scruta

Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Shanghai in a Box – Part 2

[Ferret is lying in bed, trying to sleep. There's a knock on his door. He flicks on the lights and goes to answer it. There's a Young Man there holding a small box.]

Young Man

唉,快递。

Hey, delivery.

Ferret

这是什么东西?

What is this?

Young Man

这是快递。就是,嗯,就是,delivery。

It’s a delivery. It’s a, um, it’s a, “delivery”.

Ferret

那我知道这是快递,但是我没有卖什么东西。

I know it’s a delivery, but I didn’t buy anything.

Young Man

你看地址吧。这不是203吗?

Take a look at the address. Isn’t this 203?

Ferret

是的。

Yeah.

Young Man

那怎么办? 你不要的话,我就带回去。

Then what do you want me to do?

Ferret

这个快递是从哪里来的?

Where is it from?

Young Man

我看一下。

Let me see.

[Ferret and the Young Man examine the package. There's no return address. In the area on the box where it should be, it just says "Shanghai" in Chinese.]

Young Man

上海。

Shanghai.

Ferret

我知道。

I know.

Ferret

你怎么那么晚还是上班?

Why are you working so late?

Young Man

我就是加班啦!关你什么事?你要不要?

I’m working overtime. What does it have to do with you anyway? Do you want it or not?

Ferret

一个人刚刚给我打电话,告诉我你会来。

Somebody just called me and told me you’d be coming.

Young Man

当然啦!这是快递,delivery。

Of course! This is a delivery. A “delivery”!

Ferret

我知道的,但是我觉得这是开玩笑的,或者一个人就监视我,什么的。

I know, but I feel like it’s all a joke or somebody is spying on me. Something like that.

Young Man

开玩笑就是开玩笑。监视你呢?我怎么知道?你到底要不要你的快递?不要收的话,我就走了!

If it’s a joke, then it’s a joke. Spying on you? How do I know? Do you want your package or not? If you don’t want it, then I’m going.

[The Young Man begins to walk away with the package. Ferret stops him.]

Ferret

回来吧!我收了。

Come back! I’ll take it.

Young Man

好的。来签个名吧。

Okay. Sign here.

[Ferret signs for it.]

Young Man

哎,你的中文好不错。你在中国多久了?

Hey,your Chinese is pretty good. How long have you been in China?

[Ferret raises his left hand and extends all five of his fingers.]

Ferret

五年。

Five years.

Young Man

Very good!

Ferret

Thanks.

[ They wave goodbye to each other. Ferret closes the door and sets the box down on his table.]

Ferret

Well, what now?

 

posted by ferret at 4:47 pm  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Shanghai in a Box – Part 1

[It's late and Ferret is lying in bed, reading a book, evading sleep just a bit more so that he can dig further into the world of words. The telephone rings. He picks it up. There's a voice - female, nervous. There's the sound of talking in the background as if it's coming from a call center.]

Ferret

Hello?

Voice

喂?

Hello?

Ferret

Hello?

Voice

Oh, um, hello. You are a foreign person?

Ferret

Hello. Yeah. A foreigner.

Voice

Who is this?

Ferret

You’re calling me. You can’t ask “Who is this?”.

Voice

I… umm… do you want Shanghai?

Ferret

I’m sorry?

Voice

Do you want Shanghai?

Ferret

Do I want to go to Shanghai?

Voice

No. You are in Shanghai.

Ferret

Yes.

Voice

Then do you want Shanghai?

Ferret

What is Shanghai?

Voice

What is?

Ferret

Yes. What are you talking about?

Voice

I will send it to you.

Ferret

What?

Voice

One hour.

Ferret

No. I don’t want it! Whatever you’re selling I don’t want it!

[Ferret realizes that whoever was on the line has hung up.  He lies back in bed and his mind reels with thoughts of what it is that he's been signed up for - credit card offers, free trials of hand lotion, cellphone service for a provider he doesn't use. He sighs and turns out the light. After contemplating the darkness for a moment, he closes his eyes, rolls over and goes to bed.]

 

posted by ferret at 2:12 pm  

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