Friday, June 28, 2013

Shamelessly Pandering to My Readers

I know a very fine young man originally from the Sichuan Province of China who sometimes reads my blog. He is always complimentary of it. Of course positive responses are welcomed regardless of the source, but when a person who speaks English as a second language claims to enjoy my ordinary chronicles, that compliment carries some value. It certainly carries more value than my son's opinion of his mom's "lame stories", for example.

I recently had the chance to ask my friend from whence he hailed in China, or as we say out here in the backwater of America,"Where ya fruuum originally?" Translated that means "Where were you born and raised?"

Since I know very little about the Sichuan Province of China I did what any citizen of the world would do and googled "Szechwan" - because that is how it is spelled on the menu in every Chinese restaurant I have ever been in. (Some of us on Planet Earth have never had the opportunity to travel far from home.)

While reading about the Sichuan Province of China I discovered this map:

It startled me. The outline of China resembles a distorted outline of the United States. Sichuan Province roughly occupies the central part of China the way Kansas sits in the heart of the USA:

When I saw this similarity, I wondered if there are Sichuan equivalents to the more colorful characters of Kansas. Did a Sichuan man spend his life collecting a thousand miles of string into a ball that his town later enshrined as a tourist attraction? Did an artist build a giant plate-steel meat cleaver, paint it lime green then display it on the corner in Chengdu? Is there a crazy Sichuan man who dances exuberantly on street corners with a table lamp, complete with the electric cord and light bulb but minus the shade?

I am going to go out on a limb and guess yes, there are crazy, quirky people and funny, unfathomable things in Sichuan, too, but maybe nothing as horrible as this:


Kathy said...

Oh heck, now I'll have to find the Oregon section of China and see what's going on there. No coastline on the west side, but you never know. Very nice observation. Signed, Fruuuuuuuum heere.

Wayland Ran said...

I loved. I have forwarded your blog to several of my Sichuan friends. It is not because of me, it is because your talent of decribing things. Always love to read your blogs!

WD said...

I like the Kansas-SiChuan comparison.

Anonymous said...

Wayland Ran has it right. It is your talent for translating the world you see.

I guess your map means I'm living in Tibet.

Kathy said...

Well that was fun. As far as I can tell the Oregon section of China is in the huge, northwestern Xinjiang province, the largest political subdivision of China. Looking for similarities with Oregon, I see that it contains 3 deserts, all much drier and larger than ours. It has mountains, all much taller than ours, including K2 in the high Karakoram (28, 251 feet). Coolest of all, Xinjiang province contains the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility -- the point of land remotest from the sea. Who even knew there were Poles of Inaccessibility?!!! Because guess what, there is one for each continent, and even for the ocean/s. And in case you are wondering, Jackie, the North American Pole of Inaccessibility is, sadly, not in Kansas, but instead in South Dakota. You can feel smug that Kansas isn't all that remote. See how much fun your post has created for your readers?

Jackie said...

Oh, Kathy, I feel smug about graduating high school about 15 miles from the exact geographical center of the lower 48! Yeah. That's something.

My blog is fun and I am happy to know that my friends enjoy my musings!

And I did not know there were poles of inaccessibility! Thank you for your contribution to my pool of general knowledge!!