Our guide gives us a history lesson: it was where, in Tiananmen Square where Chairman Mao declared China to be the People’s Republic of China, it’s the largest public square in the world, and still today a place where many important ceremonies are held. Curiously absent from the memorized lecture was the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.
For all I knew, pre-internet, the Chinese government might have been able to suppress the information to many of the Chinese people.
“Do you know what happened here in 1989?” I asked.
Our guide nods.
“What?” I followed up.
“Many students demonstrated here. The government warned them repeatedly. They did not listen, and it was a conspiracy by outside agitators, and so the government had to (she stressed this) do something about it. Many of those who survived fled the country, they are traitors. The government acted rightly and justly.”
|Tiananmen Square- Mao Tse Tung in background photo|
If you think the Bush administration invaded Iraq to “install democracy in the Mideast, liberate an oppressed people, and protect us from Al Queda,” rather than oil and doling out giant no bid rebuilding contracts to cronies at Halliburton and Bechtel, then might I suggest getting the Chinese Communist Party "Official Book of Revisionist History" for bedtime reading- it will make you feel all warm and cozy.
If you are an American, you can just listen to Fox News.
My Day in Beijing
I only got to spend one full day in Beijing, and we started early. First we visited the Forbidden City, where Emperor of China lived with the Empress, his 3,000 concubines, and his eunuchs. It is rather difficult to discuss what exactly eunuchs are, but I’ll just say that while they are technically men, the Emperor was the only breeding male in the city. The joke here would normally be- “It’s good to be King,” but I’m still a little upset about the eunuchs.
|The Forbidden City|
|Sir Andrew Stern and me, last day in China for me|
Don’t trust the Chinese. Remember I told you about the law, “Turismo Jackola,” it is even worse here in Beijing. I mean, I started talking with an early twenties female merchant about a belt. She showed me how to distinguish between real and fake leather (pass a flame over it for several seconds and see if melts or curls) I asked her questions about China, about entrepreneurship here, I told her she was pretty, then I asked her how much for the belt.
“Because I like you, because you are handsome, and because I want to make a sale,” she replied, “$300 for the belt.” Tourismo Jackola. Have fun in China ye hardy souls! And if you are on the streets of Beijing, feel free to try the centipede!
|Centipede- mmm scrumptious!|