I recently took my first trip to South Africa. It’s an astoundingly beautiful country, with an astoundingly sad history. After returning to San Francisco, I wanted to reflect on what I had seen through the lens of the current situation in the Bay Area.
If I told you I went to Shenzhen (China) recently, what first comes to mind? Fishing villages, blocked Internet access, iPhone factories, smog? If you’re an average US citizen (and given the current political climate), you probably don’t have a favorable opinion and might be wondering why anyone would visit at all.
I’ll admit I felt the same way before this year. The last time I had even been in the same province was almost 13 years ago — back then Shenzhen was just farmland you travelled through from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. Who would bother stopping by?
Fast forward to 2018 and I found myself with an opportunity to visit Shenzhen on business. The four days I spent there completely changed my perception of China overall, and I’d like to see if I can change yours as well.