I thought about those experiences and another fistful like them and then said enthusiastically, “China’s great!”
In the end, it’s what I always say to Chinese people in China. It’s what they want to hear: an affirmation of country and culture and a stroke for their nascent sense of superiority, which these days they’re nursing into a full-blown complex. “China’s great,” I said again. “I’m so glad to have a chance to come back here and travel. See new scenery. The Three Gorges are great. Very beautiful.”
Paolo Bacigalupi, everyone!
It made me sad. Sad for his experience, and sad that I had spent so much time blithely lying my way across China, always well-shielded from the Chinese, and now that I was leaving, I had finally found a Chinese person I wanted to know.
SPOILER: It’s because said person shares Bacigalupi’s opinion that Chinese people suck. Yeeeeah. If anyone can give me a good reason why I should read his book that is set in Asia, do let me know.
Via James Nicoll.