"Learning to say thanks and goodbye in Chinese will get you a lot of friendly laughs (they aren't too impressed if someone can say hello)."
"If you are ever offered tea, have it, because it will always be fantastic."
"I saw a truck loaded with geese (or possibly white ducks). There geese were alive and transported in groups of two or three, in bags of white netting. I could see the geese picking at the netting with their beaks"
"Entire neighborhoods are emptied, torn down, and replaced by new construction. Often the new construction lies empty, giving it the feeling of a ghost town. The neighborhoods which are being torn down are often surrounded by walls of billboards so they can't be seen by passing cars (or bikes, or buses)."
"I am struck by how many beautiful people there are here."
"As westerners we see empty, decaying buildings and think of an economic bubble. But is it a sign of a bubble in China? They seem to be tearing down and constructing buildings with lots of manual, but cheap, labor. Perhaps buildings here are disposable items, like our paper napkins or plastic forks."
"Someone in the street handed me two tiny cards. Inside were pictures of topless women. Either they were advertisements for a strip club or the gentleman was some sort of pervert."