Well, it has been quite a while since I’ve written to the blog. Almost a full month, in fact. Some of you might be wondering if I had fallen off the face of the planet. I can assure you, that I am still here. I was out of the country.
Many of you know that writing is not my full-time occupation. Outside of the fantasy-worlds that I create, I work a real job, in the real world. So, where in the world was KM?
I was in Asia. Hong Kong and China to be exact. I don’t want to be too much more specific than that right now. You will get to ‘see’ some of the places that I’ve been when I publish, and you purchase book five of the series. Yes, my art imitates life.
I enjoyed both places, I can’t really call Hong Kong a separate country since it is a part of China, even though it is treated quite differently. In fact, China and Hong Kong do treat each other as separate countries. There is a border that you need to pass through, customs forms to fill out and they even have different monies. This benefits both.
Hong Kong acts as sort of a buffer for China. It allows the Asian giant to interact with the West in ways that mainland China cannot. Some of the fundamental differences that you will notice between the two if you travel are that the steering wheels on the cars in China are on the left (like the U.S.) and on the right in Hong Kong (like Britain). Also, you cannot use your regular U.S. credit card in China, but they eagerly accept it in Hong Kong. And the Internet, oh brother, the Internet. Hong Kong seemed to have Internet that was a hundred times faster than that in China.
Yet, with all of these differences, the similarities are there as well. The food is basically the same. The people in both countries, while always curious about Caucasians, treat me with courtesy and friendship. In fact, I would go so far as to say that China excels in this.
China is a mixture today of the modern and the ancient. What was odd, at least to me, is that almost none of the people that I interacted with seemed to know much about China’s ancient history. Anything beyond 300 years was a mystery to them. I was teaching ancient Chinese history to some of my hosts!
Like everyone, everywhere, the Chinese believe that they have the best system in the world. I sat at lunch one day with a couple who tried to point out the downfalls of a two-party (or more) system. I told them what I honestly believe. There is no such thing as better. There is only different.
What works for one culture may not ever work for another. It is highly likely, for instance, that China wouldn’t be modernizing at the rate it is if it weren’t for the model that the United States sets. Further, it is highly probable that the U.S. wouldn’t be as ‘modern’ as it is if it weren’t for our peculiar form of government.
Our system of government is kind of like a sporting event. The challenge and battling are a reflection of the American spirit itself. That is what pushes us to advance, and that is what the world is envious of. We have the freedom to develop, to come up with ideas and make those ideas pay off.
So, in short, I’m home now. At least for a while. For those of you who are wondering, I’m about half-way done with book five and working at it furiously.
Have a great week everyone.