I hear mandarine, loud in my ear. I’m taller than many Chinese women and fatter. They pull at my blond hair and it’s hard for me to understand why people in China have little concept of personal space.
I came to China to see the history: The Buddhist temples and buildings; The Terracotta Army and other artifacts; and even the Great Wall, though it was a tiring hike which spanned a distance too great to finish walking.
I have known many wonderful people of Chinese descent; I have great friends from China. But I will never live in China nor return.
Yet, there is strange kind of beauty here; I see it in the paper lanterns, glowing at night and in the New Years fireworks. I wanted to love this country, until one too many women tried to cut-off my blond hair; they each said it was for luck.
“Sweet,” eleven-year-old Edward exclaimed to his twin Ethan. “A ship from the eighteen-hundreds with canons. It’s like a ship from Pirates of the Carribean but it’s nicer.”
“Yeah,” Ethan added, “There are benches. Maybe, this pirate was rich?” Ethan was trying to gode his brother Edward and it worked.
” Well, I think pirates were rich because they worked for the state as Privateers or Corsairs and raided ships full of cargo,” Edward gloated to Ethan.
“It’s called ‘commerce raiding’ idiot!” Ethan remarked.”Privateers had to have ‘a letter of marque’ from the government or King to raid the country’s enemy’s cargo ships. Often, they took cargo from ships their country was at peace with, they didn’t much care whose cargo it was because they would sell it on the black market either way.” Ethan said smartly.
” Well, the Pirate Black Beard,” Edward said, trying to one-up his brother, “wrecked his own ship The Queen Ann’s Revenge. He ran it aground at the Beaufort inlet in North Carolina. When they found the shipwreck in 1996, it had twenty-six canons and and two-hundred-and-fifty – thousand artifacts.”
“Clearly, you don’t know much about Blackbeard whose real name was Edward Teach.” Ethan said.”He was a privateer who became a pirate in the carribean later on, but his home base was around North Carolina.”
“Blackbeard had a party for his pirate friends located on his favourite hiding place, Ocracoke island. The Governor of Virginia sent Lt. Robert Maynard and the Navy to finally capture Blackbeard in 1718. Maynard trapped Blackbeard and his pirate friends on Ocracoke island.” Ethan taunted, but Edward interrupted him with his own knowledge of Blackbeard.
“Maynard eventually shot Blackbeard who was still fighting him until another guy came up behind Blackbeard and slit his throat.” Edward mimed slitting Ethan’s throat and pushing him. Ethan frowned, trying to finish his story.
“Black beards head was cut-off and hung from Maynard’s ship as a warning to other pirates. Blackbeard had hidden treasure, but no one has ever found it…beat that stupid!” Ethan growled ready to tackle Edward.
“Boys, stop it!” the twin’s Mother yelled,”clearly you both know too much about Pirates, no more Pirates of the Carribean for you two, no Google either…”