My grandparents were Italian and came to America in the early 1900’s. My mother, her parents, 8 siblings and a crotchety old aunt all shared a 1200 sq. ft. house growing up in New York. When my mother was young she suffered from frequent ear infections and at one point they had to drill a small hole behind her ear so it could drain properly, rendering her deaf in that ear. She was sent to a farm to get “healthy” and they made her drink chicken blood or goat’s blood, I don’t remember which, but you get the picture. My point is, when I was a kid and I wanted to complain about something, like my hand-me-down corduroys were too big or I AM old enough to shave my legs, my mom would just look at me with those eyes and either ignore me or remind me of the time her father slapped her face because she had lipstick on, or how she walked to school in the snow or how easy surgery is today because of anesthesia. Okay lady, I had it good. I had it pretty darn good. I think about this when I see a Chinese 20-something with their parents and how different each of them had it.
With that I thought I’d throw out some fun China facts:
-Chinese civilization dates back 5,000 yrs, approximately 4,766 years longer than the US.
-The current population is a little over 1.3 billion, about 20% of the world’s population and has a land mass similar in size to the US (US population is just over 300 million). Shanghai has the largest population of cities totaling about 17 million. And that’s why it’s important to cover your mouth when you cough.
-The Chinese invented the compass, wheelbarrow, gunpowder, paper, fireworks (not sure how I feel about that anymore) and my personal favorite, ice cream! Yes, some 2,000 years ago they put a soft milk and rice mixture in the snow…they didn’t figure out Mint ‘n Chip until much later.
-China is the homeland to tea, with cultivation dating back 2,000 years.
-The Great Wall is the longest man-made structure in the world.
-Typically the northern Chinese people prefer to eat noodles and the southerners prefer rice.
-Of the American fast food chains found in China, KFC appears to be the first choice. “Si ling ling ba, ba er san, ba er san!!”