Time: One afternoon


Place: A restaurant


Jose and I went to a restaurant together.


Suddenly, Jose told me, “I need to go pi-pi. I will be back.”


I nodded, “Go.”


After a while, Jose came back.


Jose (surprisingly)Wow, I was soooo surprised, there was no paper in the toilet. Can you imagine?


Yuan (understandably): Maybe they forgot to put more paper there.


Jose (unbelievably): But how can you do that? In Canada, there is paper in the public toilets, always…


Yuan (impatiently)Well, if there was no paper, there was no paper. By the way, why do you need the paper?


Jose (astonishingly): Why don’t I need paper?


Yuan (persuasively): Paper is for women, not for men. You know, you just need to shake it a little bit after pi-pi, and then it will dry itself. No need to use paper to do that.


Jose (speechless)…



Time: One afternoon


Place: A supermarket


I took Jose to the supermarket with me. At the entrance, I asked Jose to take the shopping-basket. I also told him there would be a lot of people in the supermarket, so ——”Be ready.” He needed to be very careful to follow me.


And we went in…


From time to time, I turned around to check whether Jose was still with me. I saw him walking sideways through people, very carefully, not to hit the others. But when his basket hit somebody by accident, he immediately stopped and said “Sorry.”


I was very impatient, “Come on, come on! You are too slow. No need to keep saying sorry.”


Jose said, “But I just knocked her…”


“Let her be.” My answer was short.



Jose didn’t know what to say. At last, he said, “Well, I am a gentleman.”


Then we were in the queue to wait for the check-out. There were many people waiting there.


After a while Jose asked me, “Why does the man behind me keep bumping me?”


I looked backwards, “Because he wants you to go further. There is one person less, you see.”


Jose said, “I know, but I must keep a distance from the person in front of me…”


“Who told you that?”


Jose was surprised, “Who told me that? It is so obvious, isn’t it?”


“No. Not for us.” I shook my head.


“Oh, God…”



Time: An afternoon


Place: Bus station


Jose and I were traveling together, one day, and we needed to go somewhere taking the bus. When we found the right bus stop, the bus was not there yet, so there were many people waiting in a line.


Of course, we stood in cue. There were other people coming and they stood behind us.


We were in the middle of a long queue.


After about 10 minutes, the bus arrived. As soon as the bus door opened, something happened before we knew anything. All of the people, I mean, the people in front of us, and the people behind us, all of them, rushed to the opening door trying to get seats.


Of course, we were late and we could not get seats.


Jose had a question again. He looked around and could not understand what just happened, so he kept asking me, “Was there a queue?”




“But where is the queue now?”


“I don’t know…”



Time: One evening


Place: At home


Every time I came back from the outside, I saw Jose sitting in the room reading some articles on his iPad, with all of the windows closed.


One day, I could not help telling him, “You better open the window from time to time, to let the fresh air come in.”


His answer surprised me a lot. He said, “No, it is too noisy.”


I looked around, listened carefully for a while, I said, “It is very quiet, no noise at all.”


Jose said, “That is because you are already used to the noises. If you listen more carefully, you will hear the woman’s shouting…”


Yes, now I heard a woman was shouting to her child because she wanted to get the child come back home.


“And you can hear the dog bark…”


Yes, now I heard a dog kept barking for hours from somewhere…


“And you can hear the TV sound…”


Yes, now I heard the sound of the television program, by the way, who was watching TV so loud?


Jose said, “You see, there are so many noises, that is why I need to close the window all the time. I don’t know why they are talking so loudly, why they don’t care about the tranquility of other people. You are Chinese, can you tell me why?”


I said, “Yes, it is noise, but it is the noise of life. We prefer a busy environment.”


Jose sighed…”So nice...”


I asked, “Canada is different?”


Jose said, “Of course. Canada is much much more different, it is quite silent.”


“How silent could it be?” I asked.


Jose didn’t say anything.


Until midnight that evening. Then he told me, “That is Canada, that is the silence I need.”



08/12/2011 13:48 分类: 评论(0) 阅读()


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