29 Jan 17
Update from China and India, from friends traveling there:
Air quality is ecumenically wretched! I felt as if I’d smoked a carton of cigarettes after only a day there.
People are cold, unwelcoming, unhelpful.
Flying out of Beijing in daylight, I couldn’t believe the universal poor condition of the air. An oppressive, thick, gray-brown cloud smothers the entire countryside, even when we were hours away from big cities.
Looking out the plane window, I saw two things (through the smog) in abundance:
1) Miles and miles of jammed-together, high-rise government tenements
2) Huge industrial complexes with countless smokestacks continuously filling the sky with black soot.
What is “universal” in China is short life-spans! It is a miserable, unhealthy place. I have no interest in ever going back.
By contrast, people in India are friendly and very glad to see us (albeit also jammed-together). Lots of smiles, unlike China!
The exit from the airport baggage-claim is ‘guarded’ by a single man, in uniform (after a fashion), obviously bored to tears, and with a vintage Kalashnikov Rifle casually slung over his shoulder. No magazines/ammunition, not in the rifle, and not anywhere on him. No pistol either.
It seems Indians have ‘upgraded’ since the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008. They’ve boldly moved from unloaded WW1 SMLE Endfields, to unloaded Kalashnikovs!
During the next Mumbai attack, they will find both equally useful!”
Travel offshore at your peril!
You can see how much the system “really cares” about you.
Very dangerous right now. You’re on your own!