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Eewww, who would want to travel to Asia?


shootingstar
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So said a work colleague at lunch yesterday.  I calmly looked at her and said (and I don't have a desire to go to India, Pakistan. I didn't go to China...yet.):  "Not all the Asian countries are the same.  Japan and Singapore are different from others."    She's a nice person, I work with her closely and daily because of our jobs.  Her cubicle is beside mine. I think she was referring to sanitation, her own comfort level whatever.  I get that. But still, it sounded...offensive to me because it was broadbrushing an entire part of the world, of such contrasting cultures, societies, histories, peoples and highly diverse values.  And some cities that are aggressively quite modern, yet strong in preserving their cultural heritage.

https://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/touch-my-seoul-and-its-strength/  What I thought of Seoul, South Korea when we were there for a few days last summer.

kingstatute.jpg

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Having seen most of Asia, I can mostly agree.  I have really enjoyed what I have seen of Japan which is Tokyo, Sapporo and Naha.  I have nothing bad to say at all.  China is a whole different story.  Beijing is interesting but very crowded and dirty with the heaviness of communism hanging in the air.  In fact, I think that is part of the pollution.  I am more a fan of the working class industrial towns in China as the people are a little more helpful and friendly but on the whole, China is a pass for me.  Hong Kong is cool to visit though but by comparison, it seems to lack culture. 

Malaysia.. Really interesting and beautiful.  A muslim country that obviously doesn't follow the full Islamic doctrine.  It is islam light, much like Turkey was before immigration. 

Singapore.  Trudeau declared Canada the first post national country.  I actually find Singapore to be that.  It is a country of many nations and what I find to be a multi-cultural society that works.  They have left their cultural differences in the places they left.   It is a free society but one where the rule of law is observed and enforced.   I could live easily in Singapore except for the bloody heat and humidity. 

Phillipines.  No thanks, total shithole. 

Vietnam and Thailand are very similar to me.  Beautiful places with very warm people but they both have a very seedy underside.  Know what I am talking about? 

So, when I do trips to Asia, I bitch and moan because they aren't fun. They are bureaucratic hell holes.

India, filthy yet cool.  Worthy of a vacation.  Pakistan, no, avoid the "Stans". 

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I’ve been to China, India and Malaysia. Fascinating places. I had a chance to walk around a lot in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur. Not bad. Didn’t dare walk the streets in Mumbai due to beggars and germs.

My new job has plants in Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and India. Good chance I’ll get there in the next few years. 

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3 minutes ago, shootingstar said:

YOu will be stilling working BuffJim??  ?  Lucky you. Tell us what you see /experience. 

I hope to work in the corporate world 7-9 more years. Our company just merged with another. Monday begins our new journey with a new name and logo. Going from a shrimpy 27,000 person company to an enormous 80,000 person company. 

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25 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

Having seen most of Asia, I can mostly agree.  I have really enjoyed what I have seen of Japan which is Tokyo, Sapporo and Naha.  I have nothing bad to say at all.  China is a whole different story.  Beijing is interesting but very crowded and dirty with the heaviness of communism hanging in the air.  In fact, I think that is part of the pollution.  I am more a fan of the working class industrial towns in China as the people are a little more helpful and friendly but on the whole, China is a pass for me.  Hong Kong is cool to visit though but by comparison, it seems to lack culture. 

Malaysia.. Really interesting and beautiful.  A muslim country that obviously doesn't follow the full Islamic doctrine.  It is islam light, much like Turkey was before immigration. 

Singapore.  Trudeau declared Canada the first post national country.  I actually find Singapore to be that.  It is a country of many nations and what I find to be a multi-cultural society that works.  They have left their cultural differences in the places they left.   It is a free society but one where the rule of law is observed and enforced.   I could live easily in Singapore except for the bloody heat and humidity. 

Phillipines.  No thanks, total shithole. 

Vietnam and Thailand are very similar to me.  Beautiful places with very warm people but they both have a very seedy underside.  Know what I am talking about? 

So, when I do trips to Asia, I bitch and moan because they aren't fun. They are bureaucratic hell holes.

India, filthy yet cool.  Worthy of a vacation.  Pakistan, no, avoid the "Stans". 

From the photos I've seen Singapore....it looks overly sterile to me. I bet they don't allow homeless people to hang around the streets.  However its Asian version of multiculturalism is probably very good. 

One of the reasons why I haven't yet visited China...(which is probably weird for me to say that because that's my family's origins), is I fear its air pollution. It's like bracing myself for disappointment.  However it has had a long 3,000 long incredible cultural history ...which increasingly China is tearing down that architectural heritage/younger generations don't give a shit / don't know. It wouldn't surprise me the school system there doesn't properly teach the full range of its history....it would be like the govn't covering up historic mistakes from the past as they barrel along ruthlessly to be a global economic giant.

I don't know. I might consider Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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I was in China, mainly Beijing for 60 days two different times.  I was working with university staff, so was treated differently than a tourist.  My first visit was before the summer olympics, and the second visit the next year.  I noticed a difference in attitudes at airports, etc. between the two visits.  Not sure what it would be like today.

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20 minutes ago, sheep_herder said:

I was in China, mainly Beijing for 60 days two different times.  I was working with university staff, so was treated differently than a tourist.  My first visit was before the summer olympics, and the second visit the next year.  I noticed a difference in attitudes at airports, etc. between the two visits.  Not sure what it would be like today.

Yea, you might be been taken to interesting /more expensive restaurants. :)  I'm sure you were feted to some incredible, high quality multi-course meals.

Dearie went to Asia for lst time several years before me. In Seoul, then briefly in a city south of Beijing and then in Tapei, Taiwan.  He was there for cycling conference..as a presenter.  He was treated to great hotel accommodation, incredible meals and of course he was surrounded by university educated local professionals.  I have videoclip somewhere of him interviewed on Tapei tv network on cycling.

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3 hours ago, Wilbur said:

Having seen most of Asia, I can mostly agree.  I have really enjoyed what I have seen of Japan which is Tokyo, Sapporo and Naha.  I have nothing bad to say at all.  China is a whole different story.  Beijing is interesting but very crowded and dirty with the heaviness of communism hanging in the air.  In fact, I think that is part of the pollution.  I am more a fan of the working class industrial towns in China as the people are a little more helpful and friendly but on the whole, China is a pass for me.  Hong Kong is cool to visit though but by comparison, it seems to lack culture. 

Malaysia.. Really interesting and beautiful.  A muslim country that obviously doesn't follow the full Islamic doctrine.  It is islam light, much like Turkey was before immigration. 

Singapore.  Trudeau declared Canada the first post national country.  I actually find Singapore to be that.  It is a country of many nations and what I find to be a multi-cultural society that works.  They have left their cultural differences in the places they left.   It is a free society but one where the rule of law is observed and enforced.   I could live easily in Singapore except for the bloody heat and humidity. 

Phillipines.  No thanks, total shithole. 

Vietnam and Thailand are very similar to me.  Beautiful places with very warm people but they both have a very seedy underside.  Know what I am talking about? 

So, when I do trips to Asia, I bitch and moan because they aren't fun. They are bureaucratic hell holes.

India, filthy yet cool.  Worthy of a vacation.  Pakistan, no, avoid the "Stans". 

Great review.  Based only on my limited exposure and second hand feedback, your review here seems to match my thoughts -- especially about Vietnam and Thailand.  I also 100% believe your assessment of Japan and China -- and the Philippines.  In my mind's eye, Japan was the place to visit for the first timer over there.  I have known folks who have lived and worked there.  I also dated a gal from Hong Kong so I had some insight there.  And I knew Singapore was heavy handed in laws but knew/know nothing about them really other than your and Max's experiences. You didn't mention Korea but since I only like 25% of their food, I'm gonna pass.  ?  

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4 hours ago, shootingstar said:

So said a work colleague at lunch yesterday.  I calmly looked at her and said (and I don't have a desire to go to India, Pakistan. I didn't go to China...yet.):  "Not all the Asian countries are the same.  Japan and Singapore are different from others."    She's a nice person, I work with her closely and daily because of our jobs.  Her cubicle is beside mine. I think she was referring to sanitation, her own comfort level whatever.  I get that. But still, it sounded...offensive to me because it was broadbrushing an entire part of the world, of such contrasting cultures, societies, histories, peoples and highly diverse values.  And some cities that are aggressively quite modern, yet strong in preserving their cultural heritage.

https://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/touch-my-seoul-and-its-strength/  What I thought of Seoul, South Korea when we were there for a few days last summer.

kingstatute.jpg

Who's the hot chick on the chair?

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1 hour ago, Dottles said:

Great review.  Based only on my limited exposure and second hand feedback, your review here seems to match my thoughts -- especially about Vietnam and Thailand.  I also 100% believe your assessment of Japan and China -- and the Philippines.  In my mind's eye, Japan was the place to visit for the first timer over there.  I have known folks who have lived and worked there.  I also dated a gal from Hong Kong so I had some insight there.  And I knew Singapore was heavy handed in laws but knew/know nothing about them really other than your and Max's experiences. You didn't mention Korea but since I only like 25% of their food, I'm gonna pass.  ?  

If you haven't eaten there you probably haven't a lot of experience with "Asian" food.  Chinese and Thai restaurants here in the states with authentic food are difficult to come by.  It's all Americanized........or perhaps Canadianized.

This is more like the real thing.

Image result for malaysian wet market food

If you could find a dim sum restaurant out where you live where very little english is spoken you might begin to get a good idea.

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56 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

If you haven't eaten there you probably haven't a lot of experience with "Asian" food.  Chinese and Thai restaurants here in the states with authentic food are difficult to come by.  It's all Americanized........or perhaps Canadianized.

This is more like the real thing.

Image result for malaysian wet market food

If you could find a dim sum restaurant out where you live where very little english is spoken you might begin to get a good idea.

We ate at one of those many years ago in Portland.  The servers brought things around on a cart, and we made our selections, not knowing what we were getting or how much it costs.  It was a Wonderful meal, and if I could remember the name and location, I would go back in a heartbeat.

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1 hour ago, maddmaxx said:

If you haven't eaten there you probably haven't a lot of experience with "Asian" food.  Chinese and Thai restaurants here in the states with authentic food are difficult to come by.  It's all Americanized........or perhaps Canadianized.

This is more like the real thing.

 

If you could find a dim sum restaurant out where you live where very little english is spoken you might begin to get a good idea.

Vancouver has a lot of such places being Chinese is nearly the same as white of the population sampling.  Very authentic food.  It isn't even called Chinese food in Vancouver. 

This guy amazes me..

 

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57 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

Vancouver has a lot of such places being Chinese is nearly the same as white of the population sampling.  Very authentic food.  It isn't even called Chinese food in Vancouver. 

This guy amazes me..

 

Too bad no one in my big family knows how to do this...I know of no one and their families among my Chinese-Canadian friends who can do this.  It's a fun challenge to eat a bowl of soup when the noodles are so long.

When I was in Japan and Seoul, I swore I would NOT eat any Chinese food.  I'm there to try real local cuisine.  And we got it in varying degrees of quality.

Chinese has a long incredible gourmet history, full of serious culinary techniques to master, food history trivia and puns related to names of dishes.  

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1195268.Shark_s_Fin_And_Sichuan_Pepper   Though British white, she makes a very serious effort to study and write about its long gourmet history while living in China. She can speak Mandarin which helps ferret some chef secrets.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/03/chinese-food-hip-america/472983/    What probably many non-Chinese may not know is that during Mao's time when Communists rose to power in 1950's -1970's, the tre Communist fanatics actually considered all the fine gourmet/imperial cooking as "imperialistic" and shut down such restaurants.  The chefs were denounced, etc.  But then China was poor and reduced to "sameness" in dress, food eating, etc. 

So the tradition of the fine/gourmet cooking probably was hidden....at home if people could even afford to cook it for a few decades during our time....and part of it (only partially) preserved overseas with immigration.

I'm glad my dearie did experience fine Chinese (banquet) cuisine dining when he was on his Taiwan, mainland China trip without me.  I thought it was abit weird, but nearly heart-breaking to me, when he was vacationing in Shanghai last year for a few days without me, he went twice to same restaurant to have their delicious 2 types of dim sum.  When a city like that....would have waaaaaay more choice to try.  

Sigh. Did he not learn enough from being with me and living in Toronto, then Vancouver, to strike out in more culinary adventurous way? 

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39 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

The biggest difference between here and there is the lack of an FDA to check on what you're eating there.  My rule.  If it tastes good enjoy but don't ask.

Private bathrooms probably rise to the top on the traveling list.

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