自己创作的英文短篇小说，因英语课习作而写。 Topic: What it will be like if a foreigner came to China 40 years ago
“Hurry! The car is arriving!”
“Okay, Mom! Almost done…”
It is a winter morning. He shoots a glance at the calendar on his desk: November 25th, 1976. At this moment, he is packing up to leave. It has been nearly one year until today. Last year, he was a 10-year-old boy. He came to China with his parents. His father was a Ph.D. of University of London whose orientation of research was Chinese politics and social development. Quite accidently, his father managed to participate in a teacher exchange program, which made it possible for his family to come here. Then it was arranged that they went to College of Language in Beijing.
He darts a second look at the calendar. The bottom half of it has blanks on it. Now it is filled with twisted words and marks. Ever since he came to China He has formed a habit of writing something on the blanks of each page of the calendar at the end of a day once in a while.
He knows it clearly that the first page of the calendar is about Lee. Because the initial one that he made friends with was a peer boy named Lee. It took a while for them to know about each other when they first met in the garden. He appeared in the garden amid a group of boys. And all of a sudden, their eyes were glued to him in silence. He thought they were interested in him. So he stepped forward and said hello to them. But they just receded a few steps staring at him with alert eyes. Ultimately, they ran away. But one guy stayed behind. Definitely that was Lee. Lee’s father was also a teacher. But he said he hadn’t seen his father for years for he said something “unbecomingly”. Written on this page is “I just aspire to know about you”. That’s what Lee said to him that day.
He randomly turns the calendar to another page. “Shopping”. Shopping, if only that can be called shopping. At one weekend, he with his parents went to the countryside of Beijing for sightseeing. It was still three o’clock when they set off because it would be a really long distance. Along the street, there were thousands of people queuing up in front of a gate, holding a piece of paper in their hands. He wandered what happened. His parents explained to him. In fact, they were waiting to buy grain and oil. Coupon, the only credential of buying, was indispensable. It was all planned beforehand. The amount of grain was strictly confined according to the number on coupons. He understood it was because his family actually gained support from the embassy that his life was not affected by the shortage of food. In the countryside where there was what was called educated youth working there, he felt the grain was a ridiculous existence since it could not even meet the demands of people in one country.
On one page there is a painted bus. Yes, he can recall that day. He doesn’t like buses any more from that day on. At the very beginning, he was somewhat interrogative, for he found it rather difficult to talk to Chinese. At first he thought it was owing to linguistic barriers. Sooner an experience at a bus station entirely changed his viewpoint. He was waiting for a bus alone to go to a park. Every time a bus arrived, the heads would be pushed by each other squeezing into the door like tomatoes floating on the water. However, while he went near the bus, people were racing to disperse as if they would never want to get mixed up with him. What’s more, although it was crowded in the bus, no one was around him in one square meter. He became an isolated being among a huge number of people. He assured himself that people like Lee were rare. This brought some comfort to him, and only comfort.
Lee. What is it like with Lee at present?
He has heard rumors after rumors about Red Guards. Young people who fancied themselves Red Guards are believed to have great power over the mass. He wanders how on earth children like him render so many “struggles”. Now he sees the page which is splashed with ink. Written on it is “reactionary”. There was a time when slogans were everywhere. One day, three boys living in the neighborhood claimed to have discovered something reactionary in a tree hole. They were convinced that they were making meritorious contributions so they tipped off to the police station. Nevertheless, the police detained them and made them write words like “Liu Shaoqi” and “Mao” hundreds of times. Finally the police let them go. But the three boys never went near the tree with the hole again. It seemed that both the boys and the police trusted none.
He has packed up almost everything he needs right now. He sees the last page of the calendar: “Deng Xiaoping”. Father guesses Deng could be someone in the future. But he doesn’t really know about things like that.
“You ready? Gotta go now…”
Voice is from outside the door.
The half of the calendar does record things. He hesitates for a moment and throws the calendar to the corner of the desk.
“Yes, everything’s ready. I’m coming.”
The door of his room is closed. Thereafter, the sound of the car is heard throughout the house. At this time, a beam of sunlight passes through the window of the room and right illuminates the bottom half of the calendar.