see Dave’s feet do a sort of boxer’s shuffle? Dave

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