Ah, traveling in China. The mountains. The sea. Oh wait, that’s just a shit ton of people. Today, Shameless is here to help you make sense of the chaos, and to teach you a bit about that random person you’re likely smashed up against as you attempt to enjoy the Great Wall during national holiday.
#1 The Tour Group
Unless you are above the age of 45, it’s pretty hard to justify joining a tour group. That’s because by signing up, you’re basically paying to sleep on the tour bus, wear a red hat, and get screwed by tourist trap store owners who claim to be your laoxiang before offering you a suspiciously good discount. There are also always two dumbasses in the group who get lost every time they get off the bus and make the rest of the group wait. But don’t worry, the tour guide will jump out and tell some mildly sexual jokes to comfort the group. But can you really laugh about it when your mom is sitting right beside you?
#2 The Photography Addict
In the good old days when people traveled, they appreciated nature and wrote odes to its beauty. Today, however, traveling means frames, filters, and the quest for the perfect selfie. Because let’s be real. You don’t give a shit about nature. In fact, you probably hate nature because it never wants to cater to your photography needs. “Hey Mother Earth, you’re beautiful and all, but could you please raise the saturation a bit? Oh, and decrease your black point. I’m trying to create a sharp but minimal vibe here, and you are being an ass by putting on your cloudy face.”
#3 The Backpacker
Shaggy, confused, and wearing a bag twice the size of their body, the backpacker can be found from Dali to Beijing (mostly Dali though). But no matter where you find them, you’re guaranteed to hear the same condescending conversation — “I’ve DONE 17 countries, so how many have you DONE?” Yes, instead of “visiting” or “traveling”, they DO countries, much as a frat boy does random chicks. And if they’ve been to a place for more than a month, be prepared to hear about how they “lived” there. Just be sure to never ask them for travel advice; they’re just dying for a chance to talk about their “amazing experiences”, which basically consist of lies and exaggerations, such as “getting busted in NYC”, “Kung-fu fighting a Chinese monk”, and “dirty dancing at the Full Moon party”.
#4 The Chinese Buyers’ Club
They know the best market price, they memorize product info by heart, and they trade on a global scale. No, they are not international stock traders, but members of the “Chinese Buyers’ Club”. To them, traveling isn’t a chance to relax. It’s a competitive sport. It’s a business. And it’s war. Shopping malls, outlets, and duty free shops are their battle fields. Cash, credit cards, and membership points are their weapons. Firm, decisive, and laser-focused, they are professionally-trained buyers, and the strong, driving force of global GDP growth. When they bring 10 duty free bags onto the airplane and take over the whole overhead compartment, don’t be mad. The bags are their gold medals, their glory. And they’re probably propping up your country’s economy.
#5 The Home Explorer
“So what did you do for the national holiday?”
“Oh I actually did a lot of stuff. I went scuba diving (Youtube tutorials), shot some guns (computer games), learned about life abroad (Downton Abbey), and made quite a few very good friends (Tinder).”
“Awesome! Sounds like you had lots of fun.”
“Absolutely. I do need to change my sheets though. Been sitting naked on them for a week.”
Thanks for reading!