A jewish person? OOOOOOH!
Trip Start Dec 24, 2008
4Trip End Jan 11, 2009
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Where I stayed
Beth's house, some hotel with a Chinese name I couldn't read
On Christmas day, after our morning Dim sum, we hopped a quick flight from Hong Kong to the capital city of the province where Beth and Dan live, Guiyang. A nice man on the plane told me, in English, as we were disembarking, "You need coat. Colder here." he was right! it was so cold in Guiyang, like Brussels cold! everyone said it was unusually cold. Lucky me! We ventured out nonetheless and got some great street food for dinner. I made all the grill boys really happy by giving them each one of my British cigarettes (they had never seen one before, not to mention never meeting a British person before!) (OK Americans, I'm living here on my British passport so I sometimes call myself British now. Technically, it's true and the 'where are you from?' question is getting more and more complicated... though with the recent change in administration in the USA I will be more inclined to tell people I"m American again. Anyway, I digress...)
In china when you get out a cigarette, it's polite to offer one
The next day we took the bus to Zunyi where beth and dan live. Unlike Guiyang, which had an abundance of western food and clothing shops, Zunyi is the "real China" - if you take that to mean post free market but preMcdonalds china. Lots of shops, people working in shops, cars, etc. but few western shops. Avon being one of the exceptions - a strange stragglet, I thought). I checked out where Beth and Dan teach English and the next day, when they went to work, I poked around town, generally getting stared at and yelled "Hello!" every few minutes. I met up with Beth at the school and she had her high school class there and i gave a two hour lecture on being Jewish! it was pretty funny. When Beth told them that like China, America had its own ethnic minorities and that I was a minority in america- a Jewish person! They all went, "OOOOOOOOh!" It was somehow gratifying. She asked if they knew any famous Jewish people and they said, Spielberg! and Einstein! we tried naming a few more but the Daily show, Friends and Seinfeld haven't made it to China yet so we kind of ran out of ideas. (the next day i remembered Karl Marx. Doh!) Then Beth asked what they knew about Jewish people. They said, they're the most clever people in the world! and very good at business! Oh, kids, you have so much to learn... I had fun telling them about Chasidim, 10 plagues and Chanukah. Then we played dreydl! new converts? i doubt it. But so impressed was one of the students that he offered to be my tour guide the next day while Beth and dan were working. So I took him up on it. But that's the next story...