This is not an objective account. How could it be, having consumed such a slice of my life? China is the third largest country in the world, holds nearly a quarter of the earth's population and claims a recorded history going back more than 3,000 years. Foreigners' reactions to China and its people veer from one extreme to the other, as if the gargantuan size of the place demands a sweeping response. This is understandable. Time is needed for such a big and complex country, and time is something that most travellers don't want to give. Simon Myers spent years in the Middle Kingdom trying to fathom maybe just an inkling of China. Firstly as a Western student, still preoccupied with searching for much-missed dairy products; then as a businessman selling the capitalist icon, Coca-Cola, inaugurated to Business Drinking and losing face; and finally, independence: on the road on a Chinese motorbike and sidecar. An informed, amusing and personal account, Simon Myers goes beyond the cliches and offers a different take on life in the world's most fascinating and frustrating country.

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