The one thing I know for sure about China, is that I will never know China. It’s too big, too old, too diverse, too deep. There’s simply not enough time. That’s for me the joy of China. Facing a learning curve that impossibly steep. The certain knowledge that even if I dedicated my life to learning about China, I’d die mostly ignorant.
—Anthony Bourdain, in tonight’s CNN Parts Unknown episode about Shanghai (which imo is probably the best non-fiction TV being produced in the USA these days, his two Emmy’s and consistent quality putting the rest of those CNN bobbleheads to utter shame). Just about all Chinese people understand this overwhelming reality about the mind-boggling vastness of China, but few non-Chinese do, especially the self-proclaimed experts, Sinologists, and lovers of Asian culture. The first step in demonstrating a grasp of China: demonstrating a grasp that China is ungraspable. (via zuky
This show is honestly required TV. It bypasses so many of travel journalism’s pitfalls, especially about the place of the voyager as a documentarian. It’s really smart.