Dry Lips, A Shoe Factory, and Headless Chinese Warrior Ghosts

Imagine the scene:

It’s a boring old Thursday in November.  Everyone has dry lips from the heater being on and the stash of chapstick from our Christmas stockings is dwindling.  But the grapes are good.

So…there we are, bored, dry, decadently eating grapes, when we crack open the history books.  Boy10’s history was about Chairman Mao taking over China after WWII.  I peek into Boy7’s history book.

My little heart flutters and my eyes goggle!  Boy7’s history is about the first emperor of….China!  Two entirely different history books, and they’re both about China on the same day?  It’s a sign.  This cannot be ignored.  Obviously, we were meant to learn about China today.  In great depth.

And what’s the best way to learn about something?  To immerse yourself in it: to inhale its scents, hear its sounds, eat its foods.

Obviously, there’s no other way to immerse yourself in China in the middle of the Pennsylvania cornfields than to head to your favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch:  Li’s Buffet.

I told Jin (the owner’s son) that we were there for a field trip, and had just learned about the terra cotta warriors and the Great Wall of China.  I said that if only JJ’s Habachi (the other restaurant the family owns) wasn’t closed for the season, we’d have gone there to gaze at their terra cotta warrior replicas.

Jin said, “I can take you there.  You want to go?  Let’s go!”

And so after we ate, we went all the way to the other side of Gettysburg to JJ’s Habachi Buffet and Jin let us in so we could stare at the terra cotta warrior replicas.  There are two of them.  One of them is headless.  He’s not supposed to be headless.  No.  Someone stole the warrior’s head.  That seems like a Bad Idea, especially in Gettysburg.  You can’t spit without bumping into one of those ghost tours. Apparently, all the ghosts on the entire east coast come to unrest in Gettysburg.  With all those ghosts floating around, you’d think the thief would think twice before taking the head of a replicated Chinese warrior.  Sure, he’s just a replica of a replica, but still. You don’t want a headless Chinese warrior ghost haunting you.  “Give me back my heeeeeaaaaad!”

Jin gave us a little lesson on the parts of Chinese history we read about in our books.  That was so awesome.  I appreciated that very, very much.  It’s one thing to read about it, but it’s so much better to learn a little of Chinese history from someone actually from China.  Jin disagreed with our history book that the First Emperor was the first emperor.  Jin said he was just the first emperor who united all the city-states.

Speaking of city-states, I was reviewing with Boy7 what city-states are: each city was its own tiny little country with its own king or warlord, and each city fought with the other cities.  I told him it would be as if Hanover and Gettysburg each had kings and were fighting with each other.

We all agreed that Gettysburg would totally win, because they have all the cannons. Hanover wouldn’t  stand a chance.  All Hanover has is a shoe factory. 


We seriously need some more chapstick in this house.


4 thoughts on “Dry Lips, A Shoe Factory, and Headless Chinese Warrior Ghosts

  1. As soon as I saw you were studying China I KNEW where you would end up, how awesome of Jin to take you on an extended field trip!
    The green beans look exceptionally delicious in your photo.
    Doesn’t Hanover have pretzels and Utz too? Could they outlast Gettysburg because they have a food supply that won’t spoil????

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