Destinations Asia China Story Time

Open Letter to China: I LOVE YOU AND I HATE YOU.

Dear China,

What I’m about to say is something I didn’t have to think about long at all.
I didn’t have to ponder this and it didn’t come to me in a dream.
It slapped me right in the face and couldn’t be more clear:

I’ll admit, I absolutely hated you before I started to warm up to your charm.
It still took awhile for me to embrace that warmth, but once I did, I couldn’t resist you…
…until the hatred started creeping back in again.

I’d love to say “It’s Not You, It’s Me.”
But it’s all you.
100% you.

I knew flying from Japan to China was going to be a rude awakening.
I left a country known for its cleanliness and politeness.
And arrived in a country that’s not known for any of those things.
I thought I mentally prepared myself.
But nothing could prepare me for China.


I was looking up flights to go ANYWHERE else.
I had to sit down and tell myself to stop being a little bitch, strap in, and enjoy the ride for the next 2 months.

I’m glad I did, because after that day I started to like China more and more each day.
I quickly got used to people staring and trying to take photos of me.
My reflexes for dodging people’s spit was top-notch.
My maneuvering around feet-shuffling-slowpokes was majestic.

Headphones helped block out the horns, snot snorting, and throat clearing that filled the air like a disgusting symphony.
And having shoving matches with rude old ladies at crowded train doorways was never so much fun.
I was really starting to enjoy myself.

I was seeing sites and eating food I’d only ever dreamed of.
Traveling around the country was getting easier and the behavior more tolerable.
But as I was approaching my last few weeks in China it all started to unravel.

Get Me Out!

Each day was a countdown for when I would finally leave.
The joy was fading and I was anticipating my departure.
By this time I had too many “Fuck China moments“.

What is a “Fuck China moment” you ask?
It’s pretty much exactly like it sounds.
It’s when you can no longer bear the Crowds, Noise, Attitudes, Behavior, and STRUGGLE of China.
You just Scream, Cry, or Punch something to let out your frustrations.
I met many people during my travels that were overcome with “Fuck China moments“.

By the time I left mainland China and arrived in Hong Kong it took me a few days to adjust.
I was able to release some stress and be civil around people again.
My week in HK was mostly spent on reflecting about the last 2 months in China.
I was unsure about how I felt.

When I talk about China I sound like Eminem rapping about his ex.
“Do I Love You?
Do I Hate You?
Bitch I just don’t know!”

My feelings about the country are as contradicting as the country itself.
I loved it and I hated it.
I could not wait to leave, but I also can’t wait to go back.

China, I think you and I can definitely make it work.
It might take some time for me again, but I feel betterĀ prepared for what to expect.
I have not given up on you yet.
There’s too much of you to love.

open letter to China. Group photo on the Great Wall Of China.

Jeremiah Cooper

By Jeremiah Cooper

Welcome to Live Life Extreme, a travel blog about thrill-seeking travel through some of the largest cities to off the beaten path getaways.

My name is Jeremiah and I'm a photographer from Arizona.
I'm always in search of picturesque landscapes and adrenaline pumping adventure.
Follow me as I show you What and What Not to do when visiting new places in search of Cheap Travel and Cheap Thrills.

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