I had the great joy of spending six weeks in China back in 2003. When returning from my time spent there I really had the desire to go and live in China for at least a year. The culture is so distinctly different from the US.
It was getting off the beaten path, away from the tour group that was, of course, most satisfying. One night, my girlfriend Brooke and I went wandering off into Zhengzhou at night. It was late, almost midnight, but the city was alive with people on the streets. They were cooking and eating on card tables, and then when the food was cleared, playing cards. Others were sprawled out on mats rolled out on the sidewalk or in alleys- it was balmy that night, and few buildings had air conditioning. Everyone we met was so overjoyed to see us, to show us their world unvisited by tourists. Pictures were taken and anyone who knew even a word or two of english was happy to share it.
This video is an oldie, but a goodie, and I finally got around to uploading it. It’s a similar experience with a group of kids in a marketplace. While their parents shopped for food I played the pied piper with my videocamera.