My grandfather's Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

Bumps | 颠簸

Frightened, 2015.5.12 | 《害怕》

Frightened, 2015.5.12 | 《害怕》

 

“Little shit, useless! Little shit, useless!”

My father would shout this when he beat me with a dustpan – my earliest memory. He hated me being born as a dwarf, particularly a female one. He didn’t stop beating me until one day he almost beat my mother to death.

 

Patriarchy, 2015.5.20 | 《父权社会》

Patriarchy, 2015.5.20 | 《父权社会》

 

Influenced by such violence in a patriarchal family, where all parents favored a boy over a girl, my brother also liked bullying me. He learned to beat me till one day he was scared when he cut my forearm deep with a scar.

 

Scar, 2015.7.9 | 《伤痕》

Scar, 2015.7.9 | 《伤痕》

The Scar, 2019.10.19 | 《那道疤痕》

The Scar, 2019.10.19 | 《那道疤痕》

 

Years of my mother staying unwell in bed gave me more chance to do farm work, housework and take care of two young sisters. And that somehow made me useful in my father’s eye.

 

Family, 2015.5.13 | 《家庭》

Family, 2015.5.13 | 《家庭》

 

When mother got better, I started school at ten. Things were fine till Grade Five when my Chinese teacher doubted my writing, “Have you copied this from an Essay Book?” I said no. He then left a striking red mark: Whether or not you have cribbed your article off a book, you know the best! 

 

Vulnerability, 2015.5.12 | 《脆弱》

Vulnerability, 2015.5.12 | 《脆弱》

 

My private Shenzhen library built from a dormitory window that liked receiving wind and rain uninvited, 2013.9 | 《我的深圳私人藏书屋》

My private Shenzhen library built from a dormitory window that liked receiving wind and rain uninvited, 2013.9 | 《我的深圳私人藏书屋》

 

The irony was that I didn’t even have a book. To prove myself, I insisted on joining a writing competition, which no one believed I should. In the end I won First Prize in the whole district. I thought that would make people look at me differently, but it didn’t. Their silence was confusing.

 

Confusion, 2015.4.17 | 《困惑》

Confusion, 2015.4.17 | 《困惑》

 

Nonetheless, I kept studying hard and being a good student. This didn’t change until a kidney stone that almost needed surgery in high school made me start wondering: What was the point of being good? What had good writing done for me? Why should I meet an expectation that was not mine? Why not just listen to myself?

 

Be Wild, 2015.3.18 | 《自然野》

Be Wild, 2015.3.18 | 《自然野》

 

Therefore I half listened to my father about becoming a teacher. But behind his back I chose Hainan Island for my college life. This was strongly against his wishes because it was too far away. For days, he didn’t sleep or eat much. At last, he gave me a thick roll of thirty-eight hundred cash and told me with red wet eyes, “This is all I have. Don’t come home until you can afford it.”

Father, 2015.4.25 | 《父亲》

Father, 2015.4.25 | 《父亲》

 

I assured him, “Don’t worry. The school offers a five-thousand loan every year.” 

But I could never tell him that the loan was a lie. How could I?

 

My grandfather's Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

My grandfather’s Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

 

Owing half my tuition fees, I had to constantly take different part-time jobs. Yet my salary was never enough to pay off my debt. When the time came to register for the second year, the administrator refused me unless I paid off everything. Accordingly I showed him these two things: “Look, this is my grandfather’s medal awarded from the Korea War and his Military Certificate authorized by the renowned General Chen Yi. It clearly says, His family get preferential treatment.”

 

My grandfather's Military Certificate, 1951 | 《爷爷的革命军人证明书:司令员 陈毅》

My grandfather’s Military Certificate, 1951 | 《爷爷的革命军人证明书:司令员 陈毅》

 

“Is he still alive?” He sneered.

“No… please!” I suddenly knelt down. “My grandfather had fought many wars and sacrificed a lot. He had become crippled and deaf, and almost been killed on the battlefield. His greatest wish was to see me graduate from college.”

“Your grandpa is dead. What’s the use of all this?”

 

Sob, 2015.7.7 | 《哭诉》

Sob, 2015.7.7 | 《哭诉》

 

I got up slowly, pulling myself together. I began to make phone calls and borrow money. This made me sick. When I asked for a raise after three years of working for my first company, the boss killed me as a chicken to scare the monkey. And later in the second company, I found my basic salary had been underpaid for six months. What the hell made people do that to me?

 

Mankind, 2015.5.6 | 《人》

Mankind, 2015.5.6 | 《人》

 

Unhesitatingly I quit my full-time job to chase my writing dream. Had I not been framed by a world where the colors are drawn by child abuse, sexist bullies, social suspicions and human unkindness, would I struggle even now to tell the bumps of my life stories? 

 

A Framed Life, 2015.7.11 | 《一个被设限的生命》

A Framed Life, 2015.7.11 | 《一个被设限的生命》

 

I’m not going to ask ‘Why me?’. Because it is not just me. It is a bunch of mes. But what bumps do you have and what impacts do they have on you?

 

Hope, 2015.7.5 | 《希望》

Hope, 2015.7.5 | 《希望》

 

捕获

 

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—Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club Still Drives Me Crazy, 2019.10.19 | 《上海头马依旧让我痴狂

 

Related article:Transformations

Last article 上一篇:  Going Abroad For The First Time

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Note: To build a mutual Literature & Art community, Heather has now opened her personal channel (WeChat ID: Heather69) to her friends, who are following HeathersChamber. No cheaters!
备注由于时间和精力有限,为了建立一个互敬互惠的文学艺术圈子,阿太特向已关注此公众号的朋友们分享她的个人微信号:Heather69 。骗子勿扰!

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Heather Cover

Heather Cai is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently working for Shanghai Taichi Center.

希瑟·蔡太莲是福建一个自给自足稻农的女儿。她作为穷人的穷人之一,讲述的故事来自最底层的仰望。她写就她的梦想与世界分享一些个人独特的亲身经历。她完成了两本英文文学小说,喜欢收集树叶、书本、影碟、贝壳和剪报,向往各种自然美。目前在上海从事太极文化行业,也在努力打造“阿太的密室”,集文学、艺术、文化、哲学和世界女性于一体的个人公共服务平台。

Copyright © 2019-2020 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者蔡太莲所有

---"The Ring of a Decade", Shanghai, 2019.12 | 《圈里圈外》摄于上海

Only a Decade

---"The Ring of a Decade", Shanghai, 2019.12 | 《圈里圈外》摄于上海

—“The Ring of a Decade”, Shanghai, 2019.12 | 《圈里圈外》摄于上海

 

“You are too short to teach.”

 

---"The View in a Classroom", Shanghai, 2019.10 | 《教室一隅》摄于上海

—“The View in a Classroom”, Shanghai, 2019.10 | 《教室一隅》摄于上海

 

A tall interviewer called me off the stage when I had just given my name. He gestured at me as if he was giving the death penalty. Teaching was the only iron rice bowl that would fit my circumstances. Now what was I supposed to do?

 

---"Teaching Kids Chess", Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》樊老师摄于上海

—“Teaching Kids Chess”, Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》樊老师摄于上海

 

Days before the 2009 Spring Festival, I desperately paid an agent who guaranteed me a teaching job. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, I took a smelly night train from Hainan to Guangzhou. It was a nightmare. I slept standing against a strange shoulder in the crowd without any awareness. Everyone was leaning against each other, except those who could afford a seat.

 

---"Teaching Kids Chess", Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》樊老师摄于上海

—“Teaching Kids Chess”, Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》樊老师摄于上海

 

The nightmare worsened when I arrived at a suburban dormitory provided by the agency. There were twelve bunk beds in a room and twelve people shared the same shower with a single toilet. Two days later, the toilet blocked. The shitty water ran all over the place. It smelled really good. No plumber would come till after the Spring Festival. Thus the daily instant noodles had no smell.

 

---"Teaching Kids Chess", Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》朱老师摄于上海

—“Teaching Kids Chess”, Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》朱老师摄于上海

 

This pushed me to get a job sooner. But they all rejected me for the same reason – my small size and my weak appearance. Not until one month later did I find a school that was calling for half-pay volunteers. I took it immediately.

 

---"Watching Sunset", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《看日落》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Watching Sunset”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《看日落》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

The school was the Migrant Workers’ Children School in Shantou City. It looked like a small factory, but it had a nice cozy feel. There were seven classrooms for seven grades of students. All desks and chairs were blue plastic. All teachers were either retired or fresh graduates. At 5pm every day, we would each carry a bucket of hot water to the toilet and together stand on the squat for a quick shower. Of course, the sexes were separate.

 

---"Observing Series I", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列一》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Observing Series I”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列一》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

During the first week, two school buses took us to the three main areas where most of the workers lived. We gave them handouts like a communist would hold a farmer’s hands in the Mao era. There was a fascination in that, on the bus, I was reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and, off the bus, I was experiencing a meditative moment of walking into the irregularly shabby tents that were home to them. Especially the moment when a woman bent over the waste digging gold with her face covered by flies.

 

---"Observing Series II", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列二》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Observing Series II”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列二》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

This sight motivated me to teach more responsibly and to seek more diversities in life. I noticed that the parents smiled often and the children were happy. I found my students’ neat resonant reading voices tranquilly peaceful. I was totally drawn by these books in Chinese: The Interpretation of Dreams and The Second Sex. Meantime I focused my weekends on writing my Chinese novel – An Oasis in Wasteland.

 

---"Observing Series III", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列三》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Observing Series III”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列三》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

Life then was fulfilled with originality and simplicity. I had such complete satisfaction that I felt no ending was needed by my Chinese novel. It was a perfect year of teaching. The perfection nurtured me as an oasis of spirituality. I was inspired to experience more.

 

---"Observing Series IV", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列四》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Observing Series IV”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列四》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

Therefore I moved to Shenzhen, working in sales till I quit to write two English novels within four years. I then came to Shanghai out of curiosity and tried to sell insurance. I stumbled into the art world.

 

---"To Be Remembered", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《学生留念》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“To Be Remembered”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《学生留念》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

However, my family claimed that I was absolutely wrong. They repeated it during my August family trip morning, noon and night. Their biting criticisms almost crushed me. I had to compromise with the idea of returning to education. Actually it felt more like the sand in my hourglass was running out and it was time to start over.

 

---"To Be Remembered", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《学生留念》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“To Be Remembered”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《学生留念》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

Now I’m officially working for New Stage English and teaching international chess at different international schools. Because of this job, I have seen remote parts of Shanghai that I would never have visited.

 

---"I Love China", Shanghai, 2019.12.25 | 《我爱中国》摄于上海青浦世外国际幼儿园

—“I Love China”, Shanghai, 2019.12.25 | 《我爱中国》摄于上海青浦世外国际幼儿园

 

All this happened from 2009 to 2019. It is only a decade. Only a circle. How would you like to begin a new life, if you happen to be at the starting line?

 

WeChat Image_20191229104559

 

Last article 上一篇: Our Pressures | 我们的压力

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently teaching kids chess in Shanghai.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者蔡太莲所有!


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

qrcode_for_gh_1231092a6fe5_430 (1)wps图片

---"Inclusion or Exclusion", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡

Our Pressures | 我们的压力

00

— All PPT images from Bing, | 所有PPT图片来自网络

 

What is Pecha Kucha?

Pecha Kucha, “the sound of conversation” or “chit-chat” in Japanese, is a visual presentation style with automatically changing slides for 20 seconds each. It started in Tokyo in 2003, designed by architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham. In a similar way to a Haiku poem, Pecha Kucha forces the creator to creatively arrange their message within a strict form. And such creativity often produces amazing results. —(Bing)

 

什么是Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha 即“喋喋不休”或“闲聊”。2003年始创于日本东京,由建筑师Astrid Klein 和 Mark Dytham联合设计。它是一种快节奏的视觉呈现方式,演讲者给观众展示自动播放的幻灯片,每幅图仅有20秒的解说时间。类似俳句,Pecha Kucha迫使演讲者在严格把控的形式上创造性地去组织传递信息。这种创造力通常会产生惊人的结果。

 

WeChat Image_20191215091337

 

Why are we talking about something that has nothing to do with our pressures? Because pressure is something tense, but presenting it in Pecha Kucha style was fun. I did it in Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club on August 28th, 2019.
为什么我们要谈论这个Pecha Kucha与压力无关的东西?因为压力让人精神紧绷,但用Pecha Kucha的方式来解说压力就感觉有趣多了。2019年8月28日,我在上海头马演讲舞台上体验过。
1
This month (August) my family told me that chasing my writing dream is a shame and a sin. My mother cried when my father said working for art is washing the toilet. Their voices still echo in my ears, and I began to sink into the black sea of life pressure, work pressure and peer pressure.

这个月(八月份),我家人告诉我追逐写作梦想是一种耻辱和罪孽。当我父亲说创作艺术就是洗厕所时,我母亲哭了。他们的声音还在我耳边回荡,我开始沉入生活压力、工作压力和同辈压力的一片黑暗海洋。

 

2

 

Living alone in the magic city of Shanghai, with a fast-paced lifestyle, daily crowds and monthly bills, it is unavoidable to face some difficult problems. Don’t you agree? For me, I often feel time is a knife pointing at my back, and I have to struggle to survive.

独自生活在上海大魔都,每天面对超快节奏的生活方式、拥挤的人潮和每月的账单,是不是让人喘不过气来?时间就像一把刀,老顶着我的背,我必须挣扎才能生存。

 

3

 

Almost every day during my last family trip, my parents, uncles and aunts would repeat the same thing. “You will end up begging on the street if you keep writing.” Can you imagine the horror in their eyes? 

上次与家人度假期间,几乎每天,我的家人亲戚都会重复同样的事情。”如果你继续写下去,你就会落败街头乞讨。” 能想象他们眼中的恐惧吗?

 

4

 

“Everyone is getting married. Why not you?” my family asked a million times. I kept silent. They have social pressure from the folks around them. They invited several each day for lunch or dinner, and they talked about me. The more they talked, the more face my family lost, and the more peer pressure they had.

“所有人都结婚了,为什么你还没有?” 我家人问了千万遍。我沉默不语。他们要面对周围的人给他们带来的社会压力。他们每天都邀请不同的人来家里做客吃饭,而我成了他们餐桌上必聊的那道菜。他们聊的越多,我家人感觉越丢脸,所面临的同辈压力也越大。

 

5

 

A Peer Group is a social group whose members have interests, social positions, and age in common. Peer Pressure is the influence exerted by a peer group, encouraging individuals to change their attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. —(Bing)

同龄群体是一个有着共同年龄、兴趣和身份的社会群体。同辈压力是指同龄群体给个体施加的影响,鼓励个人改变自己的行为、态度或价值观,以符合团体规范。

 

6

 

Well, peer pressure might influence you in a number of ways, including fashion choices, alcohol and drug use, decisions to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, choice of who your friends can be, and your daily life. Which one has affected you?

其实,同辈压力可能会影响你的方方面面,包括时尚选择、酗酒、吸毒、找对象、交朋友,以及你的日常生活。哪一个影响你最深?

 

7

 

Now we know people who give in to peer pressure often become psychologically weak. How to resist then? Two ways: build a positive self-image and learn to say “NO”. Don’t follow your friends blindly. Be inspired and inspire others.
 

既然我们已经知道,屈服于同辈压力的人往往在心理上变得软弱。那怎么抵抗呢?有两种方法:树立积极的自我形象,学会说“不”。不要盲目地跟随你的朋友。激发自己,激励他人。

 

8

 

I live for writing. I enjoy traveling. I like socializing and fashion. I like being independent and curious. I like pleasing myself. I might even like the pain of giving birth to a baby. But I never like following others or copying their lives. I wonder if the more you fight, the more peer pressure you would face?

我喜欢写作、旅行、社交、时尚和独立。我喜欢新鲜事物。我喜欢取悦自己。我甚至可能喜欢生孩子的痛。但我从来不喜欢跟随别人或照搬他们的生活。我纳闷是不是人越抵抗挣扎,面临的同辈压力就越大?

 

9

 

With peer pressure or social pressure, how to balance life and work? Do you plan ahead? Do you keep a journal to reduce your stress? Do you have the courage to chase your dream job and your dream life? Or are you sacrificing your time for something you don’t really want?

面对同辈压力和社会压力,如何平衡工作与生活?你有提前计划吗?你有写日记来减压吗?你有勇气追求你的理想工作和你的理想生活吗?还是在为那些你完全不想要的牺牲你宝贵的时间?

 

10

 

If you are stressed, what would you normally do? Would you first take care of yourself? Would you be adaptable and flexible, like bamboo – bending but not breaking? Now circumstances tell me to become a teacher again, but this only makes me work harder on my dreams.

如果有压力,你通常会做什么?你会先照顾好自己吗?你会像竹子一样灵活适应吗?现在处境告诉我不得不回归教育,但这只会让我更加努力地去追求梦想。

 

11

 

Pressure is a force. If we can handle our pressures properly, we can turn them into a good force. As Yuda said, “May the force be with you!” And be yourself! Don’t change but embrace all the pressures. So the right people will like the real you.

压力是一种外在驱使的力量。如果我们能妥善面对我们的压力,我们就能把压力变成一股好的力量。就像Yuda说的,“愿你的力量与你同在!” 做你自己!不要改变!拥抱所有的压力,对的人会喜欢那个真正的你。

 

---"Inclusion or Exclusion", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡

—“Inclusion or Exclusion”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡

 

Note: To build a mutual Literature & Art community, Heather has now opened her personal channel (WeChat ID: Heather69) to her friends, who are following HeathersChamber. No cheaters!

备注由于时间和精力有限,为了建立一个互敬互惠的文学艺术圈子,阿太特向已关注此公众号的朋友们分享她的个人微信号:Heather69 。骗子勿扰!

Last article 上一篇:  How Can Art Be Healing | 艺术如何疗愈

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently teaching kids chess in Shanghai.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者蔡太莲所有!


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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Ashamed or Proud? | 羞耻还是自豪?

---"Ashamed or Proud?", Malaysia, 2015.2 | 《羞耻还是自豪》摄于马来西亚

—“Ashamed or Proud?”, Malaysia, 2015.2 | 《羞耻还是自豪》摄于马来西亚

 

Why would we feel ashamed when we haven’t done anything wrong? For being poor? For being born in a poor family? For being born a tiny creature in a poor family? 
我们没有做错事,为什么会感到羞耻呢?因为贫穷?因为出生在一个贫穷的家庭?因为与生俱来我们就是个不起眼的弱小生物?
"Weirdos". Malaysia, 2015.2 | 《怪人》摄于马来西亚

“Weirdos”. Malaysia, 2015.2 | 《怪人》摄于马来西亚

These are half of the pieces of feedback I received on my last article Bumps. They are categorized into two groups: Westerners & Easterners.
 

以下是来自读者对上篇文章《颠簸》所作反馈的一半内容,分为两部分:西方人和东方人。

 

0

 

-Westerners 西方人-

 

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1

 

Interestingly, more women feel vulnerable in silence than men. More interestingly, we don’t even hear these stories from men. Believable or unbelievable? There are far more true stories to write than fantasies to create.

有趣的是,与男性相比,更多女性在沉默中感到脆弱。更有趣的是,我们甚至很少从男人那听到类似《颠簸》的故事。可信还是难以置信?我们的身边有那么多真实的故事可以写,却有那么多人绞尽脑汁去创造一些遥远的幻想。为什么?

 

2

 

-Easterners 东方人-

 

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捕获

4

 

From being ashamed to being proud, is like a revolutionary moment of fearlessness.

从羞耻到自豪,像是一个无畏的革命性的冲锋时刻。

 

Note: To build a mutual Literature & Art community, Heather has now opened her personal channel (WeChat ID: Heather69) to her fans, who are following HeathersChamber. No cheaters!

备注由于时间和精力有限,为了建立一个互敬互惠的文学艺术圈子,阿太特向已关注此公众号的粉丝们分享她的个人微信号:Heather69 。骗子勿扰!

 

Last article 上一篇:  Bumps | 颠簸

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently teaching kids chess in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!

 


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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Bumps | 颠簸

---Frightened, 2015.5.12 | 《害怕》

—Frightened, 2015.5.12 | 《害怕》

 

“Little shit, useless! Little shit, useless!”

My father would shout this when he beat me with a dustpan – my earliest memory. He hated me being born as a dwarf, particularly a female one. He didn’t stop beating me until one day he almost beat my mother to death.

 

---Patriarchy, 2015.5.20 | 《父权社会》

—Patriarchy, 2015.5.20 | 《父权社会》

 

Influenced by such violence in a patriarchal family, where all parents favored a boy over a girl, my brother also liked bullying me. He learned to beat me till one day he was scared when he cut my forearm deep with a scar.

 

---Scar, 2015.7.9 | 《伤痕》

—Scar, 2015.7.9 | 《伤痕》

---The Scar, 2019.10.19 | 《那道疤痕》

—The Scar, 2019.10.19 | 《那道疤痕》

 

Years of my mother staying unwell in bed gave me more chance to do farm work, housework and take care of two young sisters. And that somehow made me useful in my father’s eye.

 

---Family, 2015.5.13 | 《家庭》

—Family, 2015.5.13 | 《家庭》

 

When mother got better, I started school at ten. Things were fine till Grade Five when my Chinese teacher doubted my writing, “Have you copied this from an Essay Book?” I said no. He then left a striking red mark: Whether or not you have cribbed your article off a book, you know the best! 

 

---Vulnerability, 2015.5.12 | 《脆弱》

—Vulnerability, 2015.5.12 | 《脆弱》

---My private Shenzhen library built from a dormitory window that liked receiving wind and rain uninvited, 2013.9 | 《我的深圳私人藏书屋》

—My private Shenzhen library built from a dormitory window that liked receiving wind and rain uninvited, 2013.9 | 《我的深圳私人藏书屋》

 

The irony was that I didn’t even have a book. To prove myself, I insisted on joining a writing competition, which no one believed I should. In the end I won First Prize in the whole district. I thought that would make people look at me differently, but it didn’t. Their silence was confusing.

 

---Confusion, 2015.4.17 | 《困惑》

—Confusion, 2015.4.17 | 《困惑》

 

Nonetheless, I kept studying hard and being a good student. This didn’t change until a kidney stone that almost needed surgery in high school made me start wondering: What was the point of being good? What had good writing done for me? Why should I meet an expectation that was not mine? Why not just listen to myself?

 

---Be Wild, 2015.3.18 | 《自然野》

—Be Wild, 2015.3.18 | 《自然野》

 

Therefore I half listened to my father about becoming a teacher. But behind his back I chose Hainan Island for my college life. This was strongly against his wishes because it was too far away. For days, he didn’t sleep or eat much. At last, he gave me a thick roll of thirty-eight hundred cash and told me with red wet eyes, “This is all I have. Don’t come home until you can afford it.” 

 

---Father, 2015.4.25 | 《父亲》

—Father, 2015.4.25 | 《父亲》

 

I assured him, “Don’t worry. The school offers a five-thousand loan every year.” 

But I could never tell him that the loan was a lie. How could I?

 

---My grandfather's Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

—My grandfather’s Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

 

Owing half my tuition fees, I had to constantly take different part-time jobs. Yet my salary was never enough to pay off my debt. When the time came to register for the second year, the administrator refused me unless I paid off everything. Accordingly I showed him these two things: “Look, this is my grandfather’s medal awarded from the Korea War and his Military Certificate authorized by the renowned General Chen Yi. It clearly says, ‘His family get preferential treatment.’”

 

---My grandfather's Military Certificate, 1951 | 《爷爷的革命军人证明书:司令员 陈毅》

—My grandfather’s Military Certificate, 1951 | 《爷爷的革命军人证明书:司令员 陈毅》

 

“Is he still alive?” He sneered.

“No… please!” I suddenly knelt down. “My grandfather had fought many wars and sacrificed a lot. He had become crippled and deaf, and almost been killed on the battlefield. His greatest wish was to see me graduate from college.”

“Your grandpa is dead. What’s the use of all this?”

 

---Sob, 2015.7.7 | 《哭诉》

—Sob, 2015.7.7 | 《哭诉》

 

I got up slowly, pulling myself together. I began to make phone calls and borrow money. This made me sick. When I asked for a raise after three years of working for my first company, the boss killed me as a chicken to scare the monkey. And later in the second company, I found my basic salary had been underpaid for six months. What the hell made people do that to me?

 

---Mankind, 2015.5.6 | 《人》

—Mankind, 2015.5.6 | 《人》

 

Unhesitatingly I quit my full-time job to chase my writing dream. Had I not been framed by a world where the colors are drawn by child abuse, sexist bullies, social suspicions and human unkindness, would I struggle even now to tell the bumps of my life stories?

 

---A Framed Life, 2015.7.11 | 《一个被设限的生命》

—A Framed Life, 2015.7.11 | 《一个被设限的生命》

 

I’m not going to ask ‘Why me?’. Because it is not just me. It is a bunch of mes. But what bumps do you have and what impacts do they have on you?

 

---Hope, 2015.7.5 | 《希望》

—Hope, 2015.7.5 | 《希望》

 

Note: This is something that I can never feel comfortable to talk to anyone, but Toastmasters gave me courage and strength to make it a speech. You can read the original post here.

 

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---Shanghai Leadership TMC Still Drives Me Crazy, 2019.10.19 | 《上海头马依旧让我痴狂》

—Shanghai Leadership TMC Still Drives Me Crazy, 2019.10.19 | 《上海头马依旧让我痴狂》

 

Related article:Transformations

Last article 上一篇: LEADERSHIP’S GOT TALENT | LGT

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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Secret Love In Sketches|速写暗恋

WeChat Image_20190822121812

Photo Credit: MOOOOE Studio

Photo Credit: MOOOOE Studio

 

Sometimes, the inner drive is like the magic of the stage. My brain bloated badly. Once I returned to Shanghai from a family trip, I longed to take part in a sketch activity. It opened up slowly around the Secret Love, and felt like emptying yourself.

有时,内心的驱使如舞台的魔力。脑胀的厉害,一回上海便赶脚参加了一次围绕暗恋慢慢敞开的速写活动,放空自我。

 

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Drawing by Inja, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Inja, 2019.8.17

 

An old story began.

在此,也特别分享一段遥远的故事。

 

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Drawing by Kaka, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Kaka, 2019.8.17

 

My Grade Three primary school teacher Mr Hu was a fresh meat from a neighbouring town. He came as a volunteer to teach us in 1999. No one knew I was precocious. After all, it was only the third grade of primary school! But when it came to the end of the school year, Mr Hu had to leave. I cried.

小学三年级的班主任是从县城来到我们草坑村支教的小鲜肉。没有人晓得我比较早熟。毕竟才小学三年级! 但是小学三年级期末结束后,那位老师要离开了。我哭了。

 

Drawing by Charles Tsunashima, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Charles Tsunashima, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Nianci, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Nianci, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Yantong, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Yantong, 2019.8.17

 

On the morning when he said goodbye, he slowly crossed a stone bridge. I just stared at his back. Tears flooded my face.

离开的那一天,他缓缓走过老家的一座石桥,挥手向我告白,我两眼直直的望着他,挥一挥右手,微微颤抖。两行眼泪止不住的掉落。

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Drawing by Jonghan Kim, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Jonghan Kim, 2019.8.17

 

When all the classmates had left, he turned his head with a smile that broke my heart, waving his hand for me to go home.

他回头一笑,示意我该回家了,因为别的同学都走光了。

 

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Drawing by Maria Amelia Odetti, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Maria Amelia Odetti, 2019.8.17

 

I smiled back, one hand covering my mouth and the other waving goodbye. He moved on, and never looked back. I watched him disappear into the distance.

我也笑了,捂着嘴,没说什么,继续望着他的背影,直至消失不见。

 

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Drawing by Daryl Star Bates, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Daryl Star Bates, 2019.8.17

 

I didn’t know what secret love was, but it was the feeling of not willing to give up and not willing to accept. I knew I might never see him again.

当时不懂什么叫暗恋,但就是那种不舍和无法割舍的感觉,明白那张迷人的脸可能再也没机会看到了。

 

Drawing by Anna, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Anna, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Heather Cai, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Heather Cai, 2019.8.17

 

Now, it feels funny. Who can fathom the poetic picture between man and woman?

现在想想,觉得挺好笑。人与人之间的诗情画意,谁能捉摸透呢?

 

Photo of Daryl sketching, credit: Heather Cai, 2019.8.17

Photo of Daryl sketching, credit: Heather Cai, 2019.8.17

 

Click here to enjoy the complete story of Secret Love.

 

MOOOOE Studio hosts Life Drawing on Saturdays, organized by Inja.

Time: 3-6pm     Add: 2F, Building 20A, 2577Longhua Rd, Shanghai.

 

About Heather Cai:

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

 

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!

 

 

捕获

 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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Secret Love

--- A quartz stone I picked on the way walking from Xiadang Middle School to my home village 19 years ago. Photo taken in Shanghai, 2019.7.22

— A quartz stone I picked on the way walking from Xiadang Middle School to my home village 19 years ago. Photo taken in Shanghai, 2019.7.22

 

You and I have been younger. We were almost as unpolished as this quartz stone. Our heart was little and vulnerable. When we saw a dragonfly, it wasn’t just a dragonfly. It was the whole fascinating world around the dragonfly. And when we saw a face that fascinated us, we might dream about it every night. The charming eyes. The fluffy voice. The sweet smile. All these would melt the ice in the dark. We wouldn’t feel pain when that person punished us. We would feel the joy of some strange connection. We would admire that person’s jokes or even bullshit. When we looked into the eyes, we would blush like a mystery.

 

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--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

At thirteen, I had this tender feeling for my Grade Three primary school teacher Mr Hu. He came as a volunteer from a neighboring town to teach us in 1999. Actually, each school year, there would be one or two volunteers like Mr Hu. The school was dirt-built, black-tiled and really old. There were no blackboards or white chalk, but wooden boards and charcoal. There were no windows in the classroom, but only a square hole. And there was no place to eat, but the families in turn would provide fresh food and firewood for the teachers.

 

--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

However, the playground was paradise. We would often skip and play the Chicks and Eagle game. Sometimes Mr Hu would play the Eagle. It was then I discovered that he was not as bookish as I had thought. His usually slow movements could be sharp, his usually toneless voice could be wild, his usually shy smile could be bold, and his usually calm eyes could be sparkling. Such a contrast just ignited my curiosity and attracted me like a magnet. When he caught me as the Chick and grabbed my arms with excitement, I couldn’t move or talk. My heart was racing, my face burning, and my eyes were afraid to meet his. When he let go of my arms, I wished he could hold me for longer. His existence had possessed my whole attention, and class time was not long enough to appreciate him.

 

--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

One noon, after school, I couldn’t help but stay longer to watch him cooking through the square hole that gave a view of the kitchen. He was clumsily peeling a potato. I laughed. Those smooth fingers were probably more suitable for holding books. By the time I had to leave, it felt the more I saw him the more impossible for me not to see him.  

 

--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

Until one afternoon in the middle of the second term, something new happened. A pig squealed like hell during our break. It was dragged along the playground by a mother and a daughter. The daughter Miao had the most beautiful smile in our class. When she smiled, her eyes smiled too. And that afternoon, her laughter resounded through the Fungshui forest beside our school with the screams of the pig. Everyone was laughing, except me. I was staring at Mr Hu. He was smiling and sometimes laughing too. His hand was holding his chin, his face was blushing, and his eyes were gazing at Miao with the same admiration as when I secretly watched him peeling potatoes. That moment, my world turned blue. I didn’t know there was such a word “jealousy”, but I envied Miao. From then on, although I frequently raised my hand in class, Mr Hu would still call Miao. Gradually I lost courage, and cried at night.

 

--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

The pain accumulated till the end of the school year. On the morning when he said goodbye, he slowly crossed a stone bridge. When all the classmates had left, he turned his head with a smile that broke my heart, waving his hand for me to go home. I smiled back, one hand covering my mouth and the other waving goodbye. He moved on and never looked back. I watched him disappear into the distance. Tears flooded my face. I knew I might never see him again.

 

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Was it secret love? What was the most nostalgic story from your school life? Have you ever had hopeless love for someone even if you knew that person would never love you back? What if you could meet your secret love again?

 

--- Spring Picnic in Grade Three primary school (1999). Total sixteen students, six from a nearby village. My young brother and I were in the same class till Grade Two in middle school. And I did meet Mr Hu again when I graduated from high school in 2006. That was anoher story.

— Spring Picnic in Grade Three primary school (1999). Total sixteen students, six from a nearby village. My young brother and I were in the same class till Grade Two in middle school. And I did meet Mr Hu again when I graduated from high school in 2006. That was anoher story.

 

About Heather Cai:

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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This Happened When Mike Reported a Traffic Accident to the Police

When I told the story of my car accident here, there were different voices. Needless to say, making a report to the police is the most favorable. But sometimes what you know about the legal system or the Chinese society is not the same as you would have believed. And this happened to my friend Mike:

 

捕获

— Xi’an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

 

Hello. I’m Mike, an educator and a manager of educators in China for the past 6+ years. It’s been a rewarding experience, one that has allowed me to learn much about Chinese culture, particularly the national language Mandarin. Chi kui is a Mandarin phrase that means “to eat a loss.” And Chi ya ba kui, literally means “to eat a mute person’s loss,” or to suffer losses or grievances in silence. I found myself with a new appreciation for this phrase recently, when as a cyclist I was involved in a traffic accident in which the other party ran a red light and collided with me, giving me a concussion and a shoulder injury—and I wound up having to pay him. If this sounds unbelievable or insane to you, then you can imagine how I feel.

 

1

HELLRAISER-JUDGMENT_1

—Credit: Google | 图片来自:谷歌

 

For the past 3.5 years, I have been living and working in Kunshan, a city just outside of Shanghai, China. Last October, I rode a shared bike to work as usual. When I approached a green light at an intersection, I saw several jaywalkers crossing from the left side of the road to the right side of the road. Just as I was about to pass safely in front of them, one of the jaywalkers broke into a run, charging into my left side. His head slammed into my left shoulder and knocked me over, hard. My right shoulder slammed into the pavement hardest. My right hip also hit hard, and my head (despite not hitting the ground) was jolted badly enough to leave me with a mild concussion. Amidst shock and adrenaline, I didn’t take note of any pain or injury. The person who tackled me, an older fellow, was sitting on the pavement looking bewildered. In frustration, I yelled at him for his carelessness before getting back on my bike.

 

--- Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

— Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

 

Upon arriving, I mentioned the situation to coworkers. My bosses advised me that I must report the accident. We went to the police station. The older fellow had already made a report and had gone to the hospital for a thorough examination. It was later determined that he had broken a bone in his thumb, and this broken bone would require surgery to repair.

 

--- Xi'an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

— Xi’an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

 

Fortunately, the police were able to obtain video footage of the accident from traffic cameras. This footage confirmed that the accident occurred exactly as I remembered—he was jaywalking, he unexpectedly started running (to catch a bus), and he slammed into me. Unfortunately for me, none of this matters—the legal system favors him. He is older, I am younger. He is a pedestrian, I had a vehicle (even if only a bicycle). His injuries required expensive medical care, mine required time and rest. He is uninsured and has no income, I am apparently rich (or at least that’s the perception of foreigners). His financial damages included the cost of his surgery, his other medical costs, estimated future medical costs, and wages lost from his part-time job. The portion of these damages which I ultimately had to pay amounted to 23,000 RMB, roughly $3300 USD.

 

--- Xi'an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

— Xi’an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

 

The whole episode felt like a descent into madness. My side of the story mostly fell on deaf ears. I was eventually advised to stop telling it. What if I just stayed quiet, humble, and contrite (although there was nothing to be contrite about)?

 

--- Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

— Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

 

Now that it’s over, I am sharing my story to boost awareness among expats. In any case, if some good comes out of this, one way or another, I’ll feel better about the whole situation. Perhaps I’ll ultimately have to chi kui, to eat the loss. I can live with that. But I don’t want to chi ya ba kui, to suffer the loss in silence. Nor should anyone. If you agree, please share.

 

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—Credit: Google | 图片来自:谷歌

--- Xi'an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

— Xi’an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

 

Mike’s story made me wonder, why do the innocent suffer?
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— Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

 

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!

 

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When You Are Hit by a Car, and You Are Fine

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

If you are hit by a car, then normally you would not be fine, but would know what to do, right? However, if you are hit by a car, and you are fine, what would you do?

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

This question might confuse everybody. Let me tell you a fresh story, my story.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

One ordinary morning in April this year, I was hit by a car. It happened at a pedestrian crossing with no traffic lights in Jiangsu Road. I’ve crossed this two-way road for nearly five-hundred days since I moved to Shanghai. It was during the week but after the peak. And the traffic was not busy. As usual, I was enjoying some music with earphones plugged in and following a guy in the front. It was just another morning on my way to work.

 

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Then, all of a sudden, a car just missed the guy and drove straight at me. Scared, I slightly turned away and raised my right hand sending out a signal: “Stop!” But the driver didn’t stop. It first hit my right hip and made me lose balance. I fell towards the car. My right arm was pressing on the hood and my left hand holding my phone tight in the air. The speed was not enough to make me fly, but fast enough to lift me up. My feet were dragged along till the end of the zebra line. Finally, the car stopped. I fell onto the ground and rolled once. It happened too fast. But my subconscious was in slow motion, almost like a dream. There were no sounds, no colors, no pain, nothing. I couldn’t remember how I got up. The moment I started hearing sounds and seeing colors, I found my phone was missing. It took me several minutes to find it behind one of the front wheels. When I found my white earphones were stained black, I began to feel angry. All the while, the driver wearing glasses, remained in his comfortable seat. Thinking about this and realizing that I was supposed to be in a hurry, I couldn’t help shouting at the nerdy driver.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

“I was walking right after the guy. How could you just drive straight at me?”

 

“Sorry, I didn’t see you.” He didn’t even look at me. Or was he ashamed to look at me?

 

“Are you blind?”

 

“Sorry…” He said indifferently. I became more angry.

 

“Bullshit! You hit me!”

 

“Sorry…” He repeated it, throwing me a glance with the same indifference.

 

“Aren’t you going to say something?” My anger almost exploded.

 

“Sorry…” He turned into a stone, and the car horns were blowing behind him.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

I was too shocked to think further and too speechless to stay longer. In the end, I gave him a middle finger and left.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

By the time I entered the metro station, my mind spun. How could I forget to take a picture of his car number? Idiot! I should report him. But what would I do if I did? Would I like to deal with the police? Would it be worth reporting him?

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

All day long, I was looped by questions. I didn’t feel any pain until the water ran over my body in a shower. There were bruises on my knees, my palms and my hip. And my left little finger couldn’t move. But this didn’t worry me. I actually laughed. Because my family’s newest superstition says that my luck would turn in 2019.   

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

Now, two months have passed. The only thing that still bothers me is my little finger. I often play with it, in a way like one long-bearded philosopher would touch his beard. And meantime I would wonder: If you were me, what would you do? Would you report him right there? Or would you walk away feeling shocked and lucky?

 

About the Author:

 

Heather in Sri Lanka, Mar 2015.

Heather in Sri Lanka, Mar 2015.

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

 


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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现代人 The Modern People

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—听老家村里唯一一位活了将近百岁的裹脚老奶奶“唠叨” (照片拍摄:Mike, 福建槽坑村,2014.8 | Fujian) A nearly 100-year-old and the only woman Yu with bound-feet in my home village.

 

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—西方周游过世界的Mike 与东方从未离过村的裹脚老奶奶之间的对话。 (照片拍摄:Heather, 福建槽坑村,2014.8 | Fujian) A conversation between the western Mike, who has travelled all over the world, and the eastern Yu, who has never left the village.

 

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—一双裹脚鞋,摄于美国作家Amanda的深圳公寓,2014 | Writer Amanda’s, Shenzhen

 

请问谁没有听过老一輩的人說,我們那個年代有多苦多苦,現在的人應該懂得知足?

 

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—摄于福建寿宁,2014.8 | Shouning Town, Fujian Province

 

時代在突飞猛进,为什么还没有一项科技可以完全消除人类的烦恼呢?

 

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—摄于广东深圳,2014.11 | Shenzhen, Guangdong

 

物欲持续横流,钢筋水泥下人心不乏孤独,请问现在的人都在焦虑什么呢?有人会忧国忧民吗?有人感到怀才不遇吗?有人买不到好房好车吗?有人找不到真爱吗?有人认为工作压力太大工作收入太少吗?有人害怕世界末日资源能源快要耗竭吗?有人怀疑社会不公平生活毫无乐趣吗?有人觉得自己太少受关注吗?有人叹息这人生没有目标没有成就感吗?

 

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—摄于福建寿宁,2014.8 | Shouning Town, Fujian Province

 

既然人类如此焦虑,那我们跟上时代的步伐了吗?还是跟着时代的机器一个轮子一个齿子的滚着?那我们还算是现代人吗?

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | My home village, Fujian Province

 

维基百科生物学上有提到,現代人類是在約20萬年前的東非大裂谷演化成形的。我很好奇,这20万年到底积淀了人类多少的智慧与烦恼呢?我也很好奇,这20万年过去了,现代人是不是比古代人更聪明呢?请问有谁能够认为自己是铁铮铮的现代人呢?有谁能够站出来称自己是现代社会主义的接班人呢?又有谁能够考虑人类的生存条件而当一名真正的现代人呢?

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

半年前,带着这些令人抓狂的问题,我写下了这一篇日记:
彼时的我在生命的长河正顺流醉入声势磅礴的瀑布之中。这纵然一跃是蜕变,也是解开一个千缠百绕的扭结。那扭结缠绕的松紧是人和环境的摩擦与交融。因为一次偶然的机缘,加入大都会后,更觉得环境是自己的血肉之躯,而人就是多巴胺。

 

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—摄于福建老家房顶,2013.12 | The rooftop of my home dirt house, Fujian Province

 

在上海一个缘故也没有,却决然选择做保险,就是想要在不可能中创造一种可能!
好比如当初笃定自己一个人死了就死了,不可能会有“杂念”。但自从落地这个大魔都后,发现越是迷恋一座城市,越是向往一种新生活,对求生的欲望就越强,从而危机感便油然而生, 成为了可能。
正是如此,我开始领悟从不可能到可能只要一个想法或观念的转变,开始反思自己过去对保险的无视,开始追问为什么国人都不大爱投保,开始明白为什么国家近年重视保险教育了,也开始相信保险其实能解决社会很多问题。想想,要是人人都有了保障,这个社会不就更安定更和谐了吗?有了保障,还会焦头烂额可怜兮兮的搞轻松筹吗?有了保障,还会怕一个人病塌一个家吗?有了保障,还担心要是顶梁柱倒下了剩下家人该怎么办吗?有了保障,面对风险还会手足无措吗?

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

我很喜欢这份工作!它不仅充满爱与责任,让我学到很多东西,认识很多有趣的人,还能在极限中挑战和突破自己,做一些不喜欢做的事情却可以带来意外的惊喜。

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | Inside my home dirt house in Caokeng Village, Fujian Province

 

假如参加活动是一艘帆船要启航了,那认识人就是乘风破浪。这是一次冒险的旅行。旅行的目的就是大胆地传播爱,传播福音,传播正能量。请记住,船长不是倭寇,也不是加勒比海盗,而是一个敬畏生命、连只蚂蚁都舍不得踩的小女人。她的名字叫蔡太莲!

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | My home village, Fujian Province

 

很坦诚的说,历经一个蜕变的过程犹如在一个黑暗的瓶颈里奋力求生。此时此刻,我特别感谢并珍惜跟我见面的人!

 

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—福建老家:最左边那栋土房,2013.12 | My home – the left house, Fujian Province

 

记得胡适先生有说过:“保险的意义只是今天做明天的准备;生时做死时的准备;父母做儿女的准备;儿女幼时做儿女长大的准备。今天预备明天,这是真稳健;生时预备死时,这是真豁达;父母预备儿女,这是真慈爱。能做到这三步的人,才能算作是现代人。”

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

敢问我们究竟有多少人堪称自己是“现代人”呢?

 

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