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.
Baike: 清雍正二年(1724年)世宗胤禛为了加强圆明园及途中来往的安全,从京城八旗护军营抽5700人、内务府三旗护军300人,组成圆明园八旗护军。其中正蓝旗营房驻保福寺北,翼卫宏居。1983年2月首次拆迁蓝旗营北侧,建清华大学教职工住宅。1996年第二次拆迁蓝旗营,建北京大学、清华大学教师住宅小区,2000年底竣工。

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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