Also posted at ComingAnarchy — please weigh in with comments there.
On the summit of Jebel Hafeet, on the border of the UAE and Oman, I found this graffiti — the characters for “China” spray painted on the rock.
I saw similar graffiti in a natural valley in Sapa, Vietnam, back in 2005. As China grows richer, and its citizens find more opportunities for overseas tourism, I guess we should expect more of this kind of vulgar graffiti to pop up in the natural tourist sites of the world.
I’m happy that China’s economic development has created an upwardly mobile middle class that has the opportunity to travel overseas. I just wish they wouldn’t take out their lack-of-modern-empire-penis-envy frustrations on the natural environment of the world. And Japan, perhaps China’s biggest buggaboo, is possibly the biggest target for this graffiti as more and more Chinese tourists flood in to visit its temples, shrines and other monuments.
(It could be worse — at least the Chinese government doesn’t have management over tourist sites outside China, which would be a real disaster for human civilization).