Dragon Gate

We have a Chinese teacher. She took us to her home this week-end. Her mom is amazing and cooked us our first dumplings in China, (with no eggs) along with three other delicious meals. I made French toast for them both.

I do not know our Chinese teacher’s Chinese name. We call her Daisy. Nor do I know her mother’s name. How terrible is it that I don’t know their name? Most people have an English name in our school. When I tried to do a roll call in my first class all my students laughed at me. Speaking Chinese is a bit like speaking Vulcan. It is not the sort of thing you can rush into. Daisy is one of Lester’s students.

Daisy took us to her hometown, Luoyang. First we visited the Horse and Chariot Pits from an Emperor of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Then we saw the Longmem Grottoes. Longmen means Dragon Gate and is one of the possible locations of this mythical gate. The legend refers to a carp that saw the top of a mountain and decided he was going to reach it. He swam upstream, climbing rapids and waterfalls, letting nothing get in the way of his determination. When the carp finally reached the top he found the mythical “Dragon Gate” and, when he jumped over it, he turned into a dragon. Several waterfalls and cataracts in China are believed to be the location of the “Dragon Gate” and the Dragon Gate legend is often used as an allegory for the drive and effort needed to overcome obstacles and achieve success in life.

Learning to speak Chinese is my newest challenge. China has a lot still to teach us.