Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Great Wall...Government Style

Although it had only been two weeks since our most recent trip to the Great Wall, we were delighted to return to the Mutianyu section this past weekend. First of all...we're talking about the Great Wall. Why wouldn't we go every chance we get!?

On top of that, the outing (from bus to lunch to tickets) was sponsored by the Fulbright program. (Thanks Ann, Tori, and Nathan!) This gave us a chance to catch up and compare notes with our fellow Fulbrighters. Although we all are part of the same government program, it is striking how different our experiences, and therefore perspectives, can be, whether we are talking about teaching, travel, family life, or research possibilities. That's the beauty of both Fulbright and China itself...they often defy generalization in a way that is very exciting and very freeing.

The whole public sector feel to the excursion culminated with our cable car ride to the top of the mountain. As soon as we scrambled aboard, Desi started saying stuff like, "No way! Give me the camera!" Julie caught on right away, and was apparently just as amazed. In the meantime, Z and I had no idea what was going on. We started looking out the windows. Was there a great view? (My thought.) Is our car being suspended in air by a very, very thin thread? (Z's thought.)

Eventually, the two of us figured it out. It wasn't something out the window. It was something on the window.

Here's what it said...

PRESIDENT WILLIAM .J. CLINTON TOOK THIS CAR DOWN THE GREAT-WALL ON JUNE 28TH 1998

This year was the first summer in three years where we didn't visit Little Rock. I guess Little Rock came to us instead.

~Steve

PS: J. William Fulbright was from Arkansas as well.

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