I haven’t written as much as I expected to write About China, because I’ve been experiencing a reverse Dunning-Kruger on this trip. I’m realizing more and more the immensity of what I don’t yet understand about China, and so whenever I start to write travel commentary, I couch it with all these qualifiers, and I sometimes despair of making enough sense of China to write anything that friends at home could enjoy and understand.
in China, simple things often turn out unexpectedly complicated for me. Like measure words, that toothpaste that turned out to be tea flavored, not mint, the time I ordered an entire chicken, er and liang, and all the other times I’ve been pretty sure that Mandarin is just screwing with me.
But, exploring Shanghai, with the tree-lined avenues of fashionable shops, and the bikes down small alleys, and massive chrome buildings, and the speed of a real city, with endless cafes of wonderful coffee, is exactly like I imagined.