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

Here are three ways Africa’s youth are defeating corruption

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into PPC’s behaviour in the Greek wholesale electricity market

European Commission kicks off major EU trade policy review

A Brussels antithesis reveals where the EU is heading

Global public-private collaboration tackles cybersecurity skills gap

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

How should cities prepare for self-driving cars? Here’s a roadmap

In Washington D.C., Guterres signs pact with World Bank, meets US President Trump

More than 90% of the world’s children are breathing toxic air

How to make PHC a favourable career choice for medical students: Strategies and reflections

Ground-breaking clean air protocol to guard human health and the planet, enters into force

‘Water-forecasting’ and fish farms fed on waste: how innovation is driving the blue economy

Historic first, as Tolstoy’s War and Peace lands in Geneva, to mark international centenary

10 reasons why today’s cyber leaders are tomorrow’s world leaders

Terror attacks strike people ‘from all walks of life, the UN included’

EU Parliament approves CETA: the EU-Canada free trade deal sees the light in Trump’s gloomy era

Algorithms could give the world its first ‘born digital’ free trade agreement in Africa

Sudan military committed to ‘ensuring stability’ and ‘peaceful transition’ says senior diplomat, as UN rights chief appeals for protesters’ rights to be upheld

UN rights expert ‘strongly recommends’ probe by International Criminal Court into ‘decades of crimes’ in Myanmar

EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force

The EU patent space and Unified Court are born

JADE May Meeting last call for participants – join us in Zagreb

Meeting of top scientists underway to slow coronavirus spread

Impacts of COVID-19: lessons and strategies for the future

Veteran public official from Portugal elected to lead UN migration agency

Twenty days that may remold the future of Europe

EU approves disbursement of €500 million in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine

Commission to decide definitely on genetically modified Maize 1507 seed

Migration surge leaves children stranded, begging on Djibouti’s streets

UN police officer recognized for protecting vulnerable Somali women from abuse

UN Human Rights Council stands firm on LGBTI violence, Syria detainees and Philippines ‘war on drugs’

EU Cohesion policy: Commission and EBRD promote innovative use of data in public procurement involving EU funds

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

How can impact investors balance the green energy equation?

The Europeans back Russia-Turkey on Syria: A ‘Waterloo’ for Saudis and their Crown Prince

We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now

Preventing the Pandemic of Mental Illness

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

The Indian case: health policies need to keep pace with public health literacy

Has the EU economy truly revived from the financial crisis?

EU’s judicial cooperation arm, Eurojust, to become more effective with new rules

Re-open EU: Commission launches a website to safely resume travelling and tourism in the EU

International co-operation vital to improve integration of refugees

This new form of currency could transform the way we see money

Palliative Care: Medicine for the “Moribund”?

Lithuania finds the ways to maintain its energy security

European platform to combat homelessness is launched

UN gears up emergency food aid for hurricane-struck region of Bahamas, as death toll rises

European Agenda on Migration: Still fragile situation gives no cause for complacency

How Hawaii plans to be the first US state to run entirely on clean energy

Fairer food supply chain: Agriculture MEPs clamp down on unfair trading

The Free World Experience Report – LGBTQI+ health on the spot

GSMA announces new keynote speakers for 2018 Mobile World Congress

How impact finance can alleviate COVID-19’s economic symptoms

The result of European Elections 2019 seals the end of the business as usual era in Brussels

How to plan your company’s future during the pandemic

UN agencies ramp up Somalia measles and polio campaign

Building a Climate-Resilient Future – A new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change

Syria: Thousands of children ‘hemmed in’ by ‘brutal and gratuitous’ spike in violence

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