The social outcast
My primary school PS #2 中关村二小 is located on the strategic junction of Zhongguancun Road (中关村路， 北四环西路), Haidian Lu that lays in front of Beijing University and continues west toward the Summer Palace, and Baishiqiao Lu (now changed to BaiYi) where Bus #332 runs. It was the only road from the city to the Summer Palace. And President Nixon was in town, Feb 1972.
If I remembered him right, his name was 李德胜 Li the Moral Victory, a classmate of mine at ZGC PS #2. Our school was created to accommodate CSA employees but there was a tiny population from elsewhere near by, such as Lanqiying 蓝旗营.
Ying 营 carries a rough, and military connotation. Indeed according to this Baike entry, it was a royal guards battalion/barrack. Although ghetto hadn’t exit in our dictionary but Lanqiying might well be the first one. I don’t think that I’ve ever visited it nor did I know what their parents do. Li stood out among the minority in our class. He was massive, tall and huge. He had uneven teeth. He limped. His grades were always ranked first or second at the bottom.
The Summer Palace is a destination that every head of state would be taken to. During President Nixon’s visit, because our school’s location Li he was ordered to stay home for a few days because of his less stellar performance and appearance. Although our school was never on the agenda but the administration decided to play safe, hide the undesirables, just in case the American President
and his entourage wanted to stop by for a chat or cup of tea.
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