Saturday, 3 January 2009

Friendship bridge

Chinese formalities dressed in pink pigtails...I miss China she was lovely

I wait patiently whilst formalities take place inside her head, she looks at my passport for an uncomfortable amount of time without blinking or showing any signs of emotion. Flicking back and forward through the pages, looking for her favorite part. The bit that was missing, so that she could execute her next line of command.
“Take him away to be tortured, next”
she seemed to be getting flustered a little now between all the amounting entry and exit dates, border stamps that had taken a strong residency within my passport until she finally looked up at me frowning, she said in English
“remove your hat……. stand on one leg…… whistle the Chinese national anthem backwards”
I smiled, these formalities were getting the better of my imagination, so I removed my hat instead.
She squinted accusingly at me and then started frantically waving a piece of paper at me, eeeeek….... I jumped back, a little threatened by her sudden outburst of stationary.
This particular piece of paper that she was waving had big, red, dangerous looking Chinese characters written all over it in important places and a big official looking stamp at the bottom. I was thinking maybe she had won the local ping pong competition and was very excited about her certificate she had won. My mind was getting more bored with all this official stuff, so it played with the scene a little more and stored parts of it in the travel compartment for future amusement, then it came back and started to pay attention again, aaaaah, a thought occurred to me, obviously she wanted me to produce one of these from somewhere. I must admit it did look lovely and official and all that and I am sure if I had one of those I could travel where the hell I felt like for the rest of my time on earth, but I had not sold my soul and did not have one. I replied, “mee ho, sorry”..No!
I had no idea what this thing was and as far as I was concerned I had everything I needed: my forged travel permit; my extended Chinese visa. I was only trying to get out of their country not remain there! Then there followed a kind of Chinese/foreigner stale mate whereby neither of us was budging from our position, she was locked in some kind of mind control from her superiors and I was just fumbling about hopelessly trying to give her what I couldn`t, she continued to wave this piece of paper at me getting more and more excited about it all, I was worried that I was seriously in danger of getting a very bad paper cut if she got any closer.
I fumbled about deeper into my belongings and got together as much documentation as I could find, old bus tickets, crisp packets, sticky brown stuff from deep within the corner of my pocket and waved everything back at her in retaliation….. ha ha…... take that…….. and this.
I waved bus tickets at her, note pads, receipts, maps, peanuts and another lump of sticky, furry stuff that I wish I had not found. I shrugged my shoulders and smiled at her trying to soften her military lipstick and said “Mee ho” I was hoping she would give up now and admit defeat, as my collection of paper work was far more interest than hers, but no. instead she looked at me hard in the eyes and said “wait” whilst she marched of military style with a phone in her hand then returned, looked at me for some time again obviously trying to decide what to do. Well by this time I was starting to get to like her, a little excitable maybe, but I think it was the length of time that we had spent together, or was it was just my mind getting bored with the situation, which allowed the fantasy department of my mind to unlock the…..not so well locked door to the beautiful Asian woman archive.
I sniggered a little as I now saw her in pigtails surrounded by huge pink fluffy bunny rabbits, maybe this was her true form and she was not quite so hard after all, just a little cute, harmless, beautiful, Chinese woman who was still staring coldly into my soul, who just last week her husband had ran off with a more cute bunny rabbit and of whom I resembled very, very closely to…...aha..! that`s why she was looking at me so closely with eyes that seemed to want to rip off my dangly bits, at my passport photo, telling me to remove my hat, my disguise, yes that`s it….! she thinks I am her run away, philandering bunny rabbit husband, ¦ancient Chinese implements of torture, burnt deep in her soul wanting justice and revenge for crimes I did not commit. Yes it was that, I could see it, I was sure of it.
The rabbit was now making cute little bunny hops around the room, going eeek eeek eeeek, but her mouth was speaking something else that I could not hear. I tried not to snigger so coughed instead, the rabbit then suddenly disappeared and the one in the uniform was handing me back my passport, she pointed towards the exit defeated.. and that was it,
China was over! I felt a little sad to be leaving now it had been a such colorful experience, but over there on the other side of the friendship bridge lay Nepal.
I walked past two guards who were busy pushing an Indian man back to the Nepalese border, he was waving bits of paper back at them, but they were more interested in pushing him about.
I love this instant change across borders, literally as you walk a few meters from one country to another it all changes yet thinking about it all a deeper I still find it weird that things are divided up this way.
I recognized the familiar smells of incense, betel nut stains, Nepali dialect, sights and sounds that were comforting, and food…..aah yes……daal baat that makes you fart like nuclear waste discharge and also aloo, saag, roti, hot spicy acha..yes I was looking forward to some good Nepali food.
I went through the visa processing quick and easy then jumped in a car to take me to

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