Torbjörn Lodén


Prof. Torbjörn Lodén’s Oral History

Quote from Prof. Torbjörn Lodén’s oral history interview

Perhaps you know the old main railway station and the old legation quarters not far from Tian’anmen Square. There was a hotel called Xinqiao hotel, where I was staying. The morning after I had arrived, I decided to go out for a walk. The streets were rather empty in the late morning. I could see two young boys on the other side of the street. I caught their attention and I could see how they started to whisper to each other. Suddenly I could hear the one of them say to the other: “Look an Albanian” (看看! 阿爾巴尼亞人!). They thought I was Albanian. Now afterwards this seems very interesting, doesn’t it? I mean today I suppose nobody in China would assume an unknown European person to be Albanian, but in those days it was different. Albania was a very important ally of China, and one could read about Albania every day in the newspapers. They didn’t think I was American or British or German or French, but Albanian, isn’t that funny?