During August - September
of 1999 I went on a 5 week business trip to China, Japan, Hong Kong
and Australia. and back to China.
This was my first
opportunity to see the culture and environments of this far away
(for me) part of the world. I ended up traveling to Shanghai twice
and although I never got to see any real nature with the exception
of Australia, I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the world and would
recommend a similar journey to anyone.
I was especially struck at
how different each place was from my expectations, which I guess
were based on what I learned a long time ago. The world has changed
significantly in the last few decades. The influence of
multinational companies, like McDonalds, Toyota, Kentucky Fried
Chicken and Haagen-Dazs and technologies like satellite television,
wireless telecommunications and the internet should not be
I only skimmed the surface
of the cultures that I was hosted by, but partially because I was on
a business trip, I did learn a lot from the local people that I
worked with that if I were a tourist would probably have been locked
away from me.
Although the commercial
culture is rapidly merging into a world view as opposed to a local
view, there are still significant differences in the way each of the
cultures view the world and each other.