China is a crowded bus.
My parents visit was a merry-go-round wind-whirl.
They came, conquered, and bounced. Unscathed.
Pickpockets–Both my parents had unsuccessful attempts made by pickpockets to get their goodies.
After a long day at a Buddhist temple and delicious Pho–noodle dinner my parents and were taking the stairs to the metro.
We were the only people on the stairs everyone else had crowded on the escalators.
My mom and I were lost in a conversation in front of my dad when we heard him shout, ‘NO.’
We jumped behind us to see my dad yelling at a man who looked innocent as a saint.
Immediately I yelled ‘Huairen’ — bad man.
He looked at me as if he did no wrong.
I was beginning to second guess my dad. My dad claimed the man was going for his camera and thankfully he didn’t get it. I was about to punch his Chinese lights out when my dad yelled ‘STOP, he’s got a KNIFE.’
That really freaked me out. I reached for my phone and shouted at the top of my lungs again ‘huairen,’ hoping someone would come help alas people just passed and stared at us.
Once the man saw I was going for my phone he took off up the escalator, we never saw him again.
That was day four of my parents being in China. We were all shaken. I was mostly shaken because it was my worst fear having something happen to my parents since I was in charge.
On a separate day of shopping we encountered yet another close call.
My mom wandered through China with no identity on her person.
It was as if she’d wake in the morning and say..
“Hello, China, I am HERE, Take me as I am!”
Not quite. But she never carried money or an identification.
One day as my dad was filming a crowded street-walk my mom and were talking in the ‘people sea.’ We were both bundled. She had her dirty warm socks bunched in her coat pocket.
She turned to me and said, ‘I just felt a finger wriggle its way inside my coat pocket and out again.’
I felt vindicated that she had nothing to be gotten.
On the way to Hong Kong, at a customs checkpoint there is a mural of:
All sketches of men who look menacing.
They really don’t mess around in Shenzhen–capitol of Migrants! Even I’m a migrant now…
It takes me back 4.5 years ago when my tour group was waiting on one of the busiest streets of Beijing.
My friend met our group and suddenly realized she had left her bag on the hill adjacent to where we were standing. The bag was no where in sight.
Our friend said she had over $500USD in the purse, chinese money, an expensive camera, ipod, and passport!!
Everyone was horror-struck.
Our tour guide who we named, FRANK the TANK, was more panicked than we were.
He took off asking people and searching while we all searched everywhere.
After ten minutes we all looked in the distance and saw Frank emerging from the PEOPLE SEA with our friend’s blue bag. Everything still in tact!
Some kind person turned it into a local shopkeeper.
Right then I realized how earnest, kind, and honest Chinese people were.
I was also very naive back then.