Letters to Chinese Society 1 – CPC

by Betty P

Happy Friday everyone, and a warm welcome back to spring weather! To celebrate, we give you below the first of many Open Letters to Society to come. This category will be reoccurring, and we would like to invite you to send us your own letters to chosen parts of the PR. Or simply post below in the comment section.

Shanghai, China
17 January 2010

Dear CPC,

I am under no illusion about the vast number of letters that you receive on a daily basis, but I hope very much that you deem my humble epistle worthy of contemplation.

I write to express my sincere congratulations to you and your Party and further, to proffer my encouragement in the hope that it will steel the hearts and minds of those in your ranks to pursue feats of equal greatness.

As a mere guest in your country and one that meekly embarked several years ago on the study of your complex and beautiful language, I have been exposed to multiple facets of your land and people and my simple message to you is this: heed not your doubters, heed not the naysayers of the Western media, the unpatriotic blogosphere and the bullying governments of the world, for you have adhered to your principles and deserve to be highly commended on your achievements.

The object of my admiration is your esteemed subway system. It is the consummation of  everything the people of your great country have fought for for so long and may you draw great strength from the promise it displays. The majesty of this masterpiece manifests itself in a number of ways – do allow me to expound lest there be any mistaking my heartfelt admiration.

After years of struggle, you have created an environment where each and every Chinese person may pay the same price for their transportation. The post breast enhancement operation trophy second mistress in diamante heels whose government official boyfriend had to take his son to a swimming competition so couldn’t drop her off at the shopping mall to fix a broken nail will pay three renminbi for her journey. The farmer from the outskirts of Shanghai who came to submit a petition to the local government to protest the incessant chemical dumping which has committed the female members of four generations of his family to shrivelled, impotent heaps will also pay three renminbi for the same journey! This must be considered the embodiment of equality.

But this is not just about money – I know you strive to be rid of this ugly concept anyway – the subway should be considered a model for spacial equality. There is no limit to to the contortions that will be performed by every sector of society, the rich and the economically challenged; school children, cleaners, office staff and beggars, so that all those that want to travel may have the opportunity to do so.

I find the subway especially equal between the hours of 8am and 9am and subsequently between 5pm and 6.30pm every single week day. I find this concept ingenious. Between these hours you are gently setting an example for what could be possible at all times. It is at these times in particular that I clearly see the genius of your work; an elbow in the eye, a pony tail in the mouth, the hawking of phlegm, unpleasant odours from hidden body parts, unidentified objects swaddling your people into the trains or the odd person slipping down between the train and the platform do not matter  to anyone in the least. I also find it particularly refreshing that sickness, infirmity, weakness or pregnancy do not hinder the smooth-running of the system – the afflicted have the same opportunities as you or I.

And it does not stop there, those carriages you have so generously provided also constitute a forum for wealth re-distribution. It is with great joy that I hear the stories of my friends who have stumbled upon these practises. I myself once shared a considerable portion of my monthly wage with the fine people of your nation.

In summary; have no fear. This germinating seed of equality should be allowed to grow, flourish and spread into every sector of society.

Ever reverent,
Betty P