Tag Archives: history

Dinner with Mr. He

20 Apr

Last weekend we went to dinner with a former colleague of Li’s – the driver of his former boss, Mr. He.  I had never met him and was curious because Li had always said he was a very wise man.

It was a fascinating dinner – his father had fought with Chiang Kai Shek in Jiangsu province and then had moved to Shanghai where Mr. He was born in 1953.   He was unlucky enough to be sent to the countryside with millions of other Shanghai youth and spent 8 years of hard labor in Hebei province in the far north of China.

After coming back to Shanghai in the late 1970s he met his wife and they had a son.  He now lives in the Hongkou district in Shanghai where he is a grandfather and still drives part time for my husband’s former company.   What a story!

He was a wise man, not prone to excess – he wouldn’t eat too much dinner and talked about his experience in a matter of fact way.   He was old enough to be my father and without meaning to I started making comparisons between the two and the luck of one to be born in the US and one in China.

From there I shifted to myself and how lucky I am to be able to make choices – to decide where I live and what I do.  Freedom is sweet.

I am glad we met.  Once I got home I had many more questions than answers.  If you were there, what would you have asked?

Heraklion, Crete – the delicate details

3 Nov

This post is part of our travels in Greece in the fall of 2013.  To see other posts in the series, please click here.

After a wonderful experience in Chania, we headed out early the next morning to the capital of Crete – Heraklion.  We took the bus and the views up and down the coast made us both want to get off and explore further.

Shortly after arriving at the hotel and checking in, we headed to the Archaeological Museum in the center of town.  The travel guides suggested we go there first before heading to see the ruins at Knossos because it would give us a better idea of how things should have looked in the past.

The museum was wonderful – it gave us a glimpse into the history of that area over 3000 years ago.  One thing that struck me was the delicacy of many of the items on display.  The attention to detail made many of them seem like I could take them home today.

There were crowns…

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and small bronze statues that looked like dolls, though I believe they were icons or offerings to the gods.


One of my favorites were the delicate murals on the walls


and then the mosaics lining the floor that were as beautiful as carpets.


I tend towards delicate jewelry and details.  The Minoan culture even though it was so long ago was very relatable and made me very excited to see the rest of Heraklion and the ruins of Knossos.

This post was inspired by Alisa at Where’s My Backpack.  Her travel theme this week is Delicate.  I am happy to participate again in one of her weekly travel themes.  To see how others define delicate, please click the link.

Have you ever felt that you could walk into another culture and feel at home?  What details do you need to see for that to happen?

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