Bad Thing #1:
From the train station, I decided to take a motorized tricycle home–it’s faster. Just as our ride began, we got stuck between a large rock and a stubborn moped who just would not budge. Unable to move in any direction, my tricycle driver began yelling at the large man on the moped, who of course, yelled back. The swearing went on for quite a while before the large man finally moved. We got through the huge intersection before I noticed that man had followed us, still yelling at my tricycle lady.
When he caught up to us, HE PUNCHED MY TRICYCLE DRIVER IN THE FACE and kicked a hole in the side of the compartment attached to the bike! I was furious, and I mean FURIOUS!
I got out of the compartment and started yelling at the man myself, screaming, “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? WHAT KIND OF MAN ARE YOU? ARE YOU EVEN HUMAN?!?!!?” (This was all in Chinese of course) in front of a small crowd. Out of pure rage, I even called him a dirty name. HE SWUNG HIS GIGANTIC FIST AT THE WOMAN’S FACE!
Then, the man got off his moped and knocked the tricycle over into the street. Tempted to run over and knock his moped over, I held myself back because I was afraid he would hit me, too. You hit a lady once, you can do it again.
I asked the man, “Why did you have to hit her?!” His response was, “She yelled at me!” and drove away. Wow, I was totally aghast and almost laughed out loud at the sheer ridiculousness.
In America, we call that assault. In China, we call it the norm. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it and it sucked.
Bad Thing #2:
My mom told me this evening, after the infuriating situation above, that my downstairs neighbor died from breast cancer a few days ago.
The other day when I was coming home, I noticed a young family formally dressed dashing into my apartment complex carrying a bouquet of pink flowers. Two things came to my mind already knowing that my neighbor was sick: one, my neighbor passed away and her family was coming to visit their father, the husband of my neighbor, or two, she was well again and they came to give her flowers.
Unfortunately my negative vibes were correct and my neighbor, who my family considers a saving grace because she spared my mom from a similar fate, had passed away. Early last year, my mom bumped into this neighbor (who, by the way, I have never met) on her way home from a chemo session. She warned my mom that women her age should check for lumps in their breasts. So, my mom, superstitious as she is, checked herself as soon as she got upstairs and discovered that she indeed had lumps. Luckily, my mom’s cancer was discovered in its earliest stages, but it was too late for my neighbor. She is someone my family will never forget.
Wherever you are now, neighbor, thank you.
Bad Thing #3:
I don’t think there is actually a third bad thing, except this one tiny mishap that happened this morning, but compared to the tragedies of Bad Things #1 & #2, I’m too embarrassed to even mention it, so I won’t.