It has been several years since I last visited China and seemed as long since my [in actuality] recent Singapore vacation. I wasn’t sure what to expect for the trip: was the pollution and smog really as bad as Western media reported? How much Mandarin had I forgotten? After visiting Singapore twice, would I find China revoltingly backwards? Would the Chinese recognize me as one of their own or as an outsider?
I braced myself for a frantic two weeks, but amid the fervor I found unexpected calm.