There isn’t much to do on a journey to the airport at 4am (no offence dad) other than to wonder how many traffic cones exist in England, the rows seem endless, so to keep myself awake I thought I’d work out why I am about to board a plane to China. I hope it doesn’t send you to sleep.
Over the last couple of weeks, as the departure date has crept ever closer, it has dawned on me that I have no idea why I am going to China and that I don’t really know anything about the place. In a way, I think the latter problem helps solve the former, as the excitement of the seemingly unknown has rustled up the spirit of adventure and the attraction of an evidently strange culture has proved too exciting to miss. Or I’m going because my girlfriend told me I am. Either way, I don’t think I have ever been so excited to travel anywhere in my life.
Other than my knowledge of a big wall and an army of terracotta statues, as well as the modern metropolises overgrown with highrises, China seems some what an alien land. Despite a rich history boasting a empire that lasted over 2000 years and a turbulent recent record that has produced and economic superpower, I feel that my insufficient knowledge of this extraordinary and often mindblowingly country is below adequate. For somewhere with sagas to rival that of the Ancient Greeks, bold historical figures no less than equal to the Roman’s and now an economy warring that of the United States of America, to be so unaware of the history and culture is bizarre. How many Presidents of the USA, for example, can you name compared to rulers of China? How many states compared to Chinese provinces?
Sure, in recent history China isn’t doing too well in the international popularity contest, if they were to enter Eurovision they might even usurp Britain from bottom of the pile, but for me the remarkable history, as well as the natrual beauty seems too good to ignore. The food looks mouthwatering and the mountains impossible. The architecture varies in the extremes and the philosophies are enigmatic, to me at least. The attractions that I am aware of look irresistible and the ones that I’m not even more so. It truly is an excitement of the unknown and the attraction to a strange adventure that’s making me go. And because Georgie told me to.