Quiet in China

I have not been very good about blogging this trip. I’m not sure why—it’s my third time here, yet much is still new. I’ve made some progress with language, but that’s to say that I can now hear the language in a way I couldn’t before, can recognize some of the characters, and can tell someone where I’m from and who I am (both name and occupation). I can tell someone that their price is too high, but I still don’t like to bargain. And I’ve embraced my Chinese name, 海恩师, Hai-en-shi, which both sounds like my surname and describes who I am. I also got this name on a student ID while in Shenyang, and a ‘chop’ in Beijing.


Yesterday, we went to Tiananmen and did something new to me: went up into the gate, looking out upon the Square as Mao and others have done before. There’s power in that space: looking out at the vastness of the Square, and to imagine it full of supporters. I recently finished reading Apex, the third in fellow IMSA alum Ramex Naam’s trilogy, and the scenes of protests in the large squares of China are still fresh in my mind, and so to stand there and look out upon the Square is to sense the energy and power of this place.


Tonight we are in Beigou. The Great Wall is within sight, and we’ll be climbing up to it tomorrow. This is such a quiet place to be, with simple rooms and home cooked meals. A lovely way to end the trip…



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