1-This ‘experience’ of living in China and Southeast Asia has been full of so many diverse experiences from the major cities and vibrant cultures of Guangzhou, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, Macau, and Hong Kong, the sea views of Sentosa, Phuket, and Sanya, and the rural landscapes of Guangxi Province.
2-Living on a Chinese campus and sending kids to Chinese school has allowed us to experience China in a authentic way not available to our ex-pat friends in GZ….cooking lesson at Chinese friends’ homes, invitations to celebrate Chinese Spring Festival, and travel to friends’ hometowns in rural provinces.
3-Thailand, as a vacation spot, is wonderful. The temples and canals of Bangkok create sensory overload, and the beaches are breathtaking. Soon, we plan to go on a day-long canoe tour of the caves on the Thai coast.
4-“Land use is the forgotten agenda of the environmental movement.” John Turner & Jason Rylander, Land Use: The Forgotten Agenda, in Thinking Ecologically: The Next Generation of Environmental Policy 61 (1997). I often consider this as I see the unparrelled development in Chinese cities or resorts sprawling on coastal area. I wonder what did the land look like before (though at what point is always subject to nature’s dynamic cycle). An example: The hotel where I’m not sitting now and its accompanying lagoon and vegetation were built upon a mine that caused the landscape to look like that of the surface of the moon. While this is an aesthetic improvement, natural cycles have been lost. A parallel can be drawn to wetlands mitigation and restoration. While the new wetlands are replacements and perhaps provide new wildlife habitat, the natural hydrological cycles of the wetlands destroyed are lost.