Wednesday, February 22, 2012
By Cheyenne Neckmonster
I spent about two years living and traveling through various countries in Asia, and my brother has lived in either Taiwan or China for almost three years. So I have some knowledge of Asia, and am interested in reading other people’s experiences with the continent.
In this issue of Neckmonster Cheyenne writes about the six weeks she spent in China studying as part of a program offered by her university. It’s kind of strange reading this, as the Cheyenne involved is different (and six years younger) than the one that I became friends with. I haven't read all of her zines, but her voice seems a bit different here.
I enjoyed reading Cheyenne’s account of her trip, even if, or because of, some of it was like my own experiences in those countries (I also missed Mexican food). Of course Cheyenne got to go to some places that I never saw (I am totally jealous that she got to see the Terra Cotta warriors), and I laughed at her crappy experience at the Great Wall of China (pro tip, don’t go to the nearest section, it’s worth sitting in a cab or whatever for another hour to get to a part that isn’t filled with tourists).
I liked the part where she wrote about trains, as they're a form of transport I still find faintly exotic. (I've spent most of my life living in places where trains didn't exist at all, and large parts of the rest in places where it's not really a functional form of transportation). I especially liked the bit where she wrote about watching people and places flash by outside the windows, and the tiny glimpses into people's lives that you got.
In some places I really enjoyed Cheyenne’s word choice (even if the fact that she never used capital letters kind of annoyed me). I liked how she described the "bleak landscape of roast duck and warm beer", when talking about being a non-drinking vegetarian in China.
Overall this wasn’t what I expected from an issue of Neckmonster (if Cheyenne ever told me she’d spent six weeks in China I’d clearly forgotten), but I enjoyed it nonetheless.