LI CHAO HOMEWARD

LI CHAO HOMEWARD

 

WHY GO HOME?

 

We were given two days off for the national Labour Day holiday. Mr Li Chao decided not to go home. Instead he had planned to stay on campus just to be with himself. Anyway the mid-term was just around the corner, so the two days would be a good opportunity to review his lessons and of course he would catch up on some sleep in the two days. “Oh, two days! No teachers nagging and watching over my shoulder,” he said to himself.

 

He rang his parents up, only to be ordered by his father to “come back home as soon as school is over”. He respected his parents and he knew that they missed him. Since the start of this semester, he had not been home to get together with the family. So, he changed his mind, and left the school for the bus station at Liuyan when the bell rang off the lessons.

 

On arrival at the station, he was met by large numbers of travellers. The Labour Day holiday is when a lot of Chinese travel back home for family reunions. To his relief, two police officers were keeping order at the station. The people were queuing up at the ticket office and there was a line there like a long dragon.

 

Mr Li waited and waited and waited. Two hours passed before he got really close to the window. He checked his place in the queue and he found he was No. 10. Aha. Just a minute, I would be on a bus heading for home. And my family and my mom’s cooking. Oh, mom’s cooking, I miss you, mom.

 

Dusk was closing in. Soon it was time for the two police officers to knock off. They left the station.

 

Trouble started for Mr Li Chao. Hordes of people swarmed into the station. But there were no buses available at all. Everyone was anxious to go home. Confusion and chaos ensued.

 

The queue at the ticket office started to twist into a crowd. The line was disappearing. Suddenly a bus got in and a real battle kicked off.

 push bus

The travellers scrambled for the bus. The door was closed and locked. A closed door did not prevent them from climbing through the windows into the vehicle and grabbing a seat for themselves. The driver yelled, “Don’t do that! Don’t do that!!!” His pleas fell upon deaf ears, though.

 

In an instant the seats were all occupied. Mr Li Chao, the gentleman, was dumbfounded by the happenings. He found himself caught in a whirlpool. He was bewildered.

 

"Where is my queue? Where is my No. 10?" he asked himself, sighing a deep sigh.

 

Too late to make it home, as a result. Mr Li had to give up his homeward journey. Even if he could catch a bus later on, he would have trouble walking home in the dark after the bus dropped him off at the terminus. His home is still some kilometres away.

 

He went to the ticket seller and asked for a refund. To his chagrin, he was given 1.5 RMB yuan less than he had paid. “It is the rule,” the woman replied impatiently to Mr Li’s inquiry about why. Li Chao, the gentleman, came back to his school and stayed the Labour Day holiday away from his parents, with his books and the few pals who chose to stay on campus.

 

PUBLIC ORDER AND A GREAT NATION

 

Is China a great nation? Go and ask people on the street. They would all give you a positive reply. We are proud of our nation. Oh, our nation of long history, great culture and lasting traditions!

 

A great nation is a nation of civilised citizens. It is a nation of disciplined and law-abiding people. It is a nation of no spitting, no littering, and an abundance of tolerance towards others. It is a nation of generosity and style. It is a nation of big hearts and goodwill towards strangers as well as towards neighbours, friends and family.

 

Look around, friends. Do we have the above around us? Do we have plenty of them? Can I proclaim that I am a contributor to the making of a great Chinese nation? Am I a contributor to the presence of a small nation of hooligans and ruffians?

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