First off, I need to get on my soap box for a moment.
We utilize Trip Advisor a lot when planning our trips and Karen contributes a lot of reviews on places we have been. One of the funny things about reading a lot of the reviews about China is the indignation when people find that most people do not speak English, even at major hotels. What we found funny about it is the pompous self importance of people complaining about it. In our travels in China we found that English speaking tourists probably accounted for less than 1/10 of 1% of the tourists we saw. Why would they feel the need to speak English? By far the greatest number of tourists here are Chinese, from China. Next was Europeans and Indians. The workers we met tried at least a bit to help us when it became obvious we were idiots and didn’t speak their language, but truly, it was an us problem not a them problem. Ok, all done now. On with the people.
As we did our tour in China and then spent 10 days house sitting one thing became abundantly obvious. People are just human no matter where in the world you go. I had come to this realization a few years ago, but being in China really hammered it home for me again. I think a big reason for this is that China, as a nation, is different from most places we have been. Whether it is the politics, the shear number of people, or their culture, they are different from what we are used to. But at an individual level, they are the same.
Without a doubt one of the biggest benefits of travel is being reminded that people are more alike, than different. Whether one is a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Atheist, we all just want to have a place to live safely, with a roof over our heads and food to eat.