Thursday, August 20, 2009

China, then and now.

I've been to China once before, on a two-week trip with my high school. I was fourteen years old and totally, completely high on life. Oh, everything was so thrilling: wandering the streets of Beijing, photographing every Chinese kid I saw, taking advantage of the lack of a drinking age. I tried to speak the language, mostly by bargaining for cheap bracelets and knick-knacks. I was involved in some awesome ninth grade love triangles, which turned my journal into half travelogue ("Today we went to Tiananmen Square! It was so interesting!") and half frenzied boy reporting ("I love X! We talked all day! Then I talked to Y! He's so cute! Z sat next to me at dinner!") My diet for the trip consisted of white rice and Sprite. I wore bell-bottom jeans with denim vests. I was convinced I knew everything about everything.

Below are some photographs from that wonderful, ridiculous, whirlwind trip. It's been almost ten years and I'm looking forward to seeing China now, through very different eyes.

I leave Monday.


  1. OMG, were we really 14??

    There is a small chance that I will be in Baise and Beijing with a friend this thanksgiving, but that would require finding someone to take care of my leotardedly difficult doggy (and a thousand dollars.) Anyway, that would put me nowhere near you, but somehow it does not seem so far, relatively speaking. If I end up in China I will definitely make a case for visiting you.

    How has your Chinese held up. Mine has finally completely fallen apart. Last time I was in Bejing I called the front desk:


    Hi, showering is evil.


    Showering is evil.

    Can I help you?

    Please help me to shower.

    And it's really been down hill from there.

  2. Bon Voyage, Maggie! Have a great time!

  3. oh maggie i will miss you so, but i can't wait to hear about all your adventures (in china)

  4. I am curious to see how your impressions of China will compare to the ones you had as a 14 year old. I'm not sure who has changed more in the past decade, you or China. I love you sooooooooooooooo.