Chinese Language

Proverbs | 18

Tong chuang yi meng : Same bed, different dreams

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Zhong wen

Same bed, different dreams
同床异梦

At the moment [This article was written in 1988] we have a so-called 'cohabitation government' in France, with a Socialist president and a Conservative premier sharing the conjugal bed. We Chinese would not hesitate to call it the 'same-bed-different-dreams government'. Over here in Britain, the political marriage of convenience between two strange bedfellows, David Steel and David Owen, is another shining example, with the two Davids wedlocked in the bed of Alliance, dreaming their different dreams.

The other two parties are not in a position to call the kettle black either. We have the drys versus the wets in the Tory bed of nails, and the red roses versus the red flags in the Labour bed of roses. The fun is, although we all have to lie in the beds we have made, we are quite free to dream our own sweet dreams. Long live 'Tong chuang yi meng'!

© Copyright Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) 2006 reprinted from SACU's China Now 126, Page 31, September 1988

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