Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d first say that I was delighted to have coffee with a friend from South Korea, who now lives here, but who is so busy with school that it’s hard to get together and the next day a high school friend who now lives in Colorado invited me for coffee since she was in town. It was great to see them.

I’d also tell you I had a good Fourth of July. I loved the simplicity of our celebrations – a barbecue dinner, watching the Capitol Fourth concert, which featured a wide variety from country, to rock, to pop and classic, and finally watching the fireworks with neighbors.

Finally, I’d mention that Friday I submitted my play in to two local theaters. It takes about six months to hear back. Cross your fingers that something good results.

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Snippets from Saturday’s Lunch

On Saturday I had lunch with a friend of a friend and his wife. Mr. Li is a professor at Shandong University and quite a good, i.e. provocative conversationalist.

Here’s some of what he shared during lunch. I really should have taken notes and asked probing follow up questions, but lunch isn’t the same as Meet the Press.

Mr. Li thinks Bill Clinton is the best president in the last 25 years. He believes [get this] Obama is too much of a communist. As our conversation went on he said that

He thinks increased access to education is a cheaper way to control the population growth, rather than the one child policy.

He talked about violence in China as an aesthetic and something the government supports. I wasn’t really clear on this, but his idea and theirs (?) is that it’s a beautiful outlet. His wife wasn’t so sure.

They told me that Chinese people hate doctors and nurses, because they pretty much manhandle patients. His brother-in-law is a doctor and got a fish bone stuck in his throat. The nurse who treated him just pulled his tongue so hard that it not only dislodge the bone, but now doesn’t fit in his mouth. (Huh? A lot of the conversation was pretty surreal.) Angela confirmed what I’d read that women giving birth are just berated and treated with no respect or compassion.

Their consensus was that China’s a great place to live if you’re rich and powerful. (Where isn’t?) And Scandinavia‘s a great place to live if you’re needy.

They loved American libraries. I agree with that.

Chinese students, they told me, are freedom adverse. They simply want to be told what to do and how to do it. That explains a lot since many students aren’t keen on creative thinking or free discussion. Many seem English adverse, not all but many of mine. Which always leads me to the question why couldn’t your parents find you a major you’re interested in?

I was surprised by how candid the Li’s were. Was it a test?

There’s always these paranoid fears in the Middle Kingdom and there’s a line you don’t cross, or several such lines so it does seem impossible to ever know a Chinese person as closely as other nationalities.