T.D. Polo-Sanchez' letters to his brother in America -
pasteurized somewhat for Magic City Readers.
Hello Meiguolao (Beautiful Country Yankee)
I am out of my mind. I keep seeing the same two Chinese girls in every class. The police is spying on me for political rabble rousing. When I first arrived the headmaster told me to stay away from politics. Somehow he guessed my original intent. A sensitivity to some places called Tea-bet and Tie-wuan. A few of the teachers were in college during Tiannamen Square where some of the foreign teachers told them to protest. What they remember is not a fight for rights but their angry Chinese teachers. They were baited by outside influences to break the rules. The Chinese are weary of outside influences. They remember such things as the Opium Wars and the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese never forget. I have only talked to one teacher about politics. He told me in astonishment when we reached Taiwan and Tibet: "How do you know about these things." I told him, "The whole world knows about these things."
Teacher pay is the first week of the month. I was first paid on September 7. I was not paid the first week of October and the first week of November and I asked my liaison about it. He told me a line from the T.V. series "Kung-Fu,"- "just be patient grasshopper." He was not joking. I was not paid again until November 24. So if I do not get back by July 2010, I was not paid.
It is interesting how the Chinese build things. In the West we use technology- manual labor being expensive. In China you use people- technology being expensive. I saw a mass of Chinese tear down a small building and build a new one in one week. It was like a swarm of worker ants. For every five men I saw one woman. To build a wall in the U.S. you call a cement truck. In China five people mix the cement, five people take it in wheel barrels, and five others build the wall. One U.S. cement truck equals ten Chinese cement makers.
This paradigm reminds me of a T.V. special I saw on the Korean War. They interviewed a Chinese general about their battle tactics. He said that when they attacked a hill they first sent a platoon. If that did not work they sent a battalion, followed by regiment. If that was still unsuccessful then they sent a division with a whole corps in wait. Eventually the American rifles and machine guns became so hot they could not fire and the Chinese took the hill.
I am having trouble figuring out the Chinese mind-set. I went to a pharmacy where five women helped me. One asked if I needed a girlfriend. One of the other women ran away screaming. I guess she was not interested. I told my friend and according to him she was "very interested." This is too weird.
T. D. Polo-Sanchez
Assembled in the United States from parts made in Mexico and exported to China, T.D. Polo-Sanchez has taken a year of absence from his post at an American high school to teach Oral English in China.
He hopes that you enjoy his posts and remember that he writes with a deep love and affinity to the Chinese people. In this world while we laugh at others and at ourselves, we laugh together. T.D. Polo-Sanchez Email: email@example.com