Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Monkey King visits our apartment

Since Jim and I will be visiting China in the somewhat near future, I decided a spot of education would be advisable. Since I have mastered "good day" and "thank you," or at least say them in a way that suggests I am trying, I decided to tackle culture next.  Off to the library!  I am now reading a condensed version, told for children, of The Monkey King. What a great series of trickster tales! Here is where Curious George is just a weak imitation. King Kong a humorless expansion. And George W. Bush an unwitting example. Naturally, I am aware that I have a bit more to learn about China's uber-mega-vast history and culture, but there is no better place to start than where a child starts.

Next, poetry... suggestions wanted for which poets to read in translation!

Marilyn Stimac, producer and wife of Tony Stimac, told me the spouses, of people on work visa's in China, need to make a life for themselves while they are there. You can't be a tourist forever. Some of them play cards, others visit for afternoon teas--very 1950s diplomatic wife stuff--but there is much more than that if you look for it. Even though you can't work there, join groups with interests that fit well with yours. And keep meeting new people, the visas run out...everyone moves on. Except, of course, for the 1.3 billion Chinese whom I look forward to meeting as well.

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