22/4/20052nd WeekSAILING WITH CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS EssayFirst of all, I found many holes about the account of Zheng He and the reasons I want to point out about why I don’t want to travel with Zheng He are as follows.
Zheng He’s ships of 300 and 28000 men are far too large a number to be traveling and his ships are as big as 400 feet which is over 100 meter in length. I wonder how can a fleet of ships as large as that had traveled by sea to other countries of Africa and not make history in other parts of the country even if its history was wiped out in China. We must view the text with the skeptical eye. The author, Nicholas D. Kristof, is married to a Chinese woman and maybe he was trying to tweak the reader for amusement.
He may have much love of Chinese culture since he is married to one. The author got to the island of Pate and in that island where once Chinese people once have landed, every old men and women of Pate did not know the story of Chinese sailors shipwrecked on the island but the only chief, Bwana Mkuu Al-Bauri, only knew it but he could not show any evidence of it. That gives us doubt on the validity of the data because the news of the arrival of Nicholas might have already reached the chief and so he decided to tell what the foreigner wanted to hear. From the passage “No ancient Chinese characters have ever turned up on the island, and there are no Chinese accounts of an African shipwreck”I very much agreed with Mr. Jim Gyuyot that the author seemed to be emotional attached to his research due to his choice of words that he was overjoyed to find the story from the chief.
And also the sentence hints the author feeling to mystify the reader with what if’ in the last sentence “So consider just once: This magazine would have been published in Chinese” is a bit far-fetched. The funny thing is History does not work like that. There are things like luck and misfortunes. The nature also balances our world. It’s karma in Buddhism. When one thing is becoming powerful, some unknown force just popped up to balance the nature such as the extinction of Dinosaurs, The Nazi and the empire of the sun and such.
I like to travel with Christopher Columbus because he made more progress in a few months. Yes, he did exaggerated some facts about the things he saw but on the intention of further sponsoring aid from the King and the Queen of Spain. He needed that money whereas Zheng He already had a lot of money from the bribe and corruptions and he did not have to worry about the financial matter. Christopher’s letter is justified based on the ground that he was traveling on a tight budget. Another reason I want to travel with Christopher was the support he got from his country.
Even Buddha can not become the The unrivaled Lord without some support. Chinese at that time were ignorant and conceited, which is said in the passage “Chinese elites regarded their country as the “Middle Kingdom” and believed they had nothing to learn from the barbarians abroad. India much of the same self-satisfaction. “India did not go to Portugal because it could not but because it did not want to”” I want to live in a culture which is open-minded, outward-looking and willing to accept new ideas and willing to accumulate new talents instead of achieving and forgetting it.
Yes, ignorance and the tendency to take everything for granted bring very huge civilization such as China and the Roman Empire and such “European countries committed suicide selectively. So when Portugal slipped into the quasi-Chinese mind-set in the sixteenth century, slaughtering Jews and burning heretics and driving astronomers and scientists abroad, Holland and England were free to take up the slack.” What I think is, yes, Asia was once an unbeatable empire but they lacked the will to exploit the mind and move from the agricultural to industrial age.That was its one of the wrong choices .