China Impressions

Hey, I’m in Vietnam, finally! The U.S. Government wanted to send me here in the late 1960s, but that plan fell through. However, as the barman Moustache said in the film Irma La Douce, “Cela c’est une autre histoire.”

My China days ended with a flight from Shanghai a few days ago. I had planned a much longer stay and was dismayed at first when my passport came back from the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul with a 15-day visa. No matter; I decided to schedule those days as tightly as possible so as to be able to visit the sites that conventional wisdom declares first-time travelers to China must see. This plan took me first to Beijing and then to Xi’an, Guilin, and Shanghai.

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An Innocent Abroad – Ups and Downs in China

I think I used to be smarter or at least more careful. Here in Shanghai I feel like a baby. Yesterday, to make a day trip to Hangzhou, another really big city (aren’t they all) I first took the wrong train (slow) to the wrong station (Hangzou South) and then took the wrong bus to get to the right station before I finally made it in a taxi.

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