Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Forbidden Palace and the Human Condition

(My camera ran out of batteries as soon as we entered the Palace. Sorry I couldn't get pictures of the Palace)

Ah it's finally the second weekend. I cannot wait for the fifth week of HBA where we will be able to go to THE Shaolin Temple and learn kungfu. It'll be so legit. Today I went to The Forbidden Palace. The place is immensely surreal. I can't believe the stunning beauty and magnificence of the place. It's hard to capture in words. The whole time I was there, I was imagining what it would be like to live there in the days when China was still ruled by dynasties. The place is manifestation of art, history, significance, royalty, beauty, and .....mortality. I could see that some of the buildings were getting old and the paint was scratching off their surfaces. I could see many trees bending low, bearing the heavey weight of many ages.

I learned this week that it is very impolite to ask Chinese people, especially ladies, how old they are. I wonder why? In Korea, people also do not like revealing their age. And now that I think about it, even Americans don't always like to say how old they are. I remember my teachers in high school saying they were twenty one, when they were actually in their forties haha. Hmmm....I didn't mean to write with a theme in mind, but I see that I am writing a lot about age, mortality, and the ultimate human condition of death. But surprisingly, the one chapter I've been continually reading in my Bible this week also talks about this theme. Aging, death, mortality.

Matthew 6 talks about storing your treasures not on earth but in heaven. It also talks about seeking the kingdom of God before seeking things of this Earth.

19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I'm tired of writing lol. Just think about it.



  1. Funny, that. Our high school Chinese textbook said elderly Chinese people actually like being asked their age, provided you do it in a respectful manner.

    Have you been pestering middle-aged Chinese women again?

  2. Andrew,
    This is Rose Marie.
    Being in my 40s, Yes, I do still say 21, but then people wonder how I can give birth to a 12 year old, not to mention that I do look 40? It is possible. However, to be safe, just avoid the subject. I cannot imagine all the things you are seeing. I am reading the book called "Mao" about the revolution. His face is everywhere I see.