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Published: April 14th 2007
I received a special invitation to be an honored guest at a city about four hours north from where I live. It was signed and dated by North Korea. They don't see many Americans on their soil. I accepted, and I was provided transportation on a bus with a large part of the faculty and a few students from Liaoning Normal University, who will claim to be honored guests as well. But don't believe them.
We arrived and were fed. Then we walked across a bridge. However, I didn't realize until the very last minute, thank goodness, that the bridge only reached halfway across the river. "Now what is the purpose in building a bridge, if it only stretches across half of the river?" I thought as I caught myself from descending 500 meters into the water below.
It turns out that during the Korean war, the United States bombed the bridge and destroyed a clear half of it. China and North Korea linked their countries with another bridge though, which is built left next to it. Amended? I thought so. But then we were taken to the top of a hill, where the wind was blowing so strong that
if they hadn't of fed us minutes earlier, we wouldn't have been able to stay on the top of that huge mountain. And it was there that I saw a sign welcoming us to enter the Museum to Resist American Aggression and to Aid Korea. I learned so much in that museum. Like, did you know that the United States is "the enemy"? And the enemy was defeated and outsmarted several times by Chinese forces even though the United States had significant advantages. Despite the Chinese character of honest chivalry, the "arrogance of the enemy" would engage in barbarous acts such as imprisoning the Army of Volunteers "cruelly and inhumanly" with wire netting, branding the Volunteers with tattoos, and even went so low as to infect snakes, cockroaches, and other small bugs with poison and diseases which would in turn infect the Chinese Armies. "Bacterioligical Warfare"
If interested, I posted pictures of a few signs that I thought were very nationalistic at the end of the blog album.
We spent so much time in the museum that I was disappointed to be run out of the shop at the end because of our guides rush and claiming we had no
time. I don't know what was more important...I wanted memorabilia from the Museum to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea. But a few from our honored group wanted to buy Jade. So our guides took us to the branded tourist shop right next to our hotel. It looked like any other shop in China to me, so I bought some Korean coffee and went back to the hotel to watch Harry Potter in Chinese. When Harry Potter speaks Chinese his voice sounds deeper, like a mans. Hm.
After we met for dinner and ate again. (I thought it was funny that we took the bus EVERYWHERE. Perhaps our guides and bus driver wanted everyone in Dandong to know that we were big-time tourists. As if they can't already tell by our arrogance.) So we all boarded the bus from our hotel and we drove literally
2 blocks to the restaurant. The younger group of us walked back quicker than we drove there by bus. While the elders did there thing, we rented the whole bowling alley at the hotel. After Bekah and I bowled our worst game, we decided to throw a little surprise for our friend Sakiko, whose birthday
had been Wednesday of that week. We went into the lobby and bought everyone a piece of cake. We gathered everyone into the lobby and made a scene as we sang Happy Birthday to our dear friend. As everyone is digging into their cake, Mike says "You know, my cake is a little hard, and doesn't have much taste." Well, that is Chinese cake. I said "Don't say anything about the cake Bekah and I made. We put a lot of hard work and love into this cake and it is delicious."
That was about the time one of us found green mold in their cake. The waitress of the hotel lobby brought us over a whole white Birthday Cake and laid it in front of Sakiko for amends. Not really wanted more cake, we laughed as we encouraged Sakiko to put her face in the cake. She pulls back her hair, bends over, and comes up with white cream "frosting" all over her nose. Then, we start breaking apart the cake. It doesn't take us long to find that the whole bottom of the cake is covered with green mold. Happy Birthday Sakiko! We mention the moldy cake to
the waitress and she runs to get the manager. The manager comes and offers any of the variety of fresh bread from the lobby, or any drink on the menu. Each of us had free coffee, and free juice, and free Evian water. That is a birthday Sakiko will always hold dear to her heart. We laughed, carrying our complimentary antibiotic pills, all the way to our rooms.
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