One of the most well known things in China is the Great Wall. It’s lank famous, and apparently you can see it from space. I organized a tour for myself, and they came to pick me up from my hotel. My tour guide was a cool guy, and his name was Jack. I said, ‘is that your real name?’ He said his real name was something like ‘Hwang Jang Jiang Chang’. These kind of names are impossible for white okes to pronounce, and so these days lank Chinese have ‘English’ names. ‘That’s just like the blacks’ I said. I told him that blacks have these hectic names that whites can’t pronounce so they also have a ‘white’ name. I told him about my friend Felix whose real name is amaFelix. But he didn’t know what I was talking about.

We drove for a couple of hours. Beijing is lank enormous. It’s literally like a hundred times the size of Johannesburg with a hundred times more people and a hundred times more buildings.






Finally we got out into the countryside and then we got to the wall. While we were walking he asked me if I had any pets. I told him no. He said he had a golden Labrador. Then I realized that the word was being mistranslated. When he said, ‘pet’ he really meant, ‘livestock’. I asked him if he had a ‘special liking’ for Labrador, and he said, ‘yes, they’re so cute and clever.’ I didn’t know what he mea

nt by this. Obviously it was another mistranslation, and he meant, ‘tender’ or something like that. He told me he kept his dog indoors but took it for

walks every evening. I guess cause he’s middle class he wants his dog to be ‘organic’ or something.










We walked along the wall. It was very big.










After that we went to have lunch at this nearby place. There were lank peasants driving around on scooters and motorbikes. But inside the food was lank good. The driver sat with us and ate his food. The driver didn’t have an English name, so I couldn’t talk to him.










Later we went to another part of the wall. This part was lank rural and there was no one else there. When we were walking we passed this place, and I saw a dog tied up outside.

But then I saw there was actually another dog tied to the other side, and I realized that I was walking past an abattoir. It would have made me sick to the stomach, but I remembered what my uncle had said about being open to a new culture, so I just pointed and said, ‘yum, yum.’ He didn’t seem to understand.

The driver went and stood by himself on a part of the wall, and it looked like a scene from a movie.

I figured that now would be a good chance for me to tell Jack that I was a fan of Jackie Chan and that when I was young I’d studied Karate. So I started counting in Chinese, ‘ichi, ni, san, chi, go’, and doing kata moves. Then he told me that Karate was from Japan not China. I explained that this was a common misconception and that Karate had actually originated in China, and was used by the ancient ones to defend the capital from the Mongolian savages. He’d never heard about this, but I told him he should remember it in case other people asked him in the future.