Guangzhou Skyline

On 1st October 2003 I was sitting at Heathrow airport ready to start a new adventure, my entire luggage consisted of a backpack a few clothes and a work visa for China. At the time I thought myself something of a pioneer and had secured a two-year contract as a buyer for a western company, I never expected my adventure to last over 15 years. As time went by my trips back home reduced and on the odd occasion I received visitors I started to realise that the world was moving forward and I was stuck in the previous decade. In my self imposed exile apps, social media and political correctness had passed me by, on the odd occasion I chatted with friends they would caution me on my outdated views. “You can’t say that any more” was a typical response.

China too started to change but in a very different direction, it was flexing its newfound muscle as the worlds second-largest economy, threatening anyone who dared to express an opposing view. At first, I thought it would pass, but as my last year in China progressed I became more and more disenfranchised. Ultimately when the time to leave came, I was not ready to return home, I had always wanted to write a book, take a little time out and make sure that I was ready to reintegrate. I flew from China to Tbilisi in Georgia with the intention of making my way home but since reaching Tbilisi I have only traversed a few hundred miles, but it will soon be time to make the final journey.

Tbilisi at sunset

During my journey I have re-engaged with social media, current affairs, and mainstream media, I have been tempted to comment many times but resisted the temptation. Opinion on the basis of sound bites horrifies me, everyone now seems to be an expert posting their opinions and becoming indignant to others that have an alternative viewpoint. Anonymous bullying seems to be the norm, complimented by aggressive celebrity journalists who make a living criticizing others and inciting abhorrence. It is quite tempting to join the circus as I think I might enjoy it, but offending others indiscriminately is not my idea of fun.


This blog is my final project before I return home, you have to seek it out to read it, Do I believe my opinion is important in the great scheme of things? – probably not but if it is of interest then great. In the unlikely event you find it offensive then press the red “X” in the top right of your screen.


Rob Cole.