Off the Wall How We Fell for China


2019-12-13 08:13



Title: Off the Wall How We Fell for China

Author: William,N.Brown

ISBN: 9787119116099

Press: Foreign language Press


"Tibet or Bust!" that was our daily mantra through the first half of our 40,000 km drive around China back in 1994 - before the days of bullet trains, highways and bullet cars. For six weeks,we'd snaked over endless mountains and slogged through Mongolian mud. We'd survived two bandit sand traps in the Gobi Desert and covered half of the world's highest highway...
I wondered if the crazy trip was even worth it. When I'd written articles about China's changes,some foreigners - and even a few Chinese - had argued, "Only coastal China has changed;no change inland." So I decided to see for myself. We bought a 15-passenger van and added a bed,table and bookshelves for the boys' schooling. I pored over maps and National Geographic articles and mapped out a 40,000 km. drive up the coast to Mongolia, West through the Gobi Desert and Tibet,and back to Xiamen from the South through Yunnan,Guangxi,Hainan Island,and Guangdong.
For six weeks we'd meandered without lundrance around China - apart from the Gobi desert bandits. Police in every province were friendly and helpful. Even soldiers were patient when we didn't see the fallen "Keep Out! sign and pitched our tent on a military base. Halfa dozen soldiers descended upon us while we were building a fire for supper, but with typical Chinese courtesy the senior officer said, "We're sorry, but it would be easier for us if you'd camp elsewhere:" He smiled and added, "Could we take photos with your sons? They're so cute."
But after six weeks of one hurdle after another,we were stranded just one day's drive from Tibet. Shannon and Matthew,of course,were not worried. With a certainty that evaporated only when they became teenagers,they knew Dad could do no wrong. Mom was less confident. As Susan Marie squeezed her canvas oxygen bag like a Scotsman with a plugged bagpipe,I wondered if this time I'd bitten off more than my family could chew, even though six years in China had given us good jaw muscles.

About the Author:

Dr. William Brown is well-known to most Xiamen people, who affectionately call him "Old Pan" (Lao Pan).
In 1988, Dr. Brown gave up his posirion as Senior Vice President of First American National Securities and moved with his family to Xiamen,where he has taught MBA courses for the past 30 years. In 1992,Dr. Brown became Fujian Province's first foreigner to receive Permanent Residence. He is also an honorary citizen of Fujian and Xiamen,and has helped 13 Chinese cities including Xiamen and neighboring Quanzhou, win gold in the International Livable Communities Competition. In 1993, Premier Li Peng gave Dr. Brown China's "Friendship Award". He proudly says in the Minnan (South Fujian, China) dialect, "I'm a Xiamenese!"
Since moving to Chin,Dr. Brown has written over 10 books to introduce Chinese cities and their culture and history.


2019-12-13 04:14
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