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  • Earlier in the week Chris explained that there are six questions a foreign male needs to understand in Chinese to have a conversation with a local.

    1. Where are you from?
    2. Did you get here by plane?
    3. Do you like Chinese food?
    4. How old are you?
    5. Are you married?
    6. Do you want a Chinese girlfriend?

    It seemed like a gross oversimplification, but he was proven right over and over again as we were introduced to more of the extended family and encountered curious villagers on daily hikes. He repeatedly had to explain that yes, he did in fact take a plane from the US to Kunming and then a bus from Kunming to Yongren, which is how he came to be standing in front of them.

    On this particular night, after many bottles of pijiu and bowls of baijiu, the conversation drifted towards religion. They asked our affiliation and I told them I was Jewish. This resulted in a rapid exchange of Chinese among the group. Chris turned to me and said, "They're going to say that Jewish people are smart." I couldn't imagine that their response could be so easily anticipated.

    Then one of the English speaking members of the group turned to me and said, "Einstein was Jewish and he was very smart."

    I couldn't help but laugh out loud.
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