So in my current job I speak to hundreds of Chinese people all day everyday. It’s giving me a pretty good insight into a country that before, I knew very little about.
Sure, I’ve seen the documentaries about ancient China and watch Chinese films and bought things from China. But that is all a carefully crafted image the country has put out to the rest of the world. Just like every other country has a face it displays to everyone else. Putting their best foot forward and hiding all the corruption, poverty, lies, and whatever else it’s doing. Sneakkyyyyy.
But I get to speak to so many Chinese people which really helps me slip behind the veneer and see what their country is really like.
On the whole they are lovely people and very similar to the West. Although their work ethic is about a million times better than ours but to the point of exhaustion which makes me question is that sustainable and productive? Not really. I am a big fan of a 4 day work week, I am most productive in 6 hours not 8 and I work harder when I have the freedom to NOT work.
Something I noticed, which is actually kinda heartbreaking is whenever we talk about travelling and holidays, they say,
“Oh yes I love to travel! I have been to *insert names here, typically Japan and France*”
I ask them what did you like about these countries!?! The food! The landscapes! The people!
Sure, those things come up. But the one thing that comes up more often and is the FIRST thing they say…
“Oh the air! It was so clean! I could breath the fresh air!”
That’s usually all they say when I ask what they thought. How sad is that. Their air is so polluted that fresh air is what they seek when they go on holiday.
Sun tan? Hot weather? Adventure? No. Just a chance to breath deeply.
I can’t imagine what it feels like to breath the polluted air all the time. I used to live in London and felt like I could never take a deep breath and London is no where near as bad as China for it’s air quality.
As much as I wish England was a hot tropical rainforest island, I am actually very grateful for it’s crisp fresh cold air. It certainly helps with all the breath work we all should be doing to cope with today’s society and life!
Photo by processingly on Unsplash