First China Snapshots 回国初的散照


china 112511 – Images by xiaomei chen

(中文在英文下面)

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.”
刚回来,发现中国似乎总在快速地旋转,似乎大家都争分夺秒。

回来的第一天,的士司机不愿载我,让我非常困惑。当终于有一个司机愿意为我停车,我告诉他我的困惑。司机回答说:“把你行李搬上车然后搬下车会耽搁一、两分钟的时间。在这一、两分钟的时间,可能就会误了下一个客人。我们的竞争是争分夺秒的。”

“可是,也有可能客人没那么快出来,而你走得太快,那不也是误了一个客人?”

“嗯,那也是。但我们的竞争是争分夺秒的。”

我无语。他们不是唯一争分夺秒的人们。连我那退了休的母亲,都有一种紧迫感,老说时间不够用。

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