A Fitting Title for the China Trip

There are innumerable experiences to describe this trip by putting it into a nutshell expression, but there is one that has had universal agreement. It came about this way: Jack Thornburg and I were sitting in a park on the campus of the Dalian Nationalities U campus smoking a cigar. We were commenting on the physical activities we endured in Beijing and Dalian such as miles of walking to see sites, waiting in line to pay fares, arguing with cabbies about fares, and more walking to find restaurants– all of which took place in the sun.

The first title we came-up with was “The Long March.” But that title was not complete enough-and perhaps not original enough to describe our experience. Then it occurred to us. While in the restaurants the group consumed a considerable amount of beer- if one wants to call it that. Chinese beer is very weak and simply awful; and the problem was is that it was all they had to offer us! On one night there must have been at least a dozen bottles of beer revolving around the Lazy Susan. I recall one comment from a person (it may have been Jack) who said, “My God, we drank all this beer and we’re the same way! Our title soon presented itself: “The Long Parch.”

Word eventually got around about desiring things American: “Wouldn’t it be nice to chomp into a nice steak?” “I would love a hamburger right now.” My interest in finding a proper beer in China was eventually realized when a few of us had lunch in a Westernized cafe called The Real Eddies. It was as if I had discovered beer for the first time after that first sip.

Bill Scarlato
Jack Thornburg

Photo by Cheryl Heinz
> Sent from my iPad


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