Sunday, April 30, 2006


West Lake

A former colleague of mine is on the first leg of a round the world trip (see the PhilLee link to the right) and is currently in Beijing.

Now whilst I'm using the medium of blogging to highlight some of the differences between China and the UK - I'm certainly not doing so in any attempt to 'bash' China - I love living here and want other people to like it too. However, I feel a blog that simply says 'went to Starbucks. Had coffee. It's just like the west' wouldn't get even the scant readership that I currently have. People don't want to know what I do and how it's exactly the same as the mundane life I led in the UK. If anything, I guess people want to know what's different, what made me laugh, what made me cry (metaphorically of course, ahem), etc.

Whenever people, particularly our clients, come here we do our level best to promote China and particularly Hangzhou as a generally fantastic city and a great place to do business. The stuff about traffic, people making their own ladders, differences in taste, etc. are all things that add local character to China and are the sorts of things I think people are interested in reading about. Every time someone comes to China and talks about people trying to beg from them, ripping them off, selling them endless fakes, and, even more depressingly - the story that Phill and Lee document. It really makes me cringe that some of the locals are letting their side down by giving visitors to this country such a negative perception when China really has so much to offer compared to so many countries.

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