The Manchu Prince (Flash Fiction #11)

Introduction: There's a little bit of history involved in this story. Currently there are about 10 million Manchu people and very rarely they speak the Manchurian language. Manchu are descendant of Jerchen people who in 1115 AD established Jin Dynasty, which was replaced over 100 years later by the Mongolians--my ancestors--who established Yuan Dynasty. Then in 1644, the Jerchen people rolled back to power and created Qing Dynasty. The movie "The Last Emperor" is about the last dynasty, which ended in 1911, and the subsequent period of feudal conflicts and the Japanese occupation. The last emperor's relatives scattered all over the world since then. 

“Do you know who that is? He’s the Manchu prince. People call him ‘Prince’.” Soo says. Every time Pammy and her husband Pan come to Flushing, New York, they will meet Soo and her husband Shing at the best dumpling house there. Half way through their lunch, Soo suddenly says that Prince is here and nobody should turn around to stare. Such a warning sounds more like a recommendation. So all three of Soo’s companions turn around and look at the figure.

“He’s tall but not handsome.” Pammy says.

“Pammy, you can never be a diplomat. For royalties, you can’t say not handsome. You have to say he looks distinctive.” Soo says.

“Oh, give me a break, will you? The Manchu court was the most backward and anti-progressive and corrupt. I can’t believe you speak so highly of them.” Pammy scowl.

“Pammy, I sold him his house very close to the College Point. He’s my client and I can’t speak ill of a client. He didn’t even negotiate the price.” Soo says.

“”He’s either rich or dumb.” Pammy says

“Or probably both. What’s his relationship to the last emperor?” Pan asks.

“His great grandfather is the emperor’s cousin. Do you know how nice a client he is? He came just once and closed the deal, unlike my other clients, for whom a real estate agent like me is their house searching slave.” Soo says.

“There must be dozens of princes just like him. Can we get on with our lunch? He’s no longer a prince. Because of their royal stupidity, they lost their dynasty and become common people like us now.” Pammy says.

“Oh, Pammy, they are not like you and me. They don’t work. Seriously. He can afford to wander his time away. The problem is you never know if they have money or not. He opened a restaurant ten years ago and that adventure was a failure. Then he started to help local politicians to get elected and that didn’t last long. Now I think he’s involved in antique trade. Every day at lunch, he would wander in various restaurants and people will invite him over.” Soo says.

“Are you saying he’s having free lunch this way?” Pammy says.

“Soo, ask him to come over. I’ve never had a meal with a prince before.” Pan says.

“Pan, what are you doing? I don’t want to have my lunch with a beggar prince. Soo, don’t call him.” Pammy says.

Before Soo can say or act, Prince has already spotted them and walks towards them.

“Be nice, Pammy.” Soo says.

16 thoughts on “The Manchu Prince (Flash Fiction #11)

    1. The poor deposed royals. They don’t work and they live on some small legacies–their life is idle but they also don’t have much purpose and skills. Well, I don’t want to be too hard on them since they are in person delightful chatty creatures. LOL.

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  1. I liked the phrase, “beggar prince.” He sounds like a high-class moocher but he might still be a nice, fun guy to be around which is why people put up with buying him lunch. Maybe Pammy will find him likable in spite of herself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right on the spot. Actually I met one or two of the wandering ex-royals and they are so charming. It’s a delight to talk with them. People like to chat with them and restaurant owners love to have them. LOL. Who would have thought deposed kings and princes can be such enchanting creatures? Maybe there should be more abdications just to make the world a better place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! There’s a lot I can say about this.

    I had no idea some people can still feel some reverence for the royal family. I used to watch a lot of Kung-fu movies and one common trope is the Han hero or a group of Han heroes fighting the “evil” Manchurian government. I don’t think I have ever seen a Chinese martial art film in which the Manchus were portrayed as the good guys.

    I also had no idea that a lot of the members of the royal family had any power, especially after Puyi was captured around 1949 and have been reeducated. I also figured the same happened with other members of the royal family. They get sent to camps and get indoctrinated to the New China way of things.

    I thought only the Soong and Kong families still retained any wealth and privilege from before 1911.

    Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is said there are many such royalties live in the U.S., probably just rumor. I met one or two myself. They are just the remnant of their former privileged self, but people always say that they have some hidden treasures. Probably just imaginations. People think they do antique trade. LOL. People love royalties, even deposed royals.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, there are plenty of royal descendants living here and elsewhere. I think one of the Vietnamese royal family lives in the Los Angeles or Paris. I met a couple of people from the last Korean royal family. One of them knew about his ancestry but really didn’t care.

        By the way, here is this documentary claiming that maybe the real UK royal family is living in Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsVzDf-KhXU

        It’s an amusing watch.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I never understood the fascination with royalty. This is the reason why we should make our decisions wisely. It doesn’t just affect us but the future generations as well.

    Liked by 2 people

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