Loopy afternoon. After delivering a few CDs
(shameless plug), I went to help a Chinese friend with an English grad school application. He insisted on buying me a good Chinese lunch first, and after making disparaging remarks about the Chinese restaurant right off campus, took me out to his car. Then he handed me the keys.
It seems he was nervous about driving in the snow, and so I tried to fold myself into the driver's seat of his Volvo station wagon, laughing quietly as I struggled to move the seat back. Maybe ________ is five feet tall. He got very nervous-looking when I said that in a really
bad snowstorm, that's how high the snow could get, and loudly voiced his horror in the classic Chinese accent with his "r"s and "l"s getting all intermangled. So we careened our way to lunch and talked comparative culture, politics and food.
That was actually quite illuminating, particularly the political part, and I think I got some kind of feel for how the intellectual classes seethe under Communist rule, but have learned the hard way to go along with it. He hopes for political change, and is prepared to get involved if it happens, but I gather that everyone is waiting for it to happen in some kind of organic way and no one is ready to try to force it. Not after 1989. I was most moved when he expressed his desire to found a Christian university in Beijing. And now that I've written that, I've gone back and edited his name out of this entry. Overly-paranoid, I'm sure, but why take even a butterfly-effect's chance? Christianity is a martyr's faith in his hometown....