When you first go to China, you assume that everything will look Chinese: red lanterns, curvy roofs, narrow streets with hordes of people walking down them.
You think things will possibly be dirty, crowded, stuck in the 1800s and the era of the emperors, where everyone wears long pigtails,or at least in 1950s and the era of Mao, with everyone wearing blue or gray Mao suits.
You think maybe people will still get around in rickshaws carted by Chinese workers, and maybe women still practice foot-binding, and maybe they’re still cooking over fires or something.
And then you get to China, and you see what it’s really like. And it’s nothing like what you imagined. Tall skyscrapers tower into the air. Cars overrun the streets. People are everywhere, and they wear American clothes, and many of them even speak English.
It’s a modern city now, and as such, isn’t very different from cities in the U.S. Obviously it’s a ton bigger and has a gazillion more people–but it’s still a modern city. And it even has a modern skyline.
So don’t let your historical assumptions created by reading Gladys Alyward or Hudson Taylor fool you–China has changed!