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Archive for March, 2008

The Communist Tax Lawyer

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, March 6, 2008

Posted in China | 2 Comments »

Lei Feng Day

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Chinese have always been great launderers. From washing trousers, to starching collars, to ironing shirts, this plucky little race of laundrypeople has been at the very forefront of laundering science for thousands of years. The Chinese themselves have observed that the greatest benefit to their civilisation came from their encounter with British sailors in 1462, and the realisation that clothing could come in more than one shape or size. And, for many international observers and space scientists, the big question of the new millennium has long been: “Will the new Chinese space station be a noodle shop or a laundrette?”

But few Chinese were as great at laundry as the hero Lei Feng, whose laundering exploits won him the acclaim of a nation and immortalised his name as a role model for all young Chinese citizens to follow.

Lei Feng was born to a family of poor peasants in Wangcheng district, Hunan Province, on December 18th 1940. His father died as the result of tripping over a small stick whilst running away from foreign tourists, and his mother committed suicide rather than have to smell the breath of the son of her landlord. The Communist Party then stepped in, and forcibly recruited the child soldier to the Red Army. His service in the Red Army was exemplary, and he described himself as “a revolutionary screw that never rusts”. Indeed, Lei Feng soon became famous throughout the Red Army as the best sock-washer that ever ran away from an enemy. Not only did he run away from a fight faster than any other soldier, he somehow always managed to find time to wash the feet of his fellow soldiers, darn their old socks, and study the works of the dictator Mao Zedong.

Tragically, Lei Feng died on August 15th, 1962, when his best friend drove a truck over him twice in “a complete accident, really it was, honestly he was like a brother to me, I have no idea how he became wrapped in barbed wire just before I accidentally stepped on the accelerator pedal, really”. The world that day lost the greatest washer of socks that humanity has ever known, and we will not see his like again.

Today, March 5th, is the day we remember that revolutionary hero, Lei Feng (seen here carrying washing for his fellow soldiers during some great Communist victory over the elected government of China)

Lei Feng – Revolutionary Sock Washer

Posted in China | 8 Comments »