If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that lately I’ve been exploring China! I’m here in Shanghai for some classes until the end June and, after a quick three-day stopover in Toyko, I’ll head back home just in time to start Camp NaNoWriMo!
It’s been an exciting summer so far with a lot of learning about me, people, and the world, and I’ve been growing a lot as person as a result.
Shanghai is a lot more like an American city than people would think, and big Chinese cities like Beijing have become more modernized, but there are still some traditional places that you can visit.
The biggest difference for me is the culture. People seem to notice me a lot more here because my blonde hair and blue eyes stand out, and when my group and I go to popular tourist sites around China, a lot of visiting Chinese ask for pictures with me.
It’s super easy to just see these things as different and dismiss them as just that, but it doesn’t take much to just look a little deeper into those things that aren’t understood. Many of the people who are visiting these tourist spots aren’t from major cities, so they haven’t seen any foreigners in person before. I look as stereotypically foreign as they get, so they want to take pictures.
I don’t claim to understand all of why they do certain things, but I don’t want to isolate myself because they think differently. I’m trying to understand more things I don’t know so that I can write a more accurate depiction of people in my stories.
Just a report of what I’ve been up to! Have any of you been traveling this summer? Let me know in the comments!