Travels in China: Photos:

Everyday Luxuries in America and China :: Travels in China

Every world traveler on the road occasionally longs for a small comfort from home. Every world traveler at home occasionally longs for a small comfort from a place far away. In the last thirty years, the Chinese have brought many elements of American and European society, both good and bad, into their own daily lives. Times are long gone when white people would return from China with steamer trunks full of porcelain and stories of how other-worldly life is in The Orient. In the 21st Century, a big city in China isn't so different from a big city anywhere else. The stories spun by today's adventurers are about the subtleties of culture that shine through the homogonized life of our homo genus in modern times.

China's cities are quite modern, but that's not the same as being quite Western. For every trend and fashion imported from America there's an old tradition that's still strong. Some cultural differences are just two approaches to the same problem; the one you prefer is usually the one you grew up with. Some things are different because the societies face different challenges. These lists aren't meant to imply the U.S. is a better place than China, nor that China is a better place than the United States. The lists intentionally leave out large-scale differences like government systems and educational techniques. They're lists of daily luxuries that people take for granted. If I'd lived in China, I'm sure the list of daily Chinese luxuries would be longer. But a month of travel isn't quite long enough to shift experiences from new and amazing to routine and reliable.

Everyday Luxuries in America Which Are Not Guaranteed in China

Everyday Luxuries in China Which Aren't Guaranteed in America