What are those white spots in the sky?

 First of all sorry for my absence.  Life...work.....and I got locked out of my blogger account.

My posts are piling up.  I know if I simply wrote more frequently, that would help.  Alas, the life of a company Director keeps me too busy for now.  I find I simply just can't sit on my sofa with my laptop and knock out posts....sometimes I feel like I'm starting over, actually  Still, I'm happy to have been writing this since August 2012, and still have more posts up than many podcasts have episodes.

Before I move on to my bigger topics I've got lined up I really want to continue with Top Ten list of why I may never live in China again.....

I call myself a "budding amateur photographer"...I love to write, and to take photos.  Abt 3 weeks ago I went out to the lake.   I waited for sunrise, then waited some more.  Soon it was dark, and not long after it was pitch dark.   The night was black, and finally the stars began to show themselves.  

I wound up having the best night of my photo taking "career".  Astrophotography is a hobby of mine.  I  even got my ISO down to 800-1000 range.  Not even close to what was needed but damn good enough to get  great shots of the stars.  I went home, cleaned them up, and posted them on WC.

This was the first response I got:

"What are those white spots in the sky?"

I didn't know what to say.   But in a nutshell that is why I will probably not be taking photo's in China anytime soon.   When I explained to this Ningbo babe those were stars, she honestly did not believe me.    This 40 something married woman was so naive about space, and honestly so unused to seeing a simple night sky she felt I was teasing her.  Simple as that.  

Once again I was surprised about life in China.  Afterall, Ningbo is a coastal city, with very little of the air pollution Guangzhou would have. 

It wasn't until a few days later, apparently after much research, that she realized those were indeed stars.    It's this reason along with the air quality(reasons 7 and 8), that cause me to challenge my longing to return to China.   

Does China have wonderful and naturally scenic vistas ideal for landscape photography?  You bet!  Would I have to share those vistas with tens of thousands of others?  Well but of course!  And that kind of spoils it. 

Even worse, those places are simply too hard to get too.  I've taken the Wenzhou to Ningbo night train many times.  I've crossed many a beautiful river at dusk.   On a high speed train.  With absolutely no idea how to return to a certain village in the middle of nowhere.  I'm also leery of bringing my equipment to China.  Hard to lug around.  Afraid of forgetting about it on the plane.  

Alas, it stays at home in my basement office, waiting for my return.  Such a waste.   So when I do see a great scene, with the requisite sky or landscape, the logistics of simply travelling in China seem insurmountable.   Even when one solves the sky,  finds a way to escape the air quality, it is the logistics that keeps one down.   It is discouraging.

It is difficult to commit one's life to China, unless one is at times devoid of curiosity.  One accepts the "China sky", or the  need to carry a passport on a train at all times.  Willing to be the only one NOT paying with WeChat, as residents MUST have a Chinese bank account.  It has simply gotten to the point that China makes a foreigner living in China stick out so much like a sore thumb, that I feel we tend to want to stay in our fancy hotel rooms.   When trying to recharge my subway card last time I was there, I found I had to figure out "where" to do so.  The attendant told me to simply use my WeChat.  

I had to explain I don't live in China......she had no notion whatsoever of the difficulty I faced.   More and more, one needs tribal knowledge to survive.  I eventually found out a local 7-11 recharged cards.  Am I whining? Of course I am.  Is it fair....not really.  China isn't built for "us".  Rather, it's built for Chinese.  The fast change leaves one behind.  Yet we ignore the fact we can go from Futian to Hong Kong in 15 minutes.  Something I would've sorely loved when I lived in Shenzhen several years ago.

I hope I don't get locked out again....goodnight.


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