Tang Visits China Over Break

Sophomore Michelle Tang encountered modern cities, but also choking pollution on her visit to China.

Winter break, once again, has sadly come and gone. Many students spent their break staying up late, sleeping in, and trying to repress the memory of their midterm exams.

Tang traveled halfway around the world.

Tang traveled to China to visit extended family in Beijing, where her parents had lived before moving to the U.S. in 1992. Tang was born in New York but had also lived in Beijing for three years. Her two-week trip included visits to Beijing, Shanghai, and Tiang Jing, a port city.

Tang said that Tiang Jing was extremely modern, with the architecture being very modern and Western-influenced..

“It was scary how modern it was” Tang said. “It seemed like a weird version of New York.”

But the modern skyscrapers also were shrouded in smog, and Tang said that the pollution has gotten worse since she lived in China.

“We were considered lucky during the days we were in Beijing when we could actually see the sun, usually it’s so bad that the sun just seems like a blob in the sky,” she said. The week before Tang and her family arrived, the city was extremely polluted, but the wind had blown some of the pollution to nearby cities.

“It is a good experience to travel and I suggest traveling to places which are quickly urbanizing because you will soon lose a lot of the cultural experiences once urban structures become big,” Tang said.