Friday, July 6, 2012

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow (David Bowie)

I'm reading Joe Bennett's Where Underpants Come From at the moment. It's subtitled 'From checkout to cotton field - travels through the new China'.

I'm not really a fan of his work. He's usually trying too hard to be funny in a clever way, whereas a great travel writer (clearly he aspires to Bill Bryson status) is just funny in an effortless way and informative in a clever way.

In the absence of any other amusing travel writing on China though - he's it.

I'm six chapters in an so far he hasn't moved from Shanghai. Chapter 6 was solely concerned with trying to make a dinner experience with a Chinese couple witty.

He does make some interesting points though which elucidate my own thoughts and knowledge of China. We both know little to nothing about it, beyond that there are a phenomenal number of people in China (1.4 billion I think), it's the world's producer of just about everything we buy, and it's an ancient land - 3,000 years and counting (at least, I think).

So we have ignorance in common.

With that in mind I watched an interesting TED talks item which clued me into the new generation of Chinese and the new China better than Joe could manage (in 95 pages so far). It also answered a few of my questions about blogging in the new China. Enjoy!

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