Wednesday May 20, 2009

Thought for the day:
Confucius say: Equitable apportionment of lazy Susan only derived by astute planning

A few impressions of my days teaching at Biomedical Technical College:

Being the only male student in the class is difficult enough but after all the girls described their names a “sweet flower”, “beautiful girl”, and “lovely lotus”, when asked to define his Chinese name it was apparent that no definition was forthcoming. And so he became known as William. After several girls had introduced themselves with information about their villages, etc I gave William a smile and a nod. After much hesitation he arose. In quite good English, he spoke a sentence. The teacher who was assisting me whispered to me, “Those are first English words I have ever heard him speak”. She was his regular English teacher and William was one of 62 students. For me this was a heart warming moment and I imagine William must have had his own unique feelings as well. Just about that time the teacher figured out what the translation of William’s Chinese name is ”King Dragon” and thus William became King Dragon – a well deserved name. I await my next meeting with King Dragon this morning.

My cultural learning continued at dinner tonight as Baoli announced that she rather enjoys a good plate of fried scorpions. I suggested perhaps I join her for such a delicacy. I was quite relieved to learn the scorpions are not a menu item in Xi’an. Millipedes and cockroaches from the Beijing market, anyone? Some even more exotic delicacies we’ve discovered on the hotels’ Chinese menu, by Leo of course, eliciting surprises from the men and exclamations of shock by the women. My interests were solely as biology major. What better way to have discovered some of the culinary specialties of China than during our evening meal together.

More than anything else, I will remember my experience here in Xi’an as “one big smile”.


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