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Tuesday, September 24th: Chongqing.
Joyful reunx
Chongqing, our next stop, is a thousand miles away to the west in Sichuan Province. We take the overnight sleeper from Hangzhou. It’s a sixteen-hour ride (not a gaotie), leaving at 9 pm yesterday, reaching Chongqing at 1 pm today.
Sichuan is the fortress province, surrounded by mountains. In spells of imperial disintegration a warlord who could take Sichuan, like the horrible Zhang Xianzhong, was well situated.
The train ride makes the fortress feature perfectly plain. An extraordinary amount of time is spent going through tunnels. When you can see the landscape, it’s mountains covered with forest, dotted with small villages.

甘肃11选5_[官网首页]9月24日,周二:重庆。
快乐的聚会
甘肃11选5_[官网首页]下一站是重庆,位于西部,距离这里大概有一千英里,属于四川省。我们从杭州坐夜间卧铺。大概要坐16个小时(不是高铁),昨天晚上9点出发,今天下午1点到达重庆。
四川是群山环绕的交通险要省份。在帝国解体的时期,拿下四川的军阀,小日子过得很滋润,比如那位可怕的张献忠。
坐在火车上,能更明显地观察到四川省的险要。火车穿越隧道花费了大量时间。放眼望去,窗外到处都是覆盖着森林的山区,其间点缀着一些小村庄。



Wednesday, September 25th: Chongqing.
China’s ghost villages
We take our morning walk along an ancient riverside track, associated in some way I have forgotten with the great 3rd-century general Zhang Fei.
This takes us through a village named Taohuashan (Peach Blossom Mountain) which, from the look of it and its inhabitants, will soon be a ghost village, like those you see on YouTube clips of the Japanese countryside.
Then, some local places of interest.

9月25日,星期三:重庆。
中国的鬼村
我们早上沿着古老的河边小道散步,由于某种联系,我想起了3世纪伟大的将军张飞。
我们沿着小路来到了名叫桃花山的村庄,从村子和村民来看,这里很快就会变成鬼城,就像你们在油管网上看到的日本乡村一样。
甘肃11选5_[官网首页]然后有去看了一些当地的名胜古迹。

Whitewashing the past
The one that most got my attention celebrated another 20th-century writer, Lao She, who lived in Beibei in the 1940s. His house is now a museum dedicated to his memory.
Lao She was so badly persecuted by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, he committed suicide. In all the hundreds of words, in both Chinese and English, accompanying the exhibits in Beibei’s Lao She museum, there is no mention of this fact.

粉饰过去
最引起我注意的是20世纪另一位作家——老舍,20世纪40年代老舍住在北碚。他的老房子现在成了纪念馆。
在北碚老舍纪念馆展出的数百条中英对照的介绍中,我没有看到关于这件事的描述。

Thursday, September 26th: Chongqing.
The click of the tiles
Taking an evening walk along any residential street in Hong Kong forty years ago, from every window around and above you came the click and chatter of mah-jong tiles. It was the musical accompaniment to life in Hong Kong.
I never heard that in mainland China in 1982-3. I’m not sure if there was a formal prohibition; but to judge by my ears, nobody was playing mah-jong.
Now it’s back. I see and hear people playing mah-jong all over. Beibei actually has a mah-jong parlor, all the tables occupied as we walked past.
People play for money, too, although only for small bills in the cases I have seen. I can’t imagine this is something the authorities approve. Hong Kong newspapers back in the day ran regular stories—like one a week—about some working stiff who’d got his weekly pay, headed for the mah-jong parlor instead of going home to his family, lost all his money at the tables, and thrown himself from an upper window. Si yi ge, shao yi ge.



Friday, September 27th: Chongqing to Zhuhai.
Last stop
Friday morning we fly from Chongqing to our last stop this trip, the fine new city of Zhuhai on China’s south coast next door to Hong Kong.
“Next door” isn’t quite right. Zhuhai and Hong Kong sit on opposite sides of the mouth of the Pearl River, which is about twenty miles wide here. Zhuhai’s at the western side of the mouth, Hong Kong the eastern. Just south of Zhuhai on the same side is the former Portuguese colony of Macau.
The whole area was much in the news last year when the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge/Tunnel was opened, a 34-mile-long structure spanning the entire river mouth.
I’m naturally curious to see this creation, which has had so much publicity. The real fun of this part of our trip, though, is meeting up with some old friends.

9月27日,周五:重庆到珠海。
最后一站
甘肃11选5_[官网首页]周五上午,我们从重庆飞往本次行程的最后一站——美丽的珠海。珠海位于中国南海岸,毗邻香港。
“毗邻”不太准确。珠海和香港位于珠江口的两边,珠江口大约有20英里宽。珠海在河口的西侧,香港在东侧。珠海的南边是葡萄牙前殖民地澳门。
甘肃11选5_[官网首页]去年,港珠澳大桥开通时,整个地区成了新闻热点。这座34英里长的大桥横跨整个河口。
看了这么多宣传,我当然很想亲眼看看这项工程。不过,珠海旅行的真正乐趣是与一些老朋友见面。

The kultprop and the dissident
Our host here is David Wang. When I taught in Siping 1982-3, David was my kultprop, charged with giving me the Party-approved view on any issue I raised.
I never held that against him, and in fact liked the guy. David is smart and witty, and speaks excellent English. We had some minor differences at the time; but now, 36 years later, they don’t seem at all important, and we meet as old friends. He now lives and works in Zhuhai.
David still has the soul of a kultprop, though, and is keen for us to know how great life in China is now.
Also greeting us is Bruce Li. No, this is not the movie actor who died in 1973, although the Chinese names are homophonous. This is a classmate of David’s—they both graduated from Siping College in 1981—who was teaching high school in a nearby town when I was at the college, and used to drop by at my office to practice his English.
Bruce went to England in the mid-1980s, married an English girl—I drove them to their wedding—and acquired U.K. citizenship. He and his wife moved to Hong Kong, where she is head librarian at the Chinese University there. Bruce has come to Zhuhai to greet us.

文化支柱和持不同政见者
珠海的东道主是王大卫。1982-1983年我在四平教书的时候,大卫是我的文化宣传员,负责对我提出的问题提供政府认可的观点。
我从来没有反对过他,事实上我喜欢他。大卫聪明机智,英语说得很好。当时我们也有小的分歧;但是现在,36年过去了,那点小分歧已经不重要了,我们见了面就像老朋友一样。他现在在珠海生活和工作。
尽管如此,大卫仍然有文化宣员的灵魂,并且渴望我们知道现在中国的生活多么美好。
来接我们的还有布鲁斯李。不是1973年去世的电影演员,虽然名字一样。大卫的同学,他们都是1981年从四平学院毕业的,我在四平的时候,他在附近的一个小镇上教高中,经常到我的办公室来练习英语。
上世纪80年代中期,布鲁斯去了英国,娶了个英国姑娘——还是我开车送他们去参加的婚礼,现在布鲁斯·李获得了英国国籍。他和妻子搬到了香港,在香港中文大学担任图书馆馆长。这次布鲁斯专程来珠海接我们。

This is where the fun comes in. Bruce is a dissident who hates the ChiComs. He supports the Hong Kong protestors. So with David playing kultprop in one ear while Bruce snaps back cynicisms in the other, I’m getting an interesting dialectic.
It’s all very good-natured, I should say. When you’ve known guys for 36 years, you’re not expecting any surprises. Nobody thinks anyone’s mind is going to be changed; nobody’s being dishonest; David’s booster talk and Bruce’s cynicism are both genuine. The three of us all like each other at a personal level, so the hell with politics.



There’ll be some more sightseeing around Zhuhai tomorrow; then on Sunday, back to the States via Canton and Taipei.
This evening we have our last banquet. The four of us—the Derbs, David, and Bruce—are joined by some other old Siping classmates. A surprising number have settled here in the far south. Hard to blame them; the climate is lovely.
The food is excellent; many toasts are drunk; many reminiscences exchanged. It’s all wonderfully gemütlich, the best banquet of the trip.
I have my differences with China. I’d dearly like to see the place under rational, constitutional government, though I don’t suppose I shall in what’s left of my lifetime.
China has, however, given me some of my most enduring friendships, a loyal and loving wife, and some useful life lessons.
Thanks, China, and thanks to those who hosted us and made this vacation so enjoyable.

明天会有更多的观光活动;然后周日,我就经广州和台北返回美国。
今晚是我们在中国的最后一场宴会。我们四个——我们夫妻俩、戴维和布鲁斯,还有其他一些四平的老同学。这些同学中在中国最南端定居的人数量多得惊人。这也怨不得他们,这里气候确实比较舒服。
东西很好吃;说了很多祝福的话;许多的回忆。这顿饭吃的让人很舒服,这是最棒的一场盛宴。
我和中国有不同之处。我非常希望看到理性的、立宪的政府,不过在有生之年估计看不到了。
然而,中国给了我最长久的友谊,给了我忠诚而有爱的妻子,以及一些有用的人生经验。
感谢中国,感谢那些招待我们的人,感谢他们让我们的假期如此愉快。