Alex and I both agreed it was as long as a week could get. I have experienced culture shock many times in my life: First trip to Europe, South Beach, West Virginia Costa Rica, Mexico, Australia, Harlem, Greenwich, CT., South Carolina. Asia has its own special brand which includes garish noise, unusual smells, near-death collisions in crosswalks, and exotic and often suspect foods. Asia is also a thrill-a-minute, teeming with movement, mysterious, and unlike anyplace I have seen. Walking down the street, you don’t know if you are being viewed as a movie star or the elephant man. Staring at foreigners is a passionate hobby here in a city with few outsiders. It will be an interesting year.