Internatinnai Ashort journey allowsoneto view The Great Wall, which climbs up mountains and dips into the valleys for endless iniles. However, these are not the impressions that al low me to call China a truly unique and wonerful place. The people and their rich culture, which has existed (or centuries longer than the United States short history, providesChinawith a unique ness that separates it from anything found in the West. It is hard to single out a cer tain aspect or describe the feelings that Chinese culture exudes. I first started realiz ing its uniqueness riding on a crowded dirty bus, and watching a father hold his child lovingly and play with her with great pride. The Chinese have such a differ ent idea of what is important in life than that of a person Irom the West. Western culture has become so in volved with "having it all" that it has lost the close family bond that is so important to theChinese. They pass love, value, and tradition down through generations of chil dren. As I was told by the return ing students from China last semester, "China is some thing you have to see for yourself. It is incredible." That statement is too true. Life in Beijing is entirely dif ferent from everything in the states. Once I recovered from the initial shock of hav ing none of the conven iences, I was accustomed to having, like sit-down toilets, mattresses, warm rooms, and supermarkets, I began to realize that life in China is an experience that I will carry with me, in a special place, for the rest of my life. Beijing, China is a rather grey, dirty, and smelly city which borders between New York and a third-world coun try. It is also a Communist city; in fact, it is the capital for the most populated country in the world. Downtown, there is the fabled Forbidden City, which was the exclu sive domain of the emperors of China for centuries; Tian anmen, with (vlao's ever present picture, stands apart from the dusty streets filled with apartment buildings and businesses. Scott Greaorv Dormitory and Athletic Fieid Beijing 1990 A local market in Beijing Oh China! I hearthe Middle Kingdom, between Heaven and Earth! Since stepping from the plane, my senses have been assaulted in all ways. China is unique; not like our world; and to truly appreciate it requires the openings of all avenues of sense to it. At first one feels only the bitter cold; the biting wind; the cold cement rooms. You feeltheduststirringyourface; you also feel 6,000 years of civilization bearing down on you. You smell China. The scents of this country are many and diverse. You smell the filth (attributable to bad plumbing) and you smeil the roasting meat on street corners. You smell the air, so fouled by coal smoke and automobile fumes as to be unhealthy. You smell the great food-different every lime, but almost always the best you have ever had. You taste China. From the bread made jy the Uygur minorities to the pigeons on a stick to the Kentucky F ried Chicken purchased downtown. This is a country of many tastes and flavors. The sounds of China are always with you. The yells of schol kids, the noise of the bus horns, the distant whistles of the trains, and the howl of the wind assault your hearing 24 hours a day. The echos in your dorm are magnified by five stories of cement stainwell. The ringing of bicycle bells and the shouting of vendors is with you always. And the loud speakers are everywhere. The visual experience is with you most of all. China is a drab, dirty, almost dull gray country. When one sees bright color, the appreciation is strong. I^any thanks to Mr. Kodak for making memories possible. The immensity of Beijing defies description. One can explore its streets and allies and never stop seeing unique things. We are ina place alien to our lives at home. The great diversity and mass of population, combined with more history than anywhere on the planet, combine to make this truly one of God's special places. John Edmonson

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