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China: Cultural Complications of a First-Time Traveler


USA | Tuesday, 28 June 2011 | Views [477]

Bound. One word to encompass everything that is me. Bound to a quaint Midwest town with a homogenous ethnicity and language. Murmurs of Mandarin never echo the perfectly paved streets in this land known notoriously as "The Bubble". In the future brochures of our town I imagine the following concise, albeit politically incorrect paragraph:

Welcome to the Midwest! While exploring the lush 26 square miles of this town, you will discover a plethora of interesting things to do. Begin in the "downtown" area with a scattering of shops that will be of interest for all of one day. Then travel two miles down the road to our park, blessed with a petite lake and marvelous trail, which has been traveled at least 40 times by local residents. You will be amazed that they continue to find this trail delightful after numerous repeat visits. After the refreshing walk, venture down to the local grocery store to pick up the two ingredients necessary for a scrumptious supper: meat and buns. We hope you enjoy your stay among our "diverse" inhabitants.

Hopefully, this accurately portrays my point. While home is claimed to be where the heart is, such a dullness has worn drastically at my patience to travel. And finally, God has sent me a one-way ticket out! My apologizes. I meant round-trip. Apparently not all of a sixteen-year-old's prays can be answered. Yet as I am bound to my bubble, I am bound for a world of new wonders, namely the People's Republic of China. It's full, official name seems to only stimulate the allure of such a foreign land. Instead of dreaming of sugarplum faeries and candy canes, I am dreaming of tofu, rice paddies, and Mandarin Chinese. And in eight days, I will sprint, to the dismay of all present security, onto a plane. A plane that will take me on my first journey of a lifetime.

Tags: bound, intro, pre-departure, trapped

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