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Lions Roar : November 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN NoveMBer 2009 88 also the first person to ever go out on my own. The Maoist rule was you couldn’t— we had to go out in a group. I also broke the taboo of having an English boyfriend. I had come from China with the caution- ary tale that if we had a foreign boyfriend, we’d be drugged and carted back to Chi- na in a jute sack, and I firmly believed it. When I was anywhere near the Chinese embassy my legs would turn into jelly and, if I were in a car, I’d slide down so my head would be below the window. Now, I don’t think the embassy was actually do- ing that kind of surveillance. It would have been too difficult. Actually, it wouldn’t have been. There were only thirteen of us. The surveillance in the embassies under Mao had been absolutely incredible. But I don’t think that in 1978 there was still that kind of surveillance going on. Under Mao, no- body from the Chinese embassies was allowed to go out alone while they were abroad. When Mao sent his first ambassa- dors from China, all to other Communist countries, he said to them, “I’m appoint- ing you as ambassadors. You’re army generals. You don’t speak a foreign lan- guage and you’re not diplomats. But I know one thing—you won’t be able to run away.” He knew he was running a prison camp called China. How do you define home now? China is under my skin. If I didn’t go back regularly, I’d feel restless, so I go back to China every year. Every time I go I’m torn between two extreme emotions— joy because I can see how peoples’ lives are changing for the better, and anger at the injustices that are still going on— the poverty, the different lives led by the haves and the have-nots, and the repres- sion and censorship. My heart is always torn between these two emotions and I feel exhausted after each trip. I come back to London to rest. Home is London. Home is here with my husband. It’s peace and quiet. ♦ Hear Andrea Miller’s conversation with Jung Chang at www.shambhalasun.com. For more information contact: Ligmincha Institute at Serenity Ridge 554 Drumheller Lane, Shipman, VA 22971