Great leap forward

China Travel Blog

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We don't like those history books you got!

About 4 am one morning I was woken by a crashing sound. I didn’t think much of it but in before I fell asleep  someone started banging on our door. I got up to see Wang was there already. A policeman came in brandishing an iron bar. “Is he here?” he asked “uh..who? What?” we didn’t know what was going on. He brushed quickly past us and onto the balcony. “uh.. what’s going on man?” I asked. It turned out a burglar had been in the upstairs flat  and had just leaped over to the building opposite. It was a space of about 2 meters, the roof on the opposite side was about a meter and a half making it an easy jump for a healthy man. I always thought it was quite daft to build apartment blocks so close together especially in a place where people are more than eager to acquire their neighbour’s things.  Of course there was nothing to be done so we said goodnight and I went back to bed.

I soon forgot about this incident. One day when I was in town I saw some red banners lining the streets they carried anti-Japan slogans. Sure enough the riots began the media promoted them as the “righteous indignation of the people” but it was obviously a state sponsored politically motivated move. There were nationwide protests, in a dictatorship of the proletariat nothing like this is possible without state backing. The whole issue was a history textbook that didn’t conform to their liking. Granted, education is an important part of the psyche, most of us have been exposed to propaganda our whole lives. I believe how much we assimilate this is up to our own discernment.  Anyway, this case of “the pot calling the kettle black” (you should see Chinese history books) was blown way out of proportion by the media=state. I personally didn’t feel threatened in anyway, I don't approve of unnecessary aggravation. The Chinese people I talked to about the situation offered the state lines as personal opinions. “The imperialist clique wants to once again lead Japan down the path of aggression” (I'm serious, some people actually said this) I was trying hard not to laugh if they only knew what harmless insects Japanese had become.

By chance, at the time I was in an anti-social phase. Shutting myself up in my flat I was conducting a

personal protest of my own. I didn’t want to see anyone for 3-4 days. On the 3rd day some friends phoned


me. I was sitting in my shorts staring at a fly on a bowl and scratching my ear when the phone rang

“Yeah..what?” I was irritated at having my meditations disturbed. “just wondering .. how things are goin?”  they told me about some random Japanese that got jumped by  the mobs. I reassured them it wasn’t me not this  time at least…       

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We dont like those history books …
We don't like those history books…