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Monday, January 21, 2013

Traveling Abroad

I recently got back from across the world and guess where I went?

It was a great place to visit friends and family that I haven't seen in close to 18 years. I would have to say that I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would. The last time that I went to China, I was very little and had a bad experience getting chicken pox in the hospital for most of the time that I was there. This time with a healther immune system and a reservation about trying risky foods, I took on the challenge of exploring this new world with earnest.

Shanghai was where I stayed for the majority of the time in China, it was where my parents originally grew up. I have to say that it has come a long way from the backwater small coastal town that I first saw in 1994. Most of the city has gone through a transformation into a cultural and financial capital of China. It seems that high rises and new construction were everywhere and that the city was still edging its way to the top of the skies, much like Chicago was in the 1970's. In the financial district wealth was flaunted around as much as the richest here in America, with all the toys and power of the elite.

Although, as much as the city is growing out of poverty there still exists wealth inequality. The native people to the city complain of an influx of outsides from rural farm lands that have taking away jobs and are willing to work for lesser wages, while adding to the city's population by the millions, straining the infrastructure. Shanghai's rise has attracted people from all over the country to try and see if they can make themselves a better life. There is a deep distrust and anger for the growing outsider population. It is exactly analogous to immigration with Latino's in America.

I really like my trip to China, being able to experience a different culture that is focused on family and a tight knit group of people is a warm welcome after living on my own for a while. China has come a long way, but I fear it still has much to do internally before it can rival America's best.

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