Friday, August 10, 2012


 Here is the home of a 'humble administrator.' It is a social norm in Chinese society to have false modesty. You could be having this sumptuous feast and still say, 'there's nothing to eat but a few simple things'. Or you can live in a palace and still say, 'your humble home.' This place is a palace. In fact, past emperors of China have stayed here, some have reportedly gotten lost in the place. It is huge and the rooms just go and on.

 It is famous for its rockery garden. I didn't care for it. I was raised in an English Colony. I am what is referred as an 'overseas Chinese.' Any Chinese born outside of China is an 'overseas Chinese.' There is a Chinese word for people like me. So when I'm in China, when I tell them that I'm an 'overseas Chinese,' they understand my ineptness at the Chinese language. Still they look at me in a funny way. Sophie and Zac, both speak, read and write Mandarin. I only speak some survival Mandarin. So when anything is explained in Mandarin, they have to explain it in English to me. The locals can't understand why this Chinese person (me) doesn't understand Mandarin.
 Former emperors of China.
Suzhou had the reputation of being romantic and beautiful. Women from Suzhou are supposed to be the most beautiful. I don't really care for an organised tour but when we arrived at the train station, we were being inundated by tour operators and Sophie thought it was a good idea. So I tagged along. In fact I didn't enter a lot of the places we were taken to. Suzhou was a huge disappointment. It was so built up that the charm of the old Suzhou was eradicated. I was disappointed.

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