The Most Dangerous Place in Beijing

May 8, 2012

I approach the line. Sue is three people ahead of me. She turns to smile at me. “Do you have paper?” Her English words, tinged with a Chinese accent, come out in a burst of energy. This is why I love Sue. She has a zest for life.

I am nothing if not prepared for this type of activity. Of course I have paper! I break open a brand new 12-pack and hand her a sealed package.

The line inches forward slowly.

I break open my own package of tissues, slip one out, and breathe in its essence. “Ahh,” I sigh, “good thing these smell so nice.”

As if on cue, everyone else in line pulls out their tissues and holds them to their noses.

Sue lowers her hand temporarily and begins rolling up her pants. The soft beige cloth folds easily in her hands. I giggle.

“It’s like we’re entering a war zone!” My voice comes out muffled from behind the tissue.

She laughs too. This is also why I love Sue. She is always ready to laugh about anything. Everything. “I know!” She exclaims. “But this IS dangerous!”

Her pants safely secured above her shins, she replaces the tissue against her face. The line trudges slowly forward.

Location: Public restroom, Dawanglu Station, 1 line.

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