shelf life.

Yesterday I decided to venture further into my wardrobes.
Upon taking out countless towels, bags full of mosquito nets, a toy gun, a stuffed monkey, and lots of chair cushions my eyes were aghast when I noticed a glass jug half full of black liquid.

I first thought it was a joke a previous owner was planting on someone like me and it was a fake bottle full of fake liquid. I did not dare touch it. The top was sealed with a plastic bag and a cap. I definitely took pictures. One of which has Christy pointing said plastic gun at the bottle. I shined a flashlight to the bottle. Could barely make out what I saw. Christy thought she saw eyes. I am pretty sure I saw worms.

I texted some friends and thankfully one replied right away that it was fermenting tofu someone forgot about. She said under no circumstances do I open the jar. Thankfully my friend Paul came and threw it away for Christy and me. I was dying to wake up to see the garbage man’s face this morning, alas I slept in.

My student Hobe took Christy and I to her uncle’s restaurant for dinner last night. Hobe has four siblings and her whole extended family lives close together even the Grandma met Christy and me. I just about died meeting the grandma. It was one of the most precious moments I have had since being in China. I told Hobe it is without a doubt extremely special she gets to live with her grandma. Hobe said, “Grandma takes care of me and her leg is broken”–as in a limp. I said I too had my Grandma live with me and her leg was broken. I told Hobe my Grandma took care of me and then I was able to take care of her. Hobe’s Grandma held on to both Christy and I for a while. I felt honored. Hobe’s Grandmother didn’t even know Chinese she spoke the local language from the village she grew up in.

During dinner Hobe’s brother called from England. It was so special they passed the phone around and even Christy exchanged some words with him. Hobe’s father was so proud and kind. The whole family was so sweet. I absolutely fell in love.

Christy and I gathered our posse soon after we finished dinner. Paul and his friend Alex came over. We went to find our friend Jor Jerry and my Chinese girlfriend who doesn’t speak any English except what I informally tell her.

We all strode out to the city square to play games, eat skewers and watch people eat pavement from skating. It was so fun. Jor Jerry had his bike which kept derailing and I tried to ride in a skirt only to fail miserably.

We stayed out until quarter to 2am!

Christy and I found ourselves in my kitchen about 4pm today before she was going back to Shekou. We looked out the window and saw a group of kids playing. I looked harder and there, waddling through the circle of children, was a baby chick. From up top it seemed fine. I thought it was one of their pets at first. Then I realized the kids were positively tormenting and scaring the shit out of this duckling who’d lost its mother and somehow wound up in an enclosed complex with no pond in site. My thought was how in the hell did it find its way to us much less to me to see this injustice happen. At first the tormenting was slight. I then realized I should have recorded what happened.

A little girl stayed behind after the kids finished poking the duckling with leaves. The little girl stayed behind to lightly place her foot over the duck then proceeded to kick the duckling a little bit! I was fed up. I yelled “TING” [stop] from my window and thankfully she stopped. I grabbed some bread, warm water, and a bowl and ran down. I told the little girl the duckling was a baby and very sick and to stop!

Christy and I attracted a crowd. The chick would not touch the bread. I don’t even think it knew it was something it could eat. I put the water near its bill and made the bread soggy. Still nothing. People probably thought we were crazy. My garbage man came over and almost kicked the helpless creature himself! I stopped him short of any gross boot slamming into our poor duckling. The chick was eating biting its skin and shaking all over. It looked like it had a disease of sorts. I really wanted to take it inside and put it in my bathtub, nurse it back to health and take it to a conservatory. However this is China…how did it ever find its way to this plot of grass, and what diseases could it possibly have?

Thankfully nobody else messed with the bird after I stayed with it for about thirty minutes. As I type it is still sleeping out there in the open unless a rat or a stray cat has eaten it by now.

My heart aches for it. It is an allegory to me. A friend told me how she visited an orphanage for down syndrome, handicapped, and disabled children in my district. She said these kids are there to die and will never live past this year. They are all malnourished. She convinced the g-ment to let her have thirty minutes in the courtyard with the children, that was after two years of convincing. She brought cookies, stickers, and flowers. She said it was the best gift she’s ever given to anyone. While all these westerners who want C-Babies and are busy adopting them from nice looking orphanages and C’s making bank off of their money… here’s one where all the children are forgotten and left to die. The g-ment won’t even let these orphans be adopted because what image would that paint of the g-ment? The babies the westerners get are all plump beautiful C-babies.

My friend Paul complained to us about his factory job how his hours are long the pay isn’t great and the bosses are terrible. Yet here we are … places across the world are making bank off of Paul’s labor and other peoples’ like Paul and it’s making me so sick.

What can I do?
What can anyone do?

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About heidaway

Living-Breathing-China Dragon
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