Going to China was a remarkable experience. In the beginning I was apprehensive about going, in the end it was an experience that offered growth. All the business trips offered learning experiences. The one company trip that made me wonder more about the country was the visit to B & Q. This is a store very much like a Home Depot or Lowels. During the tour, the speaker Mr. Howard Xia explained that the department that was showing the most growth was the design department. He explained further that the reason for the growth was because that the Chinese people were not able to design a room with color and furniture that were complimentary and compatible together. This amazed me, we as Americans just assume that creativity would be a part of every ones development. Another thought provoking observation in the store was the very large bathroom fixture section in the store. Outside the hotel most of the bathrooms were eastern style toilets. There were toilets being sold that allowed air conditioning, seat warmers and I-pod plug ins for your listening enjoyment!
That observation I could relate to the country. Just like the contrast in the bathroom fixtures there were contrast in their way of life.
Ferrari dealerships and many bridal stores were around every corner, the very corner that had very depressed areas. I was moved by the poverty and the blatant begging that occurred on the streets. Blind men playing string instruments while a sighted person held out their hand. My heart went out to them. It opened my eyes that there are issues in all countries that need to be dealt with regardless of government.
So, on our last day, the sun came out for a little while from behind the smog and we climbed on the plane to start our journey back to America.
I learned to not judge but to try and understand. It was truly a moving experience.