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The Magical China Trip 2012

Corrections and Research

USA | Wednesday, 29 August 2012 | Views [445]

Today was actually a wonderful day, if you don't mind a few misadventures.  I found a parking place in Parking Structure 6 - not realizing how many other, closer, parking structures there are.  Stanford is a huge campus.  Having parked the car for the day, I headed to the Hoover Institution, I thought.  But I wasn't able to see the tower from where I was.  I tried using the GPS on my phone.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work as well for walking as it does for driving.  I got lost ... so, having headed the wrong direction and having decided to start over, I asked a young man for help.  He kindly showed me to within view of the tower before heading to his own destination.  And I duly arrived at the archive.

Last night I went through a list of the archival material related to China and selected what I might be interested in seeing.  At the archive this morning I filled out the little forms to request the material (maximum 10 boxes at a time).  I had selected well over 10, but when you put some away, they give you the next batch you selected.  The archive staff is extremely helpful; they made everything very easy for me.  I spent the day happily perusing pictures, letters, books, plus a video from Taiwan of an interview with Zhang Xueliang during his 90th(?) birthday celebration.  Oliver was very kind and translated much of it for me.  They don't call me the "whimsical scholar" for nothing.  I had a wonderful time in the silence and in the memories of strangers.

Oliver and Gloria, of course, were there, too.  We ate lunch together, but went right back to the archives.  Their time is short (they leave September 6th) and there is much for them to do.  When the archive closed at 4:45pm, we headed out to get my car and find a place to eat dinner.  Or at least we thought we were headed to get my car.  As it turned out, we walked for about an hour, never locating PS6, although we found PS2 and PS5.  At PS5, we found a Marguerite (bus) transportation office and asked directions.  We must have looked hot, tired, and bewildered because the man we talked with took pity on us and took us in a small van to PS6, which was completely across the campus from where we were.

I have only good to say about my experience at Stanford University.  The campus is both huge and beautiful; the people are friendly and helpful, many of them going out of their way to help me; and the weather was very pleasant.

We did finally get dinner at the Peking Duck Restaurant on the corner of S. California Avenue and Park Blvd. in Stanford.  It was a great meal:  lamb in a Chinese chili sauce, dry cooked string beans, and kung pao prawns, plus brown rice.  (To my gourmet friends:  please forgive my lack of food finesse.  I actually don't remember the exact names of the food we ate, so I have used terms with which I am familiar.  And I forgot to take pictures of it before we ate.  Be that as it may, the food was delicious.) 

I also failed to take pictures of Oliver and Gloria!  I will have to do better or this will become a very long-winded, dull kind of adventure soliloquy.

Now, as to the corrections:  Yesterday, I misstated the placement of the Department of Transportation within the Chinese government.  It did not report into the Department of Finance, but like all other departments, had to go through the Department of Finance to get its funds.

Tags: d. f. myers, dfm, hoover institution archive, myers

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