Hello, Thief

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As I lagged behind nearing a busy street corner I noticed a ten-year old kid trying to put his hand into my friend’s purse. So I grabbed him and turned him around, and he immediately slumped to the sidewalk.

His handler, a man in his twenties, came up to me and I let go of the kid. Then I said (in Chinese), “This kid’s a thief, and if you’re watching over him, you’re a thief, too.” I said it loud, looking for support from bystanders, but, as usual, people just watched, interested, saying nothing and keeping a safe distance.

The handler took off his coat and gave it to a companion, and I thought, hmmm, how many thieves are we dealing with here? Then he turned to me and we stared at each other for a moment, him with a practiced look, me impassively. My impassivity had nothing to do with self-confidence or courage; I was just looking at him and thinking how stupid I was going to look trying to defend myself if he attacked me. Fortunately for me, he satisfied himself by assuming the classic Chinese “pointing finger”* gesture, then he gathered up the kid and walked away. No harm, no foul.
 
*Pointing the index finger at someone is an insult in China, and should not be confused with the other pointing gesture, one digit removed, that is common in the West.

中国 2007-9-27

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About soaringdragons

Twenty years and still alive--in China, that is. I write about China and the world of spirit--all very non-expertly--and whatever else strikes my fancy. You'll find posts on even days of the month.
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2 Responses to Hello, Thief

  1. Mr WordPress says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
    What a great first post. Fairly short, but focused on the point with dashes of humor. The quality of posts is quite uneven as everybody knows, so we are always happy when new bloggers raise the bar. We hope you will continue to post on WordPress and bring glory to our site. Wishing you the best of luck.

    • soaringdragons says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement! It’s great the way your support team works to answer questions. I had a copyright question that I couldn’t find an answer to, and you all came back in 40 minutes with an answer. I can’t get service that fast at my local library. Thanks a million!

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