I was planning to reflect on my mind-blowing adventures in 香港 (Hong Kong) today，but I’m completely distracted. Right now, I’m sitting at what seems to be a time warp: a cozy coffee shop [15号南池子大街] with the cutest trinkets, hella indie music (like, Sufjan Stevens indie), and a big glass window showcasing the harsh reality of the Beijing hutongs — jagged sidewalks, dirty brick, half-demolished homes.
On my way here, I passed by an old woman desperately trying to find a cab. Every available taxi that she flagged rejected her. She yelled 他们不要停因为我看病了(They don’t want to stop because I’m frail) while pedestrians giggled at her demise. I hesitated for a couple of minutes before helping. My delayed reaction wasn’t about overcoming apathy, but being caught off guard. I don’t know how to articulate it…it’s like witnessing an overwhelming misdeed that you don’t believe it’s happening, and then realizing that your very inaction is contributing to the injustice in front of you.
This is not a criticism of Beijing. This has happened to me many times before in many different places. I guess it was more of a reminder that humans are humans. We are brilliant. We are cruel.