Out of the Well: A Frogs-Eye-View of China and the World

Random Jottings on China, History, Culture, and Life as seen by an American student in Beijing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Peter Weiss

Yesterday the world lost a truly unique man, Peter Weiss. I did not know him as well as some, but I was proud to think of him as a friend. He was the father of a dear dear friend, and he left us to soon. While I met peter on several occasions, I really got to know him when he and his family adopted me for a week when we were both in Beijing last summer. Peter put me up in a hotel, fed me every meal, and took me to climb the great wall of china. My week with the Weiss's let me get to know several sides of Peter. I met the Peter Weiss who was a respected lawyer. I saw this Peter grin proudly when he was publicly singled out by the Chinese Minister of Technology and information at a banquet following a conference he was attending. I got to know Peter Weiss the devout Buddhist, when we visited many of Beijing's famous temples. Mostly I will remember the Peter Weiss who gleefully jumped out of a van to talk to some bee farmers on the side of the road.

We were coming back from climbing the great wall when Peter saw some bee keepers living in a tent on the side of the road. After getting me to stop the driver we got out, and peter began pantomiming to them that he too had once been a Bee Keeper. I do not know if they understood him, in fact I am pretty sure they were nothing but confused by him, but they could tell he was trying to tell them something nice, and that he was a good person. He climbed back in the van with a water bottle full of unrefined honey, which they had decided to give him. I can still see him smiling ear to ear.

Goodbye Peter. I wish I had gotten to know you better. I hope everything is better wherever you are now.


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