A Kenyan in Beijing: Almost deported, utterly lost, holding fake money... (and making new friends)

Culture | by China Travel
Posted: September 6th, 2010 | Updated: September 6th, 2010 | Comments
Here's a rather humorous account of Kenyan Larry Madowo's first days in Beijing that we came across in the Nairobi online newspaper The Standard today. Many who remember their first impressions of China will likely smile--if not chuckle knowingly to themselves a couple times while reading his story. Huge culture shock, a massive language barrier and a completely unfamiliar environment can combine to make one feel pretty small and vulnerable... and unfortunately, the smell of vulnerability is a scent that everyone from customs officials to dodgy taxi drivers can lock on to with needlepoint accuracy from miles away. The result? Some great stories about your first baby missteps as a traveler in Asia (total communication meltdown with your taxi driver, hotels that don't exist... or how about a stint in a corrupt policeman's secret jail cell? Just remember, anything can happen and probably will). Here are a few teasers from Larry's story to get you started... anything sound familiar?:
"'Everything you’ve heard about China is completely true. And everything you’ve heard about China is completely false,' a friend told me on my second day in Beijing." [...] "Soon, everyone wanted to take pictures with me. 'You’re so handsome,' a woman called out shyly." [...] "Chinese food might not be appealing for someone used to African and conventional Western food as it is slimy, spicy and fatty not the kind that would leave one salivating." [...] "'If I never have to eat Chinese food again in my whole life, it will be too soon,' a member of our entourage lamented."
Click on the link to read the rest of Larry's Adventure in Beijing.
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