Archived entries for Miller Wey

Hard Seat from Shenzhen to Shenyang Chapter 4

Different Lines

By Miller Wey

On the way back to his seat, the young businessman spotted the boy. He was sleeping deeply with head was pressed flat on the glass of the train window and much of his body with it, forced over by the man next to him, a large man with a hard, dark face in a rough navy blue sports coat. When the young businessman had passed the seat before he hadn’t been there. He must have just gotten on the train from some nameless, small Chinese town. Why on earth would this foreign boy, maybe a few years younger than him, be getting on to a train to Shenyang in the middle of nowhere? Maybe he was an English teacher? Could he be one of those backpackers with an overstuffed North Face bag living like a snail with his house on his back?

As the young businessman walked past the boy, he held his breath. Recognition by another foreigner meant excited, staring eyes. Questions. Questions. The same questions. WhatsyournamehaveyoubeeninChinalongcanyouspeakChineseyoucan’t-speakanybetterthanthatshouldn’tyouknowwhatyou’redoingImakemoremoneythan-you? He pushed and gave gingerly through the people standing in the aisle and glanced the way of the foreign boy, still deep in sleep.

Continue reading…


Next Time

By Miller Wey

A groupthink tribute to the Great White Buddha.

I had a Singha Beer yesterday at the Thai place on Yongjia Lu where we met the night before you left and it’s got thinking of escape now. A little hot weather and excess and women and drugs and booze and booze mixed with drugs to make you forget. Is it true about the speed margaritas? Not sure I’d really do it, but Bangkok is a new city and a new me. Before coming to China, I knew I had to move over the horizon to the next place. East coast to west coast and then a little time in Mexico before I got tired of it and I moved back to the west coast before deciding to come to Shanghai. I saw the old Spielberg film and some seventies kung fu stuff. There was usually something on TV back in the States, too. An exposé into ‘Hidden China’ or a friendly, safe profile about the aspirations of average Chinese or people trying to save some near extinct art or song and dance. Continue reading…


Traveler’s Rest

by Miller Wey

Shaoxing Road? Was that the one? He couldn’t be sure. The names weren’t entirely alien, but nor were they familiar. Maoming was one he thought was easy to remember. It was like Mao Zedong’s mom. Maommy, maoming. No one else thought it was funny. But that’s how he remembered. The others he would forget or confuse. He often said he would take the time to write out directions, but he always hoped never writing things down would force him to commit things to memory. While it hadn’t worked yet, he held out hope that one day it would.

Turning a corner, he found himself somewhere new. For him, anyway. How could there be this much tall grass in the middle of the city? Under the dull orange light, the tall grass swayed along the sidewalk. It was darker ahead. Darker and unfamiliar. This was Shanghai, though, not Atlanta. A dark, unknown road didn’t hide thieves or gangs or crackheads or anything else he was raised to believe was waiting for him outside the suburbs. He only had maybe two hundred kuai in his pocket, anyway. Safe enough to keep walking. Continue reading…


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