Adrift in China (Summersdale Travel)
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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.
semi-mythical destination in Changchun – if only for its warmth. One of the local students we knew had a picture of a palm-fringed sandy shore above his bunk bed and he would point at it, saying, ‘Hainan,’ in breathless tones. Later we discovered that Hainan’s reputation rested as much on its easygoing attitude to acquiring wealth as its sandy beaches. We travelled down on a bus from Nanning. Four geese sat trussed up amongst boxes on the roof. Only their necks and beaks could move, and they bit
Beijing. He and Chen are reported to have squandered 4.5 million US dollars of public funds on lavish lifestyles that included building two luxurious villas in the Beijing suburbs and frequenting them for 74 BOOMTIME! ‘extravagant wining, dining and entertainment’. A permanent monument to his discredited rule was the unfinished underground extension opposite the China World Trade Centre. A suitable location in fact to remind everyone that any large investment project in the capital needed his
have been initiated, including a change in the distribution structure. The positive results of these initiatives are expected to take effect in the year 2000.’ In a country the size of China there is always hope. What explains this strange love-in between capitalists and Communists? Why China in particular? Apart from the dream of an infinite market, maybe the answer is to be found in the long-standing mercantile culture of Chinese society. Mao Zedong’s reign in China has obscured a vibrant
former PLA officer called Zheng Zhenglong, tells the story of how thousands died of starvation, while others were forced to eat leather and rats to survive. There were incidents of cannibalism. The book was banned just before our arrival. Just down from a commemorative concrete plinth supporting a Soviet Tupolev bomber (Soviet forces helped liberate the city from the Japanese in 1945) was the university dormitory for foreign students. Situated on the corner of Stalin Street and Liberation Avenue,
western end of China, he had employed three elderly Chinese to have 151 ADRIFT IN CHINA lice-filled boxes clamped to their legs for two hours per day. Each box contained 500 lice and after feeding on the legs, they supplied an anti-typhus serum for Fleming and his companions. Such organised pre-trip preparation. In contrast, our pre-leaving activity was limited. Vaguely productive meetings would lead to the preparation of long lists of action items. This was followed by individual shopping