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The distance between you and me

Popularity 13Viewed 28079 times 2016-7-19 00:29 |Personal category:ideas|System category:Life| distance, between

I suggested to my parents during the Spring Festival that I would be going back home to see them in the mid of 2016, since I saw my father’s graying hair and mother’s wrinkling face, which made me feel painful inside as the only son working in Beijing, more than 1,000 km away from them. I think the world is always stuffed with magic, for one of my best friends demanded I participate in his wedding party on July 16. By this chance, I decided to go home and see my aging parents. Hearing the news, my mother overjoyed, and so did my father, who speaks little but thinks so much of his son---me. I was not as joyful as they were, but the moment I stepped into the high speed train heading for my hometown, I began to bring back stories of home to my mind.

The time to go back to the past happy memories didn’t last long before I sat down, thinking about the wedding party in which my friend and his girlfriend would become husband and wife. As my mind settled down, I had no other things to regurgitate but to begin to feel sorry for the train riding experience I was having the moment.

I was sitting in the mid of a row of three seats, with a fair lady dressed in white on the left and a tall and handsome young man wearing glasses on the right. The lady capped his head with a white hat, lowering her head fully focusing on his mobile while listening to music with a pair of earplugs. I had a poor character of being sheepish when wanting to speak with beautiful ladies, especially strangers. Yet, I wished to peek the beautiful face of that lady but failed many times, since she never lifted her face when playing with her mobile until she had to stand up to have a date with the toilet. Finally, I stole a chance to have a look at her but we seldom opened our mouths to utter a word apart from something like “Please make way for me” and “Thank you”.

The handsome young man sitting on the right copied the style of that lady, and the only difference was I could peek his handsome face because he was much taller than me even in the sitting position and looked around and even at me but had no words ready to speak to a stranger sitting beside him. I didn’t know what he was listening to with his earplugs or what he was reading on his mobile, but I can judge he was not intended to have a short conversation with me. I am a shy boy but was not playing with my mobile or listening to music, and so what was left for me was to watch the high-speed moving flash cartoons outside the window, which were more beautiful than the atmosphere inside, since green and life were everywhere.

I am not sure of the rules of riding a high-speed rail, but I am sure that speaking to strangers around you is not forbidden by the rules. Although our distance between one another was just a few centimeters, I felt there was a distance of 1,000 miles between us. I know that people may feel unsafe or untrue talking with strangers, but speaking with strangers for a while on the train is not something that serious or dangerous. On the contrary it is something nice which can make the whole environment more enjoyable rather than boring and dead. 

Looking around, I surprisingly found no one was talking to one another unless some of them were couples, friends or relatives. It seems that chatting with strangers was something unbelievable or stupid. I understand we shouldn’t shout on the train but keeping silent like someone who cannot speak makes us look like snakes, who always remain alone until they enter their mating season to find proper mates. 

In contrast, riding an average speed rail can make your life a little more vibrant. 

The first long distance coverage for me happened on October 1, 2011 when the whole nation was in rush hour because of the annul National Day holiday. I went to Shanghai to see my beloved one. Although the final result was not that good, the experience on the train was surprisingly nice. I chattered all the way to Shanghai with so many strangers on the floor, for I booked a standing ticket, which means I had to stand all the way to the metropolis. In fact, I didn’t stand but sat on the floor where many other young travelers did the same. With a few minutes of chat, I knew each other and spoke as widely as I could. Those who spoke with me responded as happily as I did.

Later when I went to Beijing and Suzhou and returned to Xi’an by train, I conversed a lot with different kinds of guys and girls, who showed so profound warmth and hospitality to me. Although our chats meant nothing but chi-chats, the dry train-riding experiences were unforgettable, since I knew we were connected and cared about one another in the eye of a stranger. On July 16, I got on an average train to Yangling, the city only a few kilometers away from my hometown. That was only a one-hour trip, but the vibrant chatting environment made the deepest pit of my heart warm, although I conversed with no one but my sister. a

However, I am not saying that it is a horrible experience taking a high speed train to travel around the country, but I am saying that chatting with no one on such a beautiful train drove me to reflect on our way of travel. I personally feel that our words with one another become fewer and fewer, especially when we are on the high speed train. Another reason why we now don’t have words with strangers is we stuff our ears with plugs and our eyes with movable video players such as mobiles, pads or notebooks, even on the train. 

This is the distance between you and me.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)

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Passing

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Shake hands

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Comment Comment (12 comments)

Reply Report Chengking 2016-7-19 11:28
Civility or self consciousness, I wonder which ...
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-7-21 16:59
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted it.
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-7-23 15:52
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted it.
thanks
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-7-23 15:52
Chengking: Civility or self consciousness, I wonder which ...
You may think so.
Reply Report honeysun 2016-8-3 15:40
I am studying in Yangling
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-9-9 23:57
honeysun: I am studying in Yangling
Great!
Reply Report RonJaDa 2016-9-18 09:11
Somebody has to take the first step, however I find travel in rain weather people are more open to talk.
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-9-22 09:19
RonJaDa: Somebody has to take the first step, however I find travel in rain weather people are more open to talk.
People usually don't talk on the high speed train and are willing to talk on an average train. This is what I have experienced. Maybe your experience is different.
Reply Report Cher123 2016-9-22 12:05
you know what, I prefer to sit silently and pretend to be busy in case of being bothered by strangers  when travel lone. it's called " self- protection" from a girl's view.
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-9-29 13:43
Cher123: you know what, I prefer to sit silently and pretend to be busy in case of being bothered by strangers  when travel lone. it's called " self- prot ...
Your words sound quite reasonable in today's China, but I still hope to chat with more or see others chat more even on the train. We are not alone but are bonded together by communication. If people don' talk for hours during daytime, it looks quite odd.
Reply Report zx1989428 2016-10-27 15:37
when i am in the high-speed train,i usually fall  asleep, because it is  so tired in the long distance's travel,if there are stranger talk with me, i will just say:en,yes,yes. no.  and other short words,  talking to stranger  is difficult for me even i am not shy.
Reply Report Breezer-1 2016-11-22 22:15
Clearly on the map

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