by Brian Glucroft
I'd like to thank Jim for the invitation to guest blog on his site. My feelings largely mirror those Tony Comstock expressed earlier today in his thank you paragraph. While it's certainly an honor to be able to blog here, what most excites me is the opportunity to receive feedback from you -- the diverse readers of Jim's blog.
During my week of guest blogging I plan to cover a variety of topics of interest to me and familiar to readers here -- China, technology, etc. -- and posts will range from the serious to those that are on the lighter side. I also see Jim has put in a request to me for pictures. I'll be more than happy to oblige.
I'd like to "break the ice" by sharing a recent experience I had in China which particularly touched me.
Last Wednesday was the day before the beginning of Chinese New Year. It's considered by many to be the most important holiday in China and many Chinese return to their hometowns to spend time with their families. I, however, spent Wednesday exploring the city of Wuzhou in Guangxi alone after traveling there based on little more than seeing its name on a map.
Wuzhou surprised me in several ways, one being its relatively well-preserved "Arcade City". According to a street map in Wuzhou, "Since Wuzhou was opened to foreign trade in 1897, many businessmen came here for trade, leaving 560 arcade buildings within 22 streets in the eastern part of Wuzhou city." Based on what I saw and was told by others who live there, Wuzhou doesn't see many foreigners these days.