When we got to my sister, Abby's house I left the group telling them I was going to talk to the young man and find out what his story is. I had to walk a long way before I found him. He had just left the gas station store and had a cookie in his hand.
"I am hitchhiking to
"Oh. Why is that?"
"I lost my credit card in
"Do you live in
"No I go to school at
"Where are you from?"
"Do you want to come up stairs to my family's house?"
"No I am too shy."
"What if you just come up for a few minutes? Just see if the people are nice and then you can leave."
"No really, I am too shy."
"Just see what you think."
"No I am so shy."
"Please just come for a minute."
After the 10 days he invited us to come visit him in
For the next few months I occasionally exchanged emails with Shou, but I was very busy with work and my other commitments. In May when I had some time I began planning our trip to
I started researching the Visa process, the airline tickets. Then in June I got even more serious. I signed Tony and I up for Chinese lessons. We wrapped up the Visa process. I started listening to books on
Here’s a summary of each of the books I finished on
My First book:
Rob hitchhiked the old Silk Road which was a trade route from the Middle East to
Yu wrote his book by selecting 10 words that describe
Yu Hua was a teenager during Mao's Cultural Revolution. He and his brother experienced the turbulence of that time. His father and mother were both doctors and they were went out to work in the country but managed to survive it. Yu would write big character posters which denounced his teachers because that was how everyone fit in. His grandfather had been a landlord, but had wasted all his wealth before 49, but because of that legacy, his descendants had to be careful. At one point it was made public, and the whole family had to write a confession and hang it inside their house confessing if they had any feelings of superiority. To the father and mother it was ridiculous, but the children really got into it.
Some of the words include Leader, meaning Chairman Mao. He includes research that shows today's youth love Mao. They idealism him and think if he was resurrected the world would be perfect. He also describes some of the stories of Mao such as his famous swim to demonstrate how strong he was. His constant use of aphorisms like "Find Truth from Facts." The utter damage he did to the country by having all the farmers work on random projects instead of farming causing the largest human caused famine in recorded history. His population growth program that rewarded people for having as many children as possible causing a huge population growth.
Yu also covered other words like Copy Cat to talk about the obsession with knocks and Bamboozle to talk about the incessant lying that everyone does and then use the word Bamboozle to make it "OK."
Third book is Big in
Fourth book is Country Driving by Peter Hessler.
The third part of the book covers the inception of a new factory in a development district to its final full production. He covers all the ups and downs of setting up factory equipment, the mindsets of the owners, the hiring process, the mind sets of the workers. This is utterly fascinating. He compares the boom of factories with the industrial revolution in the West. He says that in the West the first organizations to get set up in a new area is the church and civic services. But in
Peter does such a great job of describing life in these places. He follows several of the workers lives and describes their hopes and dreams. Many of the workers read motivational books and put motivational slogans on the white bare walls of their dorm rooms. They often dream of going back home to their small village and opening a small business.
I really enjoyed Peter's book so when I discovered he had written two more I immediately bought them. Country Driving is Peter's third book.
Fifth book: Oracle Bones. Peter Hessler's second book.
This beautifully laid out book covers several stories and interweaves the history and stories of the Oracle Bones and one key researcher who worked on them and then committed suicide. It’s set up a bit like a mystery as we try to figure out why the professor killed himself. The stories covered include several of Peter's students and one man he met in his neighborhood. I loved this book because he really digs into the ancient history of
Peter interviews lots of historians and discovers that one expert published a book on Bronzes and spent quite a bit of time in the
Seventh book on
Now as I enter