I mentioned before that I get to travel for my job - and not the usual vacation spots, either.
China, a few times.
I am always amazed at how much it is like what I expect and how much it is completely unexpected.
The crowds, the noise, the pollution, the neon, the smells, that's all there and just as you imagine.
The complete sense of isolation in the midst of the chaos, in a country where I stand out just because I look so different, and can recognize and understand nothing - no words, no signs, no photos of food - that was breathtaking.
Romance languages, Latin alphabets, there are always some glimmers of relativity there. They ground you.
When you are completely without a landmark, no reference to your life, no link between cultures you came from and are immersed in...that's when you truly experience things.
Images from Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing.