Monday, June 04, 2007
Rachel's Modern Life: The Movie
We find ourselves underground. Enter with a wide shot - heads gently shaking with the movement of a subway car. We see Rachel, our protagonist, sitting with iPod buds in ears, nodding off with her head against the window. Enter the faint sound of singing, followed by a fading echo. A dirty, unkempt man begging for change shuffles by, singing into a microphone pack that is strapped to his back, stopping in front of each person and shaking his begging fists toward them as he goes. Rachel sits up and turns her head to face the window opposite. And there she sees a thirty-something male squeezed in between an elderly woman and a young girl. The man coughs. Then he coughs again. Rachel looks toward him and sees him doubled forward.

Wait. Those were chickens just outside the subway entrance. And he's coughing. Chicken. Coughing. Avian. Flu. Oh, god.

Rachel covers her mouth and turns away. Cue crowds of people mobbing the streets screaming and running for the airports and train stations.

Rachel exits the subway and notices an olive-green passenger van stuffed to capacity with thin Chinese teenagers in black uniforms. Bank guards? I suppose so. Another three Chinese officers bearing the same black uniform and armed with heavy artillery (think bazooka) stand outside the bank. They stare Rachel down as she walks by, making her feel guilty of a crime just for existing. And being foreign. Because foreigners are capitalist pig thiefs. Or at least that's what the stares tell her.

Just then a car comes screeching around the corner, speeding directly at the Chinese guards. The officers brace for what is OBVIOUSLY an attempted bank heist. They brandish their weapons and crouch, preparing for the onslaught. Except they have forgotten one thing. Beijing drivers are stupid and refuse to follow traffic laws. As soon as the offending vehicle rights itself, it continues driving on as if nothing has happened, leaving the seriously overstaffed, overprepared, and under-utilized Chinese guard sad that they, once again, managed to look "not cool." And you wonder why bao an are so goddamn difficult. Can anyone say "inferiority complex?"

Tune in for the next installment which will star George Clooney as the hunky doctor that manages to help Rachel find a single freakin' pharmacy in Beijing that sells Tylenol.
posted by Rachel @ 12:47 PM  
THE WILD WILD EAST: Everything you never knew you didn't know about life on the other side.
In China, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The Chinese, who call this land "home," and the expats who migrate here. My name is Rachel. I am an expat. These are my stories.
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