Existing Member?

The original world nomad "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." - Confucius.

The philosphy of life ...

CHINA | Saturday, 11 March 2006 | Views [6967] | Comments [3]

Now this is what I call a near miss travel experience ... look at the pin. This baby landed about 2ft away from me.

Now this is what I call a near miss travel experience ... look at the pin. This baby landed about 2ft away from me.

Do you ever wonder how fragile our lives are and how they can turn on a dime? I mean really wonder?

In 1918 one of my Grandfathers was fighting in WWI and leading a group of young men in the trenches in France (I think). A mortar round landed in their trench. He was around the corner and was the only one to survive. He was just 19 years old. During WWII my other Grandfather was late for work, which wasn't very often as he was the foreman. A bomb landed in the factory, killing everyone.

For both, they happened by incredible chance to be on the right side of that fragile line. Had they not, I simply wouldn't have existed.

Fast forward to 1989. I was in Chengdu, Western China, during the student uprising (which I won't call a pro-democracy movement' because it wasn't). However, it was all pretty chaotic, and being just 25 I thought how exciting it all was. There must have been 1 million people on the street: no tourists, no officials, no police.


Just me and 1 million + Chinese all tightly packed around you either wanting to ask you something or simply to gawk. Suddenly, in a split second, everyone had run off. I looked around ... what was that on the road ...ah, ho-hum, a grenade. I gingerly moved away.

Look closely: the pin is out. Every time I look at this photo I wonder about life's fragility.

Later, shaking, I made my way back to the place I was staying and passed this quiet sleeping baby strapped to the back of a bicycle. How she could sleep through that or where the mother or father was I have no idea, but I'm sure she survived. She'd now be a woman 20 years old.

Now, you might think I would judge the Chinese government harshly for these circumstances? But for anyone who has read modern Chinese history with all its student-lead anarchy, any responsible leadership simply could never allow another anarchic student movement such as that during the cultural revolution to get any further out of control. That must have cost the Chinese millions of lives, so in that perspective it came as no great surprise when the government stopped dithering and got on with what they had to do.

They simply were not going to allow that to happen again. It may not be a popular view in the West, but there you are.

Tags: 1989, anarchy, chengdu, danger, death, grenade, life, near miss, philosophy of travel, tiananmen square

 

Comments

1

the advent of promised Massiah in Qadian. India

  Khan Mar 27, 2007 11:52 PM

2

WISH YOU A LONG LIFE AHEAD !!!

  Fate & Faith decides everything in our fragile life Jun 22, 2007 5:58 PM

3

life's a bitch sometimes .... were u find urself makin decision between the most beloved thing and cicumstances ... !!!!

  kiran Aug 1, 2007 7:11 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.


About simon_monk

Simon on Sydney Harbour

Follow Me

Where I've been

Favourites

Photo Galleries

Highlights

Near Misses

My trip journals


See all my tags 


 

 

Travel Answers about China

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.