Photographs by Richard Freeman
Quotations from China
In the fall of 2005 I spent my second semester as a professor of anthropology on an international studies program, traveling overseas with students from several universities and colleges in the US. We began in New York City for 10-days. We then began our global tour; flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina (for six weeks). From Argentina it was over the arctic (changing planes in Chicago) to China before our final six week stay in Auckland, New Zealand. In China, we spent a month in Beijing and two weeks in Shanghai. I have to say that in all of my travels, I never felt so much an outsider as I did in China. Not because of how I was treated by the people, but our linguistic differences. I knew absolutely no Chinese, nor could I read most of the signs in the cities (the few I could read were in English as well, or bus numbers). I stayed at a hotel for a month in Beijing and I still cannot tell you the name of the street it was on. Although I took busses and the subway, I always carried the hotel card in case I needed to take a taxi. I would hand the driver the card. Several times the driver did not know where the hotel was located either. I also had a bicycle that I had rented. Sometimes with students, sometimes alone, I explored a lot of the city in this way. There is an image of the bicycle dealer below. It was a wonderful adventure, and I was getting paid!