Texas Tech University

The Mystery of China

Whenever I thought of China, I picture this mysterious and ominous presence. An old fashioned and backward society, where Americans dare not to venture. I had heard so much about China and their strict government, tumultuous history, and rise to power, but like many Americans I couldn't separate fact from fiction. I took a leap and signed up for the trip to China because in my mind China was a place I wouldn't feel comfortable visiting on my own and this may be my only opportunity to debunk the myths and witness firsthand the country whose name is on the tags of our clothes and always on the front page of the global news.

China was far different than I ever imagined, never have I seen a place with such contrasts. There would be people riding rickety scooters next to Rolls Royce's. Thousands of years of culture and tradition positioned next to high rise buildings. I saw restaurants serving chicken feet and pig hooves, next door to McDonalds' and KFC's. The traffic laws were just a suggestion, but the airport security was airtight. Crossing the street felt like a game of chicken, cars and buses darting all around you with scooters beeping their horns and zooming by, all during the green pedestrian walk sign.

Meanwhile, security was top notch, with checkpoints and strict regulations. As Americans they paid special attention to our bags and they always seemed to find a problem that could've landed one of us in jail, if we were Chinese citizens. Though regarded with unease by police, Chinese citizens seemed in awe of our presence and took lots of pictures of us, as if we were the main attraction, not the Great Wall.All these contrasts made even America seem like a mild mannered compared to these extremes.

Though some of the mysteries of China are still lost to me, China isn't as different as I once thought. At Nankai University, one of the Chinese universities we visited, one of the girls we were out to eat with told us she couldn't stay long because she had class, 20 minutes later she was still there and we asked, "don't you have a class" and she responds "yeah, but I'm not going". At that moment it dawned on me that even though China is on the other side of the world at our core we are all the same.

At the Great Wall of China everyone, Chinese, American or otherwise was in awe of the truly fantastic ingenuity and endurance of the Wall. This shared experience is one of many that transcends the barriers of race, language and culture. At the end of the day parents just want their kids to be successful, students complain about school work, and people work hard to provide for their families. We are all just humans who want to live happy and successful lives with those we care about.

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

  • Address

    Texas Tech University, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Phone