[Mike Null returns to China and blogs his experiences on The Killing Floor]
Special to The Killing Floor
This stint to China has been amazing. We are entering the end of week fourteen and this experience continues to be as challenging, satisfying and fun as ever.
That said, fourteen weeks is a long time to be away from family, friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, being under contract means that I'm prohibited from going anywhere until January 2nd. That means you should come to Shanghai!
No, seriously, come visit. Here are seven reasons why!
1. It's Shanghai. When do you ever see yourself getting over to China? Why would it ever happen? It's one of those places that people file away as a "someday" destination but never actually reach. I'm over here now. I am that reason!
2. The club. The House of Blues and Jazz is worth the trip alone. It is devoted to American music with much more of a Chinese appreciation for art than an American appreciation for money.
3. The scene. Shanghai has a small but vibrant expat music scene. It's exciting and has an international flavor often missed in most American cities. That, and Chinese music is nothing like we think it is.
4. The people. In addition to many of the international visitors to Shanghai, the Chinese people are worth getting to know. There are many stereotypes about their culture that just simply aren't true.
5. The food. Chinese food in the states is nothing like it is over here. It's better, healthier and much, much cheaper. I've lost weight, my skin has cleared up and I am not nearly as fatigued after meals.
6. China will be the next superpower. With the size of their population and the steady growth of their economy, China is quickly on its way to becoming the most influential country in the world. Might as well get your foot in the door now, right? If ya can't beat 'em…come visit.
7. Things are happening here. Last time I was here, we stayed at an apartment complex near the Bund. I went away for 6 months, and when I came back there was a tunnel to Pudong, a subway station and a park nearby that weren't there before. Remember the Big Dig? Yeah, the Chinese could have finished that project in a year with a fraction of the cost. The entire area of Pudong was nothing but rice fields as early as 15 years ago.
Your mind will be blown. Most people know nothing about the real China, even if they think they do. It's unlike any other place on Earth and it's cheaper than you think. You can stay at hostels on the super cheap, or get great hotels for around $50 a night. Plane tickets are way under $1,000. Plus, once you get here, daily living is cheap and you don't have to spend much if you don't want to.
But I know it's far away. If you can't come visit, you can at least see my band in the latest ad for Canon IXUS cameras.
I hope all is well.