“Unknown in China” / Memorable Fancies #1320

[“…unknown as I am even to the people next door, and how very unknown then in China.” – Franz Kafka]

Walking on the Nanjing Road in the evening, east toward the river, I have a sudden comforting realization: no one in this evening’s throng will assume I know Chinese. No one will come up to me and offer trinkets, or ask if I need a taxi, or quote a favorable exchange rate for the yuan. No one will ask directions, or brag to the American outsider that there are twenty-three Starbucks in Shanghai, or innumerable McDonalds. I am, in a way, invulnerable. Alone.

<END>

[the writer, at the Great Falls Book Festival, 2015]

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