Apr 30 2006
Happy May Day! I found a free wireless connection in the BGS lounge at Beijing airport and am replicating my Notes database before the 11-hour flight to San Francisco, then onto Phoenix, and eventually Raleigh for the last half of the week.
Relaxing Sunday writing reports, drafting the outline of the next book, and staying off line. Saturday was insane, running around Beijing with the director Peter Webber (Girl With a Pearl Earring) and checking out the cheap DVD shops with him. Watched a fantastic film yesterday, Days of Living Wild, Wong Kar Wai’s 1991 masterpiece.
Saturday was a gorge fest of great food, very little sightseeing, an amazing massage that made me drool, then dinner with my sister’s inlaws, Huang Hua and He Liliang at their hutong. Great hospitality and a great story about Kissenger’s secret flight to Beijing in 1971 to arrange Nixon’s historic meeting with Mao. The sticking point was the language in the proclamation indicating whom invited who, the point being that Nixon invited himself.
Huang Hua was Mao’s translator to the West beginning in the late 1930s and served in the Chinese Foreign Service for years, in the capacity of the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations in the 1970s after spending the sixties in Africa as ambassador to Egypt, Ghana, and elsewhere. When someone tells stories of Edgar Snow (Red Star Over China), Nixon, Kissinger, negotiating the truce of the Korean War, an armchair historian like myself can’t help but be captivated. It was the perfect punctuation point to a productive and eye-opening week.
More blogs when I get stateside, or on the plane if I can’t sleep, which I should as it is now 11 pm on the east coast and I have to restart the jet lag resetting process.
Tons to digest and blog about. I wrote a four page report on the market and trends for my boss which I won’t share for obvious competitive reasons.
Heartening to see so many responses to my previous post. It means someone is reading.