Marco Polo’s Dream

Written by Sandor, HU

China UNlimited___
The night was dragging on very slowly in the prison cell, after the day’s interrogation Marco Polo couldn’t sleep. „To accuse me that I made up everything about that wonderful country, China, about the people there, the richness of the land, their likable and useful products, the colourful charade of their clothes, the nicely shaped roofs of the pagodas! How can one make up things like that? Where would those pictures come to one’s head with all the details? Was it worth to withstand the storm of the seas, endless journeys through deserts, attacks of marauders, difficulties and after all of that to get only dishonourable doubts about my words instead of appreciation of my deeds?”

Later, he even didn’t notice, his eyes closed, and a dream immediately grabbed him away. There was everything in full lights when he stepped out to the streets of Venice. Big crowds of people everywhere, whirling around in carnival mood, the gondolier were singing joyfully, so Marco Polo’s dress didn’t’ invite any attention.
MARCO POLO, he noticed his name in a fancy travel shop window: at the posters there big crowds of European and Chinese people walked on the Great Wall. „My God, how is it possible? On the Great Wall? A trip to China under my name? He took his time to browse about all the travelling possibilities: to the gardens of Hangzhou and Suzhou, the skyscrapers in Shanghai. On the pictures smiling Chinese crowds encircled foreign children, European tourists with their T-shirts inscribed in Italian, French, German, Hungarian and English, were buying souvenirs at crowded street markets.

Pressing himself to the wall he gave way to a Chinese tourist group walking by chit-chatting joyfully. „What happened? Did we move to China and them to us?” He realized that a nice smell was reaching his nostrils, his mouth moistened, while he remembered the delicious meals what had been served during his stay in the Chengde summer residence of the Emperor. Going around the next corner he indeed noticed a small restaurant, under the pompous name „Imperial Delicacies” with Chinese employees, red lanterns, carved dragons inside of it. „Do you realize who I am?” The stunned waiters looked at him flabbergasted when he told his name. „And I am even acquainted with your Emperor.” The Chinese waiters met this declaration with a big laugh, they friendly pushed his shoulder, than forced him to sit down and served him a big bowl of hot and sour soup. During his walk he discovered many Chinese goods in the numerous small shops. At the same time he could see many glossy advertisements, shot in Beijing, Guangzhou, Xian or at many other locations in China showing European cars, computers, refrigerators, cognacs or the offers from different air companies.

It was the first time for him to see airplanes, cars, or the Shanghai magnetic railway on those glossy photos, and although he didn’t understand anything about them he realized that with the help of those miraculous machines the people can get everywhere very fast. „Distance, glass marble of the skies, you will achieve in all your ways”. He read the words of a Hungarian poet in a bookshop window. It is not necessary any more to travel half a year with caravans on the Silk Road it seemed to him very obvious. And what if he would take a trip to China again in one of those flying machines? If only he had money, he would not hesitate a moment! What can one do, without money one couldn’t get far in his days, and this is not different in that new world.
On the wall of an old, but nicely reconstructed building he could see a shiny copper table: Chinese language courses for beginners and advanced learners. Marco Polo entered the building through its ancient door and he found himself in a big hall. There were sitting about fifty people, old, mid-aged and young, following with attention the explanations of the Chinese teacher. The teacher addressed herself to the stranger. Ni hao! Marco Polo understood the greeting and he returned it in Chinese.

The key was turning loudly in the lock, the door opened with a noise; the prison guard came in stamping on the ground heavily. Marco Polo looked up yet half asleep at the unfriendly appearance, he was squeezing his eyes, for a moment he didn’t realize where he was. „Oh, that was only a dream.”

The prison guard took him out from the cell, and groaned on him roughly. Go! You better pretend to be alive!
„So I saw a dream. But what a dream! Better to name it not a dream, but a journey to the future, which was never done by anyone before me. And yes, I indeed saw China, bowed my head in front of The Emperor. I created the possibility of future trade between my homeland and China, that far away empire. And I could see in my dream that in the future wonderful things will happen, we Europeans and the Chinese will travel to each other easily. As the mutual trade and knowledge about each other will grow, the mutual respect and understanding will expand as well.”
Marco Polo straightened himself, he felt growing determination inside himself, and a faint smile appeared in the corners of his mouth as he listened to the hard voice of the investigator.

Accused Marco Polo, you are facing serious accusations. In case of an honest confession, revealing your lies, you still can turn around your fate. So what will it be, accused? Will you withdraw your statements about that alleged journey to that so called China?

The traveller stood erect and looked straight into the eyes of the investigator: I shall not withdraw anything from what I said. Everything had happened exactly in the way as I recounted them for you. I shall not change even a word in my confession. Europe and China will meet in the future.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The ECB tells Berlin that a Germanic Eurozone is unacceptable and doesn’t work

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

These technologies are playing a major role at the Cricket World Cup

Stolen colonial-era objects will be ‘unconditionally’ returned, says the Netherlands

MEPs call on Russia to stop illegitimate prosecution of Lithuanian judges

Climate emergency: City mayors are ‘world’s first responders’, says UN chief

New poll shows what people think coronavirus will do to their economies

The four top Americans who flew to Europe perplexed things about Trump’s intentions

2019 ‘a critical year’ for Somali politics and development says Security Council

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2018: efforts are paying off, but improvements still needed

Hungary: people born in the 2020s won’t have legal rights any more to buy tobacco

From books to bikes: 4 unexpected gender gaps

Medicines from the sky: how drones can save lives

Unity, regional cooperation and international support needed for Horn of Africa to develop sustainably

2019 European Elections gets backing from professional footballers

Natural hazards don’t always spell disaster: UN risk reduction chief

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

Can the EU afford a trade war with China?

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

Metrics of the Sustainable Developments Goals: Can we trust our data?

Coding in Namibia: UN supports young women’s computing career dreams

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

3 ways digitalization will help end crime

Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

Talent, not technology, is the key to success in a digital future

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

UN Envoy urges Burundi leaders to ‘seize opportunities for national unity and peace’

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

Belgium: keep up reforms to increase employment and productivity growth

Ebola not an international ‘health emergency’ but risks spreading across DR Congo border, warns UN health agency

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

Commission considers anti-dumping duty on Chinese solar glass imports

3 ways sustainable supply chains can build better business in a post-COVID world

Commission issues guidance on the participation of third country bidders in the EU procurement market

How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

Davos on Climate Change: citizens demanding more actions while CEOs tried to balance profit with sustainability

UN ‘determined to lead by example’ on disability rights: Guterres

3 reasons why consumer demand matters for the post-COVID-19 recovery

Service Engineer Intern – 1991

This is why many young people have no access to proper education

This man is installing 100 trash barriers in Bali’s rivers to stop plastic pollution

FROM THE FIELD: Weeding out Mexico’s unwanted beach invader

Infrastructural and system barriers to Universal Health Coverage: get in my patient’s shoes

This Kenyan company makes fuel from human poo

We must move from egocentric to ecocentric leadership to safeguard our planet

Ukraine turns again to the EU for more money

The Greta effect? Why businesses are more committed to climate action in 2020

World Maritime Day: Commissioner Vălean calls for support and safe return of seafarers

FROM THE FIELD: South Sudan’s green shoots, highlight environmental recovery from war

Why the way of loving closes doors of health?

3 things to know about our Sustainable Development Impact Summit

After this year’s Climate Action Summit, what happens next?

EU Court of Justice invalidates Safe Harbour and the game for thousands US businesses suddenly changes

How tech can lead reskilling in the age of automation

The European Union continues to lead the global fight against climate change

Britain declares trade war on mainland Europe

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s