DIARY - Entry 522
around february 2006


It was time for me to go back to where I live. It was time for me to say goodbye to my parents again. A brief Chinese new year, I had eaten enough pork and seen enough fireworks, and I had to head back to Europe.

The days I spent with my ill father and my bossy mother were not ‘interesting’. ‘Boring’ is a cruel word I didn’t want to use. But the truth is that in my parents’ house I was bored every second and I was feeling dull. No heating, no dust, lousy flow of water when you turn on the tap, and for every single meal we had to eat leftover rice, just like 15 years ago when I left home. Although I couldn’t care less, the feeling of being a heartless teenager came back to me, strongly. I felt suffocated. Rebel without a cause - this sentence kept jumping into my mind.

But maybe, if I want to be completely true, there were one or two interesting things worth writing down. On the day my father was driven to a bigger town to get a medical check for his cancer, I was squeezed into the ambulance. Almost immediately I started to vomit. I always get sick when I ride a car or a bus. I had to get off. I ended up in a street, a street it took me half an hour to recognize. It used to be a market selling vegetables. Anyway I walked around and I saw that they were building a catholic church there, a church with a large wooden cross painted red and grey cement walls. It wasn’t a small church at all. It was almost ready to use, its presence was very serious. I was fascinated as the church stood by a dirty smelly stream called Moon River. Twenty years ago, this stream used to be a big river, I remember the water was flowing fast and boats were bringing rice, noodles and alcohol to the market. It was a busy river full of hope and expectations. But now it had turned into a hole for discharge. Big pipes from some factories were hanging over the mud, sewage was spitting out from them like waterfalls. The river was dry and filled with rubbish and countless plastic bags. Such a strong view. Was the church built there to rescue that environment ?

It was time for me to leave. I walked back home, and I waited for my father to come back from the hospital. I packed my camera and my laptop and I knew in a few hours I would leave this small Chinese town, just like I did many other times before.


(written on a paper bag in the plane from Wenling to Beijing)




  © 2004 - 2006 Xiaolu Guo