I can’t lie.

I can’t lie.

I mean I probably can and do on a regular day, but I think I physically can’t lie. My face gives it all away. I can’t lie and say I’ve never thought about writing a blog, that this is just happening as I’m sitting here. I’ve thought of it. Of what I would write about, but really, what would I write about? No, I’ve thought about it, quite a bit to be hones t. So here I am. With too many thoughts to fit into a “web”, and which most people probably have no care to read. (But honestly, we all have too much time to be spending all this time “reading” posts from hundreds of friends, strangers , cops and robbers).

I’m a very organized person with incredibly unorganized thoughts. So I thought something might help. Or more someone, Kimmy + A Blog = clear thoughts? Also, since China has deemed blogs, facebook, and anything related to current web culture that keeps the masses in the know, democratic evil, I am stuck writing my life and views and whatever else comes to mind via the one and only Kimmy. So if anything goes wrong, or looks stupid, or I say something stupid (or racist), blame Kimmy. I won’t even be able to read this once it’s sent into the massive unknown and caught by Kimmy’s omniscient eye.

So that’s that. And this is such a weird thing, but I have a lot of thoughts on China, but no authority, so don’t take me very seriously, even though my tone will often get that way. (A reminder to myself, Gosh! Abby stop being so imperious* about your little world and twenty four and half years of life).

I’m done.

but… I want to add a little rant, or anecdote, or whatever.

so the other day (a vague phrase, which could mean yesterday to six years ago for me, but which means last week in this case) I was walking to class and noticed a girl who glanced at me. I noticed her more than anyone else on the street because of the obvious fact that she looked like a foreigner in a very nondiverse* city/province/freaking country. She still had dark hair like most everyone on the street except my sweet roommate who stands out like a beautiful freak with her long blonde hair, and this dark-haired, definitely foreign girl was walking with a Chinese woman. OR what I thought was walking with, but then quickly noticed something else. She wasn’t walking with her, she was walking slightly behind her trying not to get noticed by this woman because she was… get ready… pick pocketing her! It’s not the first time I’ve seen this, nor the last, and in fact it’s happened successfully to me twice, but it still catches me off guard every time I see it, mostly because the petty thieves here are not so sneaky, and there is a reason for that which I will get to. Sometimes my moral reflexes shock me, I stood in front of her and sort of yelled, shook my finger, and gestured absurdly at the girl to stop her. I spoke a form of Chinglish I’d never heard before. A mix of Chinese and English in my sudden shock that came out sounding something like “Stop! boo how girl! wo kan…you, you, you, you”. She looked pissed, and appalled that I had stood in the way of her easy prey. She… she hissed at me, hissed, I kid you not. I wanted to laugh and cower all at the same time. Has anyone ever hissed at you? I mean actually hissed like a street cat being caught looking through your trash bin for scraps. No? Well, it’s weird that’s all I’ll say, that, and people are not meant to hiss unless they are speaking Catalan or another language that has lots of natural hissing sounds, which she wasn’t.

I stepped aside proud of my small unnoticed good deed, but then that wasn’t enough. I continued to watch her over my shoulder as we walked in opposite directions. Ten steps away and she was on the same woman (how did this woman not notice the thief?). This was it. I was so mad. I ran down the street in my thrift store boots that make me feel like a combination of Nancy Sinatra, Wonder Woman, and Annie Oakley. Maybe I channeled all of their energy in that moment because I was suddenly at the thief’s heels, pulling her arm away. This time I yelled, loud “YOU ARE A BAD PERSON, and a bitch!”. (The last part was quieter and more of an unnecessary explosion). She was so shocked at my reappearance that she stood their for half a second, of which she looked like she was going to punch me in the face. I was prepared though, ready to fight back if need be, and all under the now watchful eyes of a growing crowd (some of which were my students rushing to school to start class, but who’d want to miss their foreign teacher get into a street fight with a female thief. I’d’ve ditched class for that). The moment passed though, and her accomplice (equally foreign looking) appeared and stood at her side as they sauntered off under my watchful eye. I watched them walk away till they were definitely off my turf, my block, my hood.

I look for them every time I pass that area now, but they haven’t returned. I’d like to think it’s because I scared them off, but it’s more likely that they just moved towns. They were probably drifters. Or relatives of someone. Or circus folks… bad rap those circus folks. But all of this left me shaken with anger at the Chinese. Why does this happen so often? These occurrences of petty thievery are, in my view, easily avoidable. These two girls were Xin Jiang Ren (pronounced like Shin Jiang Ren), and belong to an ethnic minority in China. They are a very distinct people group. They make the best noodles and bar-b-q and raisans, but they are, unfortunately, the most likely pick pocketers. It is so easy to identify them on the street. They stand out because they look like they are from Turkey (which their ancestors are), and they speak a whole different language. So their not hard to see in country lacking in diversity. But they get away with petty crimes because they are untouched, and not in the horrible untouched way like the Dalit’s in India, no they are untouched by the government of China in a societal sense. They are allowed the freedom to steal, form gangs, and other petty crimes because the Chinese government doesn’t want to stir up trouble with them. This is ridiculous to me for many reasons. One, people can see when the crimes are committed and still choose to sit back and do nothing. This has nothing to do with convicting a criminal, and losing face, but not helping the vulnerable, which we’re all vulnerable. Another reason is that it just reverses the racism, which is a term I’ve never fully understood, or more, just understood it theoretically, but this is in front of me. It subjects this ethnic minority group into a life of “allowable” crime, and then punishes those who commit an equal crime more harshly. It furthers the notion of ignorance, and just ignoring. And… and …. and… well now I’ve gone and used up all my sense and I’m only going to be making nonsense. So I’ll leave you with this, what’s fair? I guess I’ll be a one woman crime fighter, who fights it equally, and who hopes to show love equally (another time).

There are hundreds, if not thousands of more stories to come. Some are fun. Some are sad. and some end like this one… with my unanswered and unformed thoughts. But I have to remind myself over and over that I love this. I love this place. I love this time. I love these people. And if I don’t know how to do that… well I’m learning how to love this and these and all of it, with me in their somewhere.

*I can’t spell, nor do I ever use words correctly, and my grammar is horrible, but go with it. I make up new meanings for words I think should fit where I want them to fit.


One thought on “I can’t lie.

  1. abby –
    thanks for this honest, humerous and realistic view of an important experience in your life. THIS is what blogs are meant to be about.
    certain instances that shape us, cause us to think, move us, or maybe dont do a darn thing –
    i love your free writing, your strength, your courage and your eyes to see such things.
    what a wonderful experience you are undertaking. one in which I’m sure will develop you and mold you into the creation you were meant to be.
    keep writing. I enjoied this immensely

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