Leaving China


I’m on a bus. The driver, and all the passengers are British. The Chinese drive everywhere. I think about how difficult it would be to use Chinese public transport if I you don’t understand the language.

I am stood upstairs at the front. Downstairs someone is reciting inspirational quotes from a book by Harry Secombe. I can see the cover. It’s not even written by Harry Secombe.

I stare out of the window at the passing Chinese countryside and city. It looks just like the UK. On a bend, greenhouses grow thyme and other herbs. I can smell them.

We turn onto a muddy track, past a closed down university and a caravan park full of Chinese gypsies. The grass on each side grows taller, and rabbits the size of donkeys feed on it. The bus is now open topped. It stops at a sharp drop in the muddy road. Me and another guy get out, the show a safe route. The bus makes it down ok, but struggles to get up the other side. It stretches and shrinks as if alive and full of water. It becomes tiny, like a newborn kangaroo, and I scrape out a route for it to follow in the mud. It changes again, into a flying insect, and we lose it.

We walk around a corner, hoping it turns up. Neither of us speaks Chinese or knows where we are.

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