Scenes From Imaginary China

The Bag of Fire by you.

I came across this book when I was home in New Jersey cleaning out my old room. (Yeah, my mom said something about how I haven’t lived there in ten years and she’d really like a guest room and that piles of paperbacks are not her ideal way to decorate that guest room.) It’s a collection of scripts for short plays, set in all different countries, and I think I read it about a thousand times, not to mention putting on most of the plays with kids in my neighborhood.

Are you surprised that I liked the Chinese story best?  The story about a wise old Chinese man and his sons and daughters-in-law is probably about as Chinese as a kung fu movie, but this is one of the stories that first sparked my interest in China. China just seemed so exotic and romantic.

Father Wong by you.

(Is it just me, or does it look like her lantern says “wen“? 文? But I think it’s supposed to say woman not language.)

I was sad when I got to China and found that instead of names like Spring Blossom and Precious Jade and so forth, girls all called each other Sis.

Chinese lantern by you.

Also no one walked around in layered silk gowns and Manchu hairpieces. Another disappointment.

Oh no! We need never return to our husbands with out fire and wind in paper! by you.

But on the plus side, no on ever sent me out to find wind and fire wrapped in paper before I could come home again.

My Flickr set of more photos from this book.

I came across this one in my room as well, which is doubly hilarious. First, it is unbelievably amusing to me that I was interested in authentic Chinese food pre-China, and then when I got to China, I spent months trying to hide my look of disgust and politely insist I was already full.

Second, because the bag of rice is clearly labeled “Beijing” in Chinese.

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