Strange Name

Chinua Archebe has a strange name. It means “my spirit fights for me.”

Wonder wether this describes the real situation, whether his spirit has been helping him fighting away evil spirits or not.

According to his writing, he believes each person has a personal qi, or his personal protective spirit.

There are evil children that keep tormenting their parents, so they die and keep coming back.

But the culture also has other beliefs that science does not validate. For instance, his culture believes twins are evil and must be killed. In much of the rest of the world, twins are welcomed as double blessings.

To that village, a huge boa is their protective spirit. This boa has no Western connotation.

Later the village fell to clashes between traditional beliefs and Christian beliefs.

The title is Things Fall Apart.

I never believe everything everybody tells me. It is a good strategy to look at everything from as many angles as possible, inside and outside. At least when one makes mistakes, it won’t be too far off the mark.

At least a phenomenon like everybody in one country thinks the same thoughts will have a lesser possibility of occurring.

I am not superstitious about anyone.

Which philosopher declares,”I think, therefore I am?” Why Goethe has to go on a lifetime of journey and contemplate everything in Faust, and finally married a farm girl after searching for his entire life? His work records all the struggles he has had with every possible subject. He was the Renaissance man, meaning he knew a lot on many subjects, not someone who did research on that cultural period in today’s sense.

A strange small man I have never seen is not happy with my brain. He has the desire to take off my head and put my head under water. He won’t succeed. Most probably he is a Chinese. I am not quite sure. He speaks English though. He does not have a shirt.

I do not know why I have had so much difficulties with many Chinese. Are they jealous?

In ancient China, the rulers liked to keep the populations well fed so that they would not think about anything.

脑满肠肥 is the best strategy to prevent somebody from thinking. I wonder whether that’s the strategy women keep men well fed. They fill up men’s belly and satisfy their biological needs, everything will be fine and dandy, running in harmony.

That is why I do not like men who are fat. That shows they do not control how much they eat and drink. I prefer a healthy man, not too thin, not too fat.

Indirectly I wonder whether it is the reason that I am not fed well here as I was in China that I keep on thinking, thinking, and thinking. I am “obsessed with thinking.”

One female professor who is “obsessed with thinking” has produced well over ten books while she is just in her early fifties. She pulls in everything she came into contact with in her books, such as cartoons when Hong Kong people could not understand foreigners who speak perfect cantonese. They are expecting English, not cantonese that make them sound a well-seasoned local.

It happens. Once when I was interpreting for some one speaking at a cultural event, he was expected to speak English. However he spoke Chinese well. So the first sentence I translated I was using the same language he used, which made everybody in the hall laugh with good humor. I had to translate his Chinese into English instead.

Cultural expectations. That is all.


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