Month: April 2012

Patdown at ABQ

Whether it was because he was wearing two layers of clothing, Khaki trousers with too many zippers, a combination of the two, or perhaps because someone monitoring the image/information provided by the machine in some backroom saw something else that they liked or didn’t, my father-in-law was chosen to undergo a patdown after going through a body scanner at Albuquerque International Airport last week.

The screener was very professional. Since I let him know that dad didn’t speak English, and that Shanshan needed to translate what he was saying into Chinese, he made sure to explain what was about to happen slowly, clearly, and with pauses for Shanshan to  do  the translation.

There was no groping (undue or otherwise) as far as I was concerned. The screener seemed very respectful.

Still, it was a traumatic experience for dad, mom, and Shanshan.

In talking with Shanshan afterward, she told me that he’d never been through something like this before. And, we’re talking about someone who lived through the Cultural Revolution.

I can certainly say that during my six years of living and traveling around China, I’ve never been subjected to such treatment, or seen something like it take place. I should also mention that the DPRK security in Pyongyang didn’t do a patdown.

Sleeping Cabbie

I’m not one to take pictures of people sleeping. I find that most folks doing so are trying to ridicule or find humor in posting such photos. That’s certainly not what I’m about. Folks here in Beijing have different norms regarding sleeping/napping than in the US (just as with Spain, Mexico, and other countries). It isn’t uncommon here to see folks napping after lunch, sometimes doing at their cubicles. (I used to take a nap at work more regularly when I had an office, but I’m just too light a sleeper to do so at my cubicle, which is right next to a walkway.)

Tradespeople, such as cabbies and san lun che drivers, often take naps during the day. From what little I know about cabbies from talking with them, they work extremely long hours and live in not-the-best accommodations, often far away from the city center.

The weather was wonderful today… blue skies, a few white clouds, and fantastic air quality. I was on a long walk when I passed by this cabbie taking a nap in the back of his cab. I really liked that he felt comfortable enough in this big city to leave the cab door open and leave his shoes on the street next to him.