shu and joe

Someday it will be easier

Published on March 12, 2006

The cabbie asked where we were going and I told him in stuttering Chinese, “Ritan Gongyuan.” I could see him grin and arch an eyebrow through the rearview mirror. “You’re not Chinese?” he asked slyly. I tell him I’m Chinese but raised in the United States. He pauses for a second and asks if it would be easy to drive a cab in America. Would he make more money? Have a better life? I responded that it would be hard to drive a cab without knowing English. Even if he did speak the language he’d be away from everything he knew, everything he was used to. He sighed and slapped the backside of his hand into his palm while asking another unintelligible question. I shook my head and admitted that I didn’t understand him. “Your Chinese is really bad!” he exclaimed. This, I understood. “When you come to America, I can give you a hard time about your English,” I told him. He laughed.

Filed under: Beijing, China

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