A day in the Summer of 1963, I went to Zhongnanhai’s laundry to fetch the Chairman’s clothes. The comrad at the laundry said the Chairman’s pajama is too old, can’t be washed, and is it time for new one? Few days later, I was eating with the Chairman. He was wearing the very pajama.
I said: “Chairman, time to change your pajama this year?”
The Chairman casually said: “The nation is going thru some difficulties, patching will do!”
I hushed a complaint: “But you’re the Chairman.”
“Oh, I’m the Chairman, Chairman’s closthes can’t be patched? Aren’t you wearing patched clothes?”
“Chairman, you and I are different.” I explained.
“How are we different, because I’m the Chairman? Aren’t I but one among the People?”
A friend recently visited Mao Zedong’s hometown, Shaoshan, during China’s national holiday week. One of the photo he took was a recount of conversation with Mao about his shabby pajama: