I requested this book to get a scenario of everyday Peace Corps life. And it was just what I needed to help provide me with ideas on how one might adj...moreI requested this book to get a scenario of everyday Peace Corps life. And it was just what I needed to help provide me with ideas on how one might adjust and learn and live in another country. Hessler’s book did an amazing job of trying to be cognizant of his cultural biases, calling out his mistakes as well as pointing to those moments of connection that make getting to know each other so worthwhile. Descriptive landscapes that placed me in the noisy polluted cities as well as the remote high country. Politics entwined with everyday life that I had not known or thought about. Hessler has a good eye for humor too, not just in writing, but in learning language and finding a niche in the Fuling community.
Here's a thought from the book I mused on for awhile: “'But sometimes the people there have bad tempers,' she warned. 'That’s because it’s so hot, and because they have mountains there.' I often heard remarks like this, and they suggested that the Chinese saw their landscapes differently than outsiders did. I looked at the terraced hills and noticed how the people had changed the earth, taming it into dizzying staircases of rice paddies; but the Chinese looked at the people and saw how they had been shaped by the land."(less)