First China Snapshots 回国初的散照

china 112511 – Images by xiaomei chen


I find myself a stranger in my native land. I can hardly recognize the cities where I used to live for years. And it seems to me that everything is spinning and everyone is in a hurry. Strangers often turn away from me if I  ask them for directions. Even a bus driver refused to give me directions in Guangzhou. Later I learned from friends that on one in china should or could trust a stranger, as there are so many gimmicks out there. In China, any stranger could be a fraudster. They themselves also try to avoid strangers.

On my first day home, I had great difficulty getting a taxi, even though they were obviously empty and the drivers were looking for passengers. When  a taxi finally stopped for me, I asked the driver, “why those people wouldn’t give me a ride even though there are vacancies?”

“Well, you have too much luggage. Helping you load and unload the luggage would take one or two minutes. It is possible that in those two minutes, we would miss next customer. You know, our competition is by second.” He replied.

“Well, isn’t it possible that you could also miss a customer by passing by too soon? ”

“That could happen, too. But our competition is intense and we compete by seconds.”





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