The Great Wall


If you ask me about the splendid of the great wall, I’d be too ashamed to admit that I have any connection to it. I would go so far to even deny that I am Chinese.

In 1997, Beijing’s summer was hot and dry. After an unsatisfactory meal, I was dragged to go along to see the Great Wall. I couldn’t think of anything worse to do. I would have been a lot happier to stay in the cheap hotel and enjoy a mouth watering watermelon in air-con.

The tourist bus took us all the way up to the top. People had already been queueing up to walk the Great Wall. I got off the bus, physically felt sick. My stomach was churning and I was about to throw up. My companions were in a dilemma. I saved their disappointment by excusing myself to the bathroom and asked them to go ahead to climb the Wall without me.

A bit of a breeze cooled my head. My stomach started to settle. I saw loads of people gradually disappearing like a snake crawling along the Great Wall. I sat on a chair in one of the stalls. The owner offered a service to write a poem based on my full name on a banner with a Chinese calligraphy brush. I had some time to myself and was curious to see what he would come up with. In less than two minutes, he skilfully moved his brush and created a four-line poem with seven characters in each line. I was beyond impressed by his talent. His interpretation of my name gave a new meaning with blessings and depth.

I could not help but thought that’s my reward for not offending the ghosts by trampling their grave where the Great Wall laid upon. The Great Wall of China was built on human sweat, blood and lives, a place where the crows kept coming back for carcasses buried long ago.