​​         Chinese Stories in English   

1) Chin-Ups on a Bus (在公共汽车上引体向上的小彭)

            When I first saw him, I didn’t know his surname was Peng. It was in Fish Bay City. I’d squeezed onto the #305 bus, and the first thing I laid eyes on was him. He was surrounded by several students, young girls as pretty as flowers. I drooled with envy.
            The conductor called out, "Those standing in the doorway, please step toward the rear!” I took the opportunity to go stand next to the group of girls, and this put Young Peng on his guard. He glanced at me and turned his chubby body sideways to me.
            "Fat fucker!" I cursed him in my mind, and I soon took note of another of his deficiencies. The guy wasn’t as tall as me; I could see over his head. But those pretty girls looked even prettier.
            When the bus got to Hunan University, one of girls noticed that I was sneaking looks at her. She nudged the fat guy. "Hey, Brother Peng."
            The fat guy, Young Peng, looked at me.
            "My mom asked me to lose weight," he said. "From now on, I'm going to do something to lose weight every day, all the time."
            His voice boomed. Everyone on the bus heard him and they all looked at him. With everyone watching, he stood up on tiptoe, grabbed the shiny overhead handrail, and started to do chin-ups. My eyes followed his sporadic, up and down movements.

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2. Chen Follows a Woman (跟在女人背后的小陈)

            From the Pine and Laurel Park area of Hibiscus Road to the exhibition hall, you have to go through an underground passageway. But the passageway is more poorly designed than you’d expect. Sometimes it’s murky even during the height of day.
            My colleagues used to boast about how smart Little Chen was. I didn’t believe it, but today I do.
            Chen and I were going to the exhibition hall on an errand. We took a bus and we both noticed a pretty woman who also happened to get off at the Pine and Laurel Park Garden bus stop. She also happened to go through the tunnel, and we watched her backside with delight as we followed along behind her.
            We went down the first flight of steps, and couldn’t see clearly when we reached the second flight. The woman in front of us walked carefully, step by step, touching the wall. She was wearing high heels, and the click-click sound echoing in the tunnel drew our attention.
            Based on his prior practices, I thought Chen would go on ahead and take advantage of the situation, but he didn’t. After we got to the bottom of the first flight, he stood still. Moreover, he held onto me and wouldn’t let me proceed.
            "Old Li, our eyes don’t work so well here. Let’s wait. There’s no hurry."
            “Tap, tap, tap tap....” The woman reached the bottom of the stairs and went on to the middle of the tunnel. It was comparatively light there, and the woman's backside was nicely blurred.
            "Let’s go, Old Li, or she’ll get farther ahead. Chen headed determinedly down the stairs as he spoke. I stepped down more carefully, keeping my hand on the wall.
            "There’s nine steps. I counted them while she was going down. Hurry, or we won’t be able to catch up!" Chen flew down the rest of the stairs and caught up with the woman in two or three steps.

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3. An Invitation (邀请)

            Two mice died in this room. He killed them both. The first one was electrocuted at midnight the day before yesterday. He attached two electric wires to the poor thing’s body. Blue smoke and a stench fumed up from it.
            I was shocked awake by the unfamiliar stink. I opened my eyes and admired the way he stared, enraptured, at the dead mouse.
            The second one was eleven o'clock last night. I’d just gone to bed when it scurried into our room. He forced it into the corner of the doorway and stepped on it. Afterwards he picked up the bloody mess of the dead mouse’s body with pinchers and bet me three hundred Yuan that I wouldn’t eat it right then, fur and all.
            Of course I didn’t take the bet. I wanted to invite you to come to our room as a guest today, and I’d have to invite you orally. You could forgive that the room was once full of mice, but you couldn’t forgive the invitation I’d give you with my mouth.
            It had to be clean. It couldn’t smell of mice, much less dead mice. I couldn’t let you have any doubts about my cleanliness when my mouth said the word “you”, not even the slightest little bit of doubt.

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4. To Die Like Her (要死就得像她那样)

            Old Zhang lived next door to me. He worked in a funeral parlor – actually, it was a crematorium. He concealed his occupation from a lot of people. His wife didn’t discover that she’d married such a person until after she’d given birth to a child.
            Except for his family, I was the only person in our building who knew his true occupation. When he told his wife what his real job was, the couple got into an argument. As it happened, I’d just gone to their place to collect the electric bill. As soon as I’d knocked on the door I felt something wasn’t right. Choking back her sobs, his wife told me how she’d been wronged.
            Old Zhang's job was to spruce up the deceased so that they looked as pretty as possible when they entered the oven. He’d trim their beards, apply lipstick, and sew up the skin and muscles of those who had been cut by knives, or in an auto crash, or who had jumped off buildings….
            Every day when he got off work, he’d very confidentially pour out to me what had happened on the job that day. He’d tell me things like how the dead bodies felt, or how many teeth that’d been knocked loose he’d had to pull out.
            He’d come again just now. He didn’t even have time to sit down before he said, "We got a female college student in today.”
            "Oh? How did she die?"
            "Jumped off a building. Seventh floor."
            "That was a hassle for you, huh? If she didn’t break her legs, she must have smashed her face.”
           "No, she may have been afraid of looking ugly in death. She wrapped herself in two quilts before she jumped. Her internal organs were smashed to smithereens, but her face was still pretty. Such a beautiful coed. She was the most beautiful dead person I’ve ever seen.”
            "Ha, ha! You’re quite obsessed with her."
            "Old Li, if you gotta die, you gotta die like she did, neat and pretty, without troubling anyone. It was really easy for me to get her spruced up.
            It gave me goose bumps to hear Old Zhang talk like that. I closed the kitchen door quickly. My wife was in there cooking, and I wasn’t willing to let her hear.

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5. Washing (洗)

            If he didn’t have anything to do, he’d wash clothes. He’d wash his clothes whenever he returned to his rented room, and when the wet clothes had dried, he’d take them down, wash them and hang them up again. Clothes were hung all around his room, in the hallway and out on the lanai. He used a fragrant soap to do the wash, and the aroma permeated the humid air in his room all day long.
            He bought lots of clothes. Some he wore, and some he didn’t: baby clothes, children’s clothes, clothes for the elderly, and clothes for women of all ages. He imagined a number of roles for himself. He’d come home after work and, one by one, scrub the clothes he’d left to soak before he went to work.
            He didn’t know how long he’d had this compulsion, but his hands had become white and aromatic from the long-term contact with water. When he was at work, in that huge office, the scent diffusing from his hands made his colleagues feel relaxed and happy. For his part, though, he was always a little uneasy. He was always fidgeting with worry about clothes he’d washed or hadn’t washed. Eventually, one day at work, he couldn’t contain himself and shouted, “My clothes!”
            He wrote a letter of resignation and turned it in. Without looking back, he left the company where he’d worked for two years and straightaway opened a laundry where he washed clothing by hand. People all over the city admired his craft. He was quite busy and extremely happy. He had enough clothes that he’d never have to stop washing. In that city, almost half of the clothing worn by people bore the faint, unusual impressions of his white, fragrant fingers.

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6. Little Horse and the Coal Couple (送煤的夫妇和小马)

            A husband and wife operate a coal delivery service in Gold Source Community. They look to be in their forties. Both of them wear blue khaki clothing, so they look like they’ve walked right out of the early eighties of the last century. Both have black hair and black hands, and the flat-bed cart they drag around is black as well. Naturally, the coal on their cart is black, too.
            Most often the husband pulls the cart from the front, like the guys who tow barges on the canal, while his wife pushes from behind. Little Horse has repeatedly seen them that way for more than a year. Even though their cart isn’t a barge and the wife isn’t on board, every time Little Horse passes them he can clearly hear them each humming to themselves the song
Barge-Hauler’s Love. Little Horse feels forlorn every time he goes by them, but he isn’t like other people, who duck far out of the way whenever they see the couple coming (as if they’d be sullied by the air near the cart). Little Horse always maintains a proper distance from them.
            As winter edges closer, people in Gold Source and nearby communities are afraid that coal prices will go up in the cold weather, so they began to buy more to store it up. The couple charges twenty cents a lump for deliveries to the first or second floor, twenty-one cents to the third or fourth floor, twenty-two cents to the fifth floor, twenty-three to the sixth and twenty-four to the seventh. The buildings in Gold Source are all seven stories. On nights when Little Horse can’t sleep, he counts the total number of steps the couple has climbed up and down delivering coal that day.

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7. Fifth Girl, the Shampooer (洗头的五妹子)

            Five girls worked in the Affinity Hair Salon, cutting hair and shampooing, giving massages and beauty treatments. They were so busy every day that they could hardly finish it all. It’s a good thing the boss was an unmarried woman. She didn’t lay on any extra duties after they’d finished their regular chores.
            Fifth girl, who specialized in shampooing, had just turned twenty that year. Nothing bad could be said about her body or her face. All the young guys who came in for a shampoo ogled, and some even put the moves on her. At such times she’d just focus on her work with extra intensity.
            The other girls in the salon would meet with customers they found suitable, and some of those customers asked them for an introduction to Fifth Girl. Fifth Girl remained unmoved. “Him,” she’d say, "oh, I’ve got no feelings for him. When I’m washing hair it’s like washing a dead tree, boring." After it’d gone on like that for a long time, the girls stopped trying to introduce her to anyone. If a customer got out of line, the whole group would help Fifth Girl extricate herself from the situation.
            One day Little Liu came into the Affinity Hair Salon for the first time to get a shampoo. After he’d lain back in the chair, Fifth Girl turned on the faucet and her elegant hands touched his head. She was startled. She felt like what she was touching was her own hair. She shampooed this head of hair for ten minutes longer than usual. Then she rinsed it and rinsed it again, making Little Liu feel that something inexplicable was going on.
            Fifth Girl talked more than she usually did while she was massaging Young Liu’s head. When she finished waiting on him, he called out, “What’r’ya stoppin’ for? Heard you was good!” As he went out the door, Fifth Girl smiled to herself.
            Fifth Girl left the salon the next day. The customers who came in often for a shampoo were no longer so exciting as before.

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8. What Color is the Sky? (天空是什么颜色的)

            Li the Fool and Blind Man Li had had more debates than they could count about what color the sky is.
            Li the Fool’s memory wasn’t so good. For a while he’d say the sky was this color, then for a while he’d say it was that color, but he really couldn’t tell what the sky’s actual color was. All of his color judgments were based on his view of things at that particular moment.
            On the other hand, every morning when Blind Man Li woke up, he’d ask his mother what color the sky was. She woke up before he did, and the first thing she did when she got out of bed in the morning, even if she was sick, was to look outside to see what color the sky was. For the last twenty-plus years, she’d always answered her son truthfully. And for those twenty-plus years, Blind Man Li had been convinced beyond all doubt that she was right.
            Thus the debate between Li the Fool and Blind Man Li had started from the time they first said the words “sky” and “color”. It been going on nonstop for almost two decades.
            In Pine River Village, where they lived, people often heard them in arguments like this:
"The sky is blue!”
"The sky is gray!"
"The sky is blue!"
"The sky is red!"
"The sky is blue!"
"The sky is green!"
...
            Since the sky’s color sometimes changes, each of them was correct at times in their non-stop debate.

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9. Red Nose Three Virtues (红鼻子三德)

            Red Nose is one of the bunch in Pine River Village. He’s 58 this year, and the significance of his name is that he’s had a red nose for the better part of half a century. As a person, though, whether considered as part of Pine River Village generally or as part of his particular group, he’d never been “red”. If it weren’t for his nose, no one would associate him with that word.
            He’s neither tall nor short, and neither ugly nor handsome, just like the bulk of people in his age group, and he doesn’t have many years of schooling. There’s nothing special about his wife and kids, either. The only exceptional thing about him, and the only red thing, is his nose.
            "Hi, there, Red Nose!"
            "Where you goin’, Uncle Red Nose?"
            "How you feelin’, Uncle Red Nose?"
            "Grandpa Red Nose...."
            People inside and outside the village greet him appropriately for their age and generation, and since they greet him this way, nobody remembers his real name. Even his wife calls him Red Nose.
            His children never went to school; they helped out at home on the farm. They’d never been able to get in the Party, either, and they’d never committed any crimes, so for many years they’d never filled out any forms stating who their parents were. Therefore, his children had also forgotten his name.
            Although he’d always been in good health, on the 18th of last month, in the evening while he was playing cards, he fainted and fell under the card table. People pinched his upper lip and performed artificial respiration for quite some time. They eventually brought him around, and when he opened his eyes he cried out, "Something’s wrong with me! Hurry, get me to the hospital! My name is Peng, Sande! Remember, Peng Sande!" He fainted again after he said that.
            The people there didn’t know that “Sande” was written with the characters for “Three Virtues”. When they got to the hospital, they ended up simply writing “Three’s” in the medical records, which sounds the same. When he woke up again and saw that his card-buddies had screwed up his name, he got mad and fainted again.

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10. Three-Hair Tan’s Trees and Son (谭三毛的果树和儿子)

            Three-Hair Tan lives in the Fir Mountain Housing Area of Pine River Village. He’s an only son, the third generation of his family to be so. His mother was forty-six when he was born. Because of their family history, his mother and father (also called Three-Hair) had had to wander homeless for nearly a decade during the Cultural Revolution. When they returned home with a son, the villagers at first didn’t believe that the elder Three-Hair was his real father. Later, when they saw that the junior Three-Hair was growing up to look more and more like his elder, they stopped deriding him with the nickname “Orphan”, except when there was a fight.
            Three-Hair’s home has a courtyard filled with trees, all of which he’d planted himself. The 56-year-old Three-Hair had always liked planting trees: plum trees, peach trees, pear trees, orange trees, even a bayberry tree he’d dug up and brought home from the mountains. As soon as spring arrived, that courtyard was a world of flowers. But there was one strange thing: none of those trees ever bore fruit, even though there were more and more blooms every year, and always more than the neighbor’s trees, and always prettier.
            Last winter Three-Hair brought home a wife. She’s so thin and frail that a stiff breeze might blow her over. But she has such a pretty face that the village pedant called her “Flying Swallow” after the famous Han Dynasty beauty.
            Flying Swallow is from another part of China. Three-Hair met her last year when he was working as a migrant laborer. Since she’s pretty and delicate as a flower, she reminded the villagers of the trees Three-Hair had planted. They all pursed their lips, thinking there might be a joke in there somewhere.
            No one expected that this pretty but presumably barren wife would give birth to a three-pound little boy late one night toward the end of March, before the couple had been married even six months. People were surprised when the news got out. They asked Three-Hair about it, and he said he’d planted his seed before they were married. When they asked Three-Hair if he was sure it was his seed that had been planted, he replied, “How couldn’t it be? Just look at his head and you’ll know: three hairs!”
            The strange thing is, after the child was born, the family's plum trees, peach trees, pear trees and orange trees all broke tradition and set fruit.

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11. You’re My Grandfather (你是我爷爷)

            As he was walking along the railroad tracks, Liu Jianyong heard a grandfather and grandson behind him talking——
            "Whose grandson are you?"
            "Yours."
            "Who am I?"
            "You’re my grandfather."
            "What is your grandfather's name?"
            "Liu Nanqing." (Phonetic)
            Jianyong's grandfather’s name was Liu Nanjin. In the local dialect, it sounded the same as Liu Nanqing. Jianyong, who had been walking foreword single-mindedly, therefore abruptly looked back over his shoulder. He saw a man in his sixties carrying a child of about three on his back, walking along the tracks in the same direction as he was.
            Jianyong had never met his grandfather. (The old man had passed when Jianyong’s father was five.) In this moment, though, an image of his grandfather suddenly appeared in his heart.

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12. The Weather, Chen Tao and Mosquitos (天气、陈韬和蚊子)

            A rain shower, and the weather turned cold. People who had worn short-sleeve shirts the previous day put on jackets.
            The first cold night, Chen Tao was with friends in a karaoke. When he got home in the early morning hours he was quite tired. He fell into bed and was asleep before his head hit the pillow. He got up at noon and remembered that he’d forgotten to light a mosquito coil. He quickly rubbed his face but didn’t feel any lumps from mosquito bites. Congratulating himself, he went to wash his face and brush his teeth.
            The second cold night, he remembered that he hadn’t lit a mosquito coil the previous evening. He thought he hadn’t been bitten because the mosquitos had all frozen to death, so again he didn’t light one. He passed the night without incident.
            The third cold night he didn’t light one, either. Several mosquitos came out in the middle of the night. Perhaps they’d warmed up, or perhaps they were starving. They drove him crazy with their sneaky bites.
            The fourth cold night, he didn’t dare trust his luck so he lit a mosquito coil. He passed the night in peace.
            The fifth cold night he lit one, too.
            The sixth cold night he didn’t notice that he was out of mosquito coils until he was about to go to sleep. The lights were already off in the nearby shop, so there was nothing he could do. He wrapped himself gingerly in his covers and waited for the mosquitos to attack. As it turned out, the night passed without a problem. He’d wasted a whole night’s sleep being nervous.
            The seventh cold night, he didn’t bought any mosquito coils because he thought the mosquitos really had frozen to death. Early in the morning on the next day, though, a mosquito flew out from somewhere and kissed him on his lower lip.
            The eighth cold night, Chen Tao rubbed his red, swollen lip as he washed his face and brushed his teeth. He ran to the supermarket and bought five boxes of mosquito coils all at once.

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13. Please Close the Window (麻烦你把窗关紧)

            This guy Dong Sheng, he worked in North Pacific Village and rented a room in the Wuyi Gardens of the Tongzhou District of Beijing. The two places were so far apart that he could only get back to his room on weekends. He was a bachelor and could live in the dormitory where he worked, but he kept thinking he’d get himself girlfriend before long, so he continued to rent the room against the day he’d need it.
            He got off for another weekend on the afternoon of October 18. It was chilly as he headed toward Tongzhou. He transferred to the #342 behind a small village and, after he sat down, the seat behind him was the only one left on the bus. Right at the moment the bus was starting to move, a pretty girl with long, fluttering hair jumped on and hurried down the aisle in Dong Sheng’s direction.
            “What a great scent!” Dong Sheng took a deep breath as she passed by, and he could smell her aroma faintly after she settled into her seat. He couldn’t contain himself. When they got to the Shilipu stop, he suddenly twisted around and looked at her out of the corner of his eye, but her long hair had slipped down and was covering her face. He could no nothing better than turn back around.
            He leaned his head against the window and had an inspiration. He pulled the window open a bit with his left hand, letting the night air pour in on the wind. Then he turned back around and saw that the girl's hair had been blown aside, revealing her face as beautiful as a lotus flower. Dong Sheng was quite satisfied with his cleverness and kept turning his head to look at her.
            After he’d glanced at her several times, the pretty girl woke up from her nap. She tapped his shoulder and said, "Could you close your window, please? It’s really cold.”
            “OK.” Dong Sheng reluctantly closed the window. The rest of the way, he rubbed the spot the girl had touched but didn’t utter a sound.

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14. Dream of a Dead Thief (刘建勇的梦和摔死的贼)

            Liu Jianyong liked to dream. Since childhood he’d been able to enter the land of dreams as soon as he shut his eyes. Moreover, his dreams would often be proven true by subsequent events.
            For example, in a dream when he was fifteen he saw a snake coiling itself around his right leg; before a month had passed, his right leg was infected by some disease. For another example, before he entered college he dreamed that he would loathe one of his fellow students; as it happened, on the first day of class he was surprised to run into him in the dormitory, and thereafter really did loathe the fellow. And another example, in 2000 before he went to Beijing, he dreamed of some buildings he’d never seen before; when he arrived in Beijing and got to the Liulitin area, he was dumbfound that everything he saw before him was completely familiar.
            These dreams of Jianyong’s were so accurate that, if he had a nightmare, he would be on pins and needles for some time. Fortunately he only had one or two nightmares a year, so generally he’d look happy when you saw him.

            He lost his color TV a few days ago. It was one of his most precious possessions. He’d watched ball games, he’d watched the news, he’d watched
continuing plays. It was the only thing he’d ever seen his way clear to buy; after he’d settled down in Changsha, he’d bought it without hesitation.
            The TV was stolen in the morning and he noticed it was gone when he came home at noon. He stood in the doorway by the pried-open door for a long time before he ran out to report the theft to the police. Filing the police report didn’t bring back his TV, though. He spent several days cursing the thief who had stolen it.
            On the evening of the twenty-first, a slight drizzle was floating down and it was cold outside. Jianyong read for a while and then abruptly fell asleep. At two or three in the morning he left one dream and entered another.
            In that second dream, several burglars climbed up onto his lanai. When he became aware of them, he grabbed a table lamp from his desk without making a sound, opened the lanai door and struck out at them. They cried “ai-yo” in confusion and slid down the iron drainpipe on the wall.
            One of them, in his rush, didn’t get a good grip when he climbed onto the pipe. He fell to the ground from the third floor and died. Jianyong was scared out of his wits, but then realized it was only a dream and let out a long sigh.
            On the afternoon of the twenty-third, Jianyong’s neighbor knocked on his door after he got off work. "A thief fell to his death this morning at Bounteous Good Terrace. He fell from the third floor. Oh, here’s the newspaper. Could be it’s the same son of a gun that stole your color TV."
            Jianyong took the paper but didn’t dare look at it. Bounteous Good Terrace wasn’t too far from Upper Hemp Ridge, where he lived.

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15. A Man with No Key (没有钥匙的人)

            A lot of people are leaving places where they’ve lived contentedly for a long time.
            Today it was raining as I was on my way home from a friend’s house. I really wasn’t upset when a speeding bus went by and splashed mud on my pants. I was looking at the storefronts on both sides of the road.
            Lots of them were closed, and some of those had signs on the door saying "storefront for rent". I knew that meant lots of new faces would be appearing there before long. Yes, no place can stay empty for long; when one person leaves, another of course comes in. Or maybe the new guy comes along even before the old one’s gone.
            As I was thinking about these things, I got within twenty meters of the place I’m renting. I heard someone call me and looked up. It was another friend who was waiting outside my door. He looked anxious, and suddenly I remembered that he didn’t have the key. Yes, he doesn’t have a key. He absolutely doesn’t have a key.

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16. RR Track Games (枕木上的游戏)

            The railroad tracks divide Far Hemp Ridge into Upper Far Hemp Ridge and Lower Far Hemp Ridge. Even though there are many signs on walls alongside the railway saying “Walking on the tracks strictly forbidden,” lots of people walk along them every day anyway.
            Chen Tao, like many others who walk the rails, prefers stepping on the exposed wooden sleepers outside the tracks. Each sleeper is separated from the next by about thirty centimeters, which is a bit shorter that his normal step. Whenever he walks the track, he feels like he’s playing a game where he has to wear shackles on his feet.
            Since a lot of people step on the sleepers like Chen does, someone often, and indeed constantly, is walking directly at him. He’s an easy-going sort in his daily life, and when he first moved to Far Hemp Ridge, he always took the initiative and gave way to whoever was coming toward him, regardless of whether the person was old or pregnant or sick or juvenile or disabled. He would yield to all, male or female, whether they were younger or older than him.
            After he’d lived there a long time, though, and mainly because he’d walked the tracks for so long, Chen started playing a game. Instead of giving way, he started keeping his head down and continuing to walk forward. The people coming toward him would see that he had his head down and think he hadn’t noticed them, so they’d move aside and yield to him. But after he’d walked with his head down for some time, his conscience came to the fore. Since the people who yielded to him included old ladies with bound feet and young girls with bellies swollen from pregnancy, the temporary pleasure he’d gotten turned sour in his mouth.
            Thus, he changed his walking tactics again. He kept his head up but wouldn’t yield to strong or powerful or cocky people. He’d walk straight ahead like he hadn’t seen them.
            Now, there are quarrels every day on the tracks through Far Hemp Ridge. If you go listen in, many times you’ll find Chen Tao right in the midst of the participants.

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17. Two Strangers (两个陌生人)

            Zhang Wang is one person, and Zhao Li is another.
            Zhang Wang is a man, while Zhao Li is a woman.
            They both look to be around twenty-seven or twenty-eight.
            They don’t know each other.
            Zhang Wang lives in Chen Family Lake, and Zhao Li is going to Chen Family Lake on business. They’ve both come to the Achievement Group stop to wait for the #9 bus. Zhang Wang arrived first and has been waiting for two minutes. Zhao Li has been waiting less than a minute. They see the #9 bus coming from the direction of the Second Elegant Hunan Hospital.
            Zhang Wang looks and sees that Zhao Li has a one-Yuan bill in her hand. "I guess you’re taking the #9, too,” he says. “I only have a two-Yuan bill. If you give me your one Yuan now, it’ll save me some hassle getting on the bus.”
            Zhao Li looks him over and hands him the money. She doesn’t say anything.
            When the bus arrives at the Achievement Group stop, a pair of lovers holding hands gets off. They leave two empty seats side by side on the bus.
            Zhao Li gets on first. The driver is about to ask her to put her fare in the box when Zhang Wang steps up from behind her waving his two-Yuan bill. "Here y’go, for two,” he says.
            They sit down side by side in the two empty seats.
            Zhang Wang wants to say something, but as soon as Zhao Li plops her butt down, she turns aside and leans against the window.
            "They’re a pair of lovers having a spat." That’s what some of the other passengers thought.





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1. Chin-Ups
2. Chen Follows
3. An Invitation
4. Die Like Her

5. Washing
6. Little Horse
7. Fifth Girl
8. What Color?

9. Red Nose
10. Three-Hair
11. You’re My Grandpa
12. Weather Mosquitos

13. Close the Window
14. Dream Thief
15. Man with No Key
16. RR Track Games
17. Two Strangers

Medicinal Tea (Page 1)
Living in This World (Nanometer Series) 活在人间 (纳米小说系列)
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            “Slice-of-life” vignettes may leave you feeling that something is missing, but you can always make up your own endings. (The quality of these stories improves greatly after the first two or three.) The website they're taken from (
http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-56-313601-1.shtml)is updated frequently, so if you want to read the original Chinese text, you may have to hunt a bit.