Back to the action. Thursday, we went to the market to barter and I found a large suitcase for my travel back in the states (as well as a place to store all my souvenirs!). Friday brought us back to town to see the Imperial Palace. It really wasn’t that impressive, it lacked the size adn splendor of the palaces I envision. Still, this was merely a ‘temporary capitol’ for several hundred years. When we travel to Beijing in a week, I hope that the Forbidden City will not disappoint. The best part of the trip was talking to Chong Laoshi about Chinese history.
Random facts: 1982 began a new generation in China and the youth abandoned the traditions of the past. The shift has been moral, musical, language, and clothing. Shenyang has been occupied by different countries over the past 100 years (Russia and Japan). Chinese battles used to begin with the opposing generals fighting one-on-one with each army looking on as a spectator.
Chong has visited the UK and some of his big ‘souvenirs’ were newspapers and taped newscasts. Even in today’s China the press still use propaganda to control the minds of its people. Today I learned even more about it. Apparently, in Northeast China there is a fictions boy who was a model citizen. He read Mao’s book daily, even slept on it, saved all the oil possible, fought in the army, did all that was asked of him (yet never rose about private), and died in the most tragic and unusual ways. He backed his taxicab into a telephone pole and the pole crashed down on his car killing him. Statues are built for this ‘hero’, though he never lived, but the people don’t know that. To them, he is just a model for all of China.
One last comment on the Chinese mindset. They lack critical thinking skills, and I do mean completely lack them. They can not analyze information, only absorb it. Chinese students are dutiful at memorization, but lack creativity. When sharing my life with them, I commonly hear, “In China, we believe…” or “I believe in myself”, but they have no idea that means. It is frustrating and disheartening indeed, but most of the time my heart remains unmoved by the damage of the government and its result on the Chinese youth.
Back to Chong’s infinite wisdom. The most interesting piece of information he shared with me was about KFC. Yes, Colonel Sanders, himself! When China opened its doors to international corporations, McDonald’s flooded the major cities like Beijing and Shanghai with multiple locations in each city. This is partly why you can see 3 McDonald’s along Zhong Jie alone. KFC took to the smaller cities and built a strong loyalty among the local people. Eventually, KFC moved into the mega-cities and their business strategy has been very successful. I don’t know why I enjoyed hearing that so much, but I have some feeling that it could in handy some day.
So much culture that it really isn’t a lie to call it a cultural exchange trip. My heart isn’t exactly for the people of this country, but as long as I am here I desire to serve them as best I can. In time, I trust God will show me where and how if I am allowed the days to live it… even more exciting with whom! Oh no eye has seen, no ear has heard…!!!