A preview of things to come, and a disclaimer.
I’ve just returned from two weeks in China, so the next few weeks of posts are almost certainly going to be taken up by talking about what I saw and did there, with the occasional game review because I needed something to do on the plane or on long-haul trains.
Some of my experiences were pretty negative, and I want to apologize in advance to any Sinophiles if I cast your beloved country in an unfair light. I admit that I went to China with a bit of Ugly-American attitude, knowing barely a dozen words of spoken Chinese and hoping that my kanji background would carry me through understanding signs and the like. (spoiler: Whoo boy, no it did not.) I expected China to be, like Japan, very accommodating of English-speaking tourists, and again the truth was somewhat the opposite – the cities I was in do booming tourism business, but it seems almost completely domestic in nature and foreigners are decidedly an afterthought.
I’m also going to make a tremendous number of comparisons to Japan, which is unfair in a lot of ways. The two countries have developed along completely different paths since the 1940s and Japan has derived great benefit from being able to rely on the US for its national defense; whereas China has had to finish a civil war and deal with the process of post-colonial reconstruction.
Still, I am in the position of not having any editors to answer to, so I can rant as much as I want. I will try to accentuate my positive experiences as much as possible.
I’ll link back to this post from every article where I trend negative.