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    Hiding in a half shed to avoid "catching the Chinese"

    My wandering life has lasted for four years. I eat here and spend the night there, always afraid. There are rumors that Hanoi has ordered the arrest of all Chinese who illegally cross the border. Donghua is famous for its many cross-border Chinese. Two Deng and others moved to other places temporarily. I also want to find a better place to hide. But can I go before? Even in remote mountainous areas, police can easily track or even focus their attention on search. I was in a dilemma. I found uncle Qing, a town resident with an evacuation cabin on the hill, who lived in the land on the west side of the road, with only three families.  Uncle Qing advised: "is there a safe place. I recently noticed a dry ditch not far from here. If you don't want to go anywhere else, it's best to hide there for a while. I'll pay more attention to the town, and if there's any sign, I'll let you know if you're in trouble. "  Thanks for uncle Qing's advice. I followed him to the ditch. He helped me clean and find a place to hide. It was getting dark. Uncle Qing brought me food and water. There was an old man who built a small shed with thatch. The thatch was supported on one end by two sticks and the other against the ground. Then put a bamboo mat on the floor. Only one person can sit or lie there. If it's not too close, it's not easy to find it. Uncle Qing or his son bring me food and water twice a day. I spent two days in a state of unease. The third day is rainy. It didn't rain much, but it lasted five or six hours. Almost all the ditches are wet, bamboo

    [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 14:35:51编辑过 ]
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      A man named Deng RL came from under the dam and asked me to treat his son. Riding my new bike, I came back with him. The sick boy was four years old, pale, short of breath, full of veins and edema in the lower limbs. The examination showed a diastolic rumble at the top of his heart, which was enlarged. The child has acute congestive heart failure caused by rheumatic heart disease and mitral stenosis and needs to be treated with digitalis preparation. I suggest RL can find this medicine only in the hospital. RL said that as long as there are ready-made ones, he can get them. The result is that the Irishman is the chairman of the commune and has a wide range of social networks. I refer to RL the "ouabain" in the Vietnamese Drug Manual. What he knows about me is Vietnamese. I explained that I had taught myself a little. RL wrote down that he went to town on his bicycle. He came back that night, reporting that he went to the county hospital first, and then to the state-run drugstore. The chief pharmacist said there was a shipment, but it was packed and ready for shipment to Wangcai because no one ordered it for a long time. RL asked him to get it back from the bus station, saying he would come back the next day. The next morning, RL brought ouabain. RL's wife said the child was making a fuss all night. I found that the boy, who was blue, restless and crying all the time, knew that the situation was urgent. I quickly extracted ouabain, diluted it with glucose solution, and injected it into the vein slowly. The boy soon calmed down. I told RL and his wife frankly

      A man named Deng RL came from Dam Ha requesting me to treat his son’s illness. Riding my
      new bike, I returned there with him.
      The sick boy was four years old with a pale complexion, shortness of breath, engorgement of the
      jugular vein and lower extremity edema. Examination revealed a diastolic rumbling murmur in the
      apical region of his heart, which was enlarged.
      The child had acute congestive heart failure due to rheumatic heart disease with mitral stenosis
      and required treatment with digitalis agents. I advised RL that this kind of medicine could be found
      only in the hospital. RL said as long as it was readily available, he could manage to get it. It turned out
      that RL was chairman of the commune and had a wide social network.
      I pointed out "ouabain" from the Vietnamese drug manual to RL. He was surprised at my
      understanding of Vietnamese. I explained I had taught myself a little. RL wrote down the name of the
      drug and immediately rode his bicycle to the town. He came back that evening, reporting that he went
      first to the County Hospital without result, and then to the state-run pharmacy. The chief pharmacist
      said it was available but had been packed for shipment to Mong Cai because no one had ordered it for a
      long time. RL asked him to retrieve it from the bus station, saying he would return to pick it up the
      following day.
      Next morning, RL brought the ouabain. RL’s wife said the child had kicked up a fuss all night.
      Finding the boy with a livid face, restless and constantly crying, I knew the situation was urgent. I
      quickly drew ouabain, diluted it with a glucose solution and slowly injected it intravenously. The boy
      soon calmed down. I told RL and his wife frankly that this condition was extremely dangerous if
      treatment was delayed. All family members looked at each other with alarm.
      Following daily intravenous injections and treatment with other drugs, the child improved
      Deng RL treated me to rice porridge for breakfast, rice for lunch and dinner, plus fried fish, or
      fried peanuts, or scrambled eggs, every day for more than 10 days. This was not a menu that ordinary
      farmers could typically afford.
      One day, RL’s brother-in-law came to visit. When he inquired about the boy, RL’s wife
      complained: "Isn't he almost the same?"
      I heard and understood she believed I treated the child too slowly, giving just one shot per day, as
      if I were extending treatment deliberately. I felt it necessary to advise her: "This medicine is very potent
      and can only be injected once a day. In any case, all intravenous injection must be done slowly." But I
      wasn’t sure if she accepted my explanation at that time.
      Deng RL's brother-in-law was passing by on his way to the neighbor county Ha Coi to "consult
      the fairy.” His daughter-in-law was sick and medication didn’t work. He had been told that the
      Demigod Liu of Ha Coi was very efficacious and wanted to consult him.
      The next day he returned and talked with RL and his wife in a low voice. He said that Demigod
      Liu told him that there was a human skeleton buried under the bamboo clump on the left front side of
      his house. The dead bones complained of discomfort because of too much rain recently. The demigod
      said if the bones were removed to a dry place, his daughter-in-law would be healed.
      RL asked, "Are there really bones buried there?"
      His brother-in-law replied, "No idea! I have never heard of that but will go back and dig to see."
      Then he said hesitantly, "Demigod Liu and I live far apart, separated by mountains and rivers. We are
      strangers, so how can he know that there is a bamboo clump on the left front side of my house and
      bones buried underneath? It is really strange."
      About a dozen days later, RL’s brother-in-law came again. He said he had gone home that day and
      really did find bones under the bamboo clump. Therefore, they prepared incense, candles and paper
      money, and requested a master to help move the bones to a hillside. His daughter-in-law began
      improving and the edema was almost gone. But, unfortunately, the edema recurred. Demigod Liu again
      was consulted and this time told RL’s brother-in-law he had to seek help from another able man. This
      was when he requested my services.
      I have never believed in weird things. However, the fact that Demigod Liu said there were bones
      buried under the bamboo clump that even the homeowner didn't know about yet found to be true, made
      me feel incredulous. I should say that although current science can't explain such things, facts are facts,
      which we must admit and then search for a cause.
      It is best not to be self-righteous about respecting only scientific knowledge and dismissing all
      else as "superstition”. If one could better understand such a “miracle” later, it could mean a great
      advance in scientific knowledge. Aren’t there a few examples in the history of science? A
      photosensitive film wrapped with black paper was found exposed by unknown "light”. At that time
      scientists had no idea that some elements were radioactive which could make the film sensitized, so
      they could not explain. However, the scientists refused to regard it as “haunted" but continued their
      research which later resulted in the atomic theory.
      In another instance, a bacterial culture medium displayed a few spots without bacterial growth.
      Scientists didn't know about antibiosis between different organisms at that time, but they persisted with
      research and finally developed the first antibiotic - penicillin, and a series of other antibiotics later. To
      this day, there are few men and women in civilized society who have not benefited from antibiotics.
      Deng RL accompanied me to his brother-in-law's home. After examination I suspected the patient
      suffered from nephrotic edema. As it was not practicable to send the urine for a lab test, I tried an
      alternative method. Asking her and her sister-in-law each to collect their urine in small bowls, I drew
      the urine with a syringe into two waste ampoules, held the ampoules with a bamboo clip and placed
      them obliquely above a glowing charcoal to heat the upper portion of the urine inside. In a moment, the
      patient’s urine solidified into a white mass, while her sister-in-law’s remained clear. Because the urine
      became solid, it should be an excess of protein in the urine - proteinuria. This meant she most likely
      suffered from nephrotic edema.
      Everyone around was amazed. However, I knew that the disease was not easy to cure and frankly
      told them so. Deng RL asked me to prescribe the needed medicine and said he would help to get it. His
      brother-in-law was the commune public security agent and might have some friends help. Therefore, I
      prescribed her a diuretic plus a Chinese herbal formula and told them to give them a try.
      Unexpectedly, nearly a year later I learned that the patient had recovered and given birth to a baby
      boy. Unfortunately, the edema returned. I was not in Dong Hoa at that time and did not know the final
      RL’s son, whom I had treated for congestive heart failure, became strong enough to get up and
      walk. Assuming I no longer was needed, I was preparing to leave when Deng Rong of Dong Hoa came
      to ask me back to treat his grandson's foot injury. RL and Deng Rong were of the same surname clan
      and had known each other for some time. Deng Rong had noticed two small caliber rifles hanging on
      the wall of RL’s hall and said to me, "See, RL is a person trusted by the Communist Party, so he has
      these things." That reminded me that when I was in college, I attended militia training and had
      practiced rifle shooting. So the two guns on the wall did not seem alarming and had not caught my
      attention. Hearing what Deng Rong said, I sighed, “Oh, there is more to this story!”
      Before I followed Deng Rong back to Dong Hoa, I reminded RL, "Later the child may have
      shortness of breath again. You can ask the commune health worker Honggui to help inject ouabain (RL
      had bought all the ouabain from the pharmacy). Honggui is able to do intravenous injection and has
      watched me do it several times, so there should be no problem. Remind him that the medicine is very
      strong, and the injection must be done slowly and never too fast."
      Panic Stricken at the Police Station
      After one or two months, Deng RL hastened to Dong Hoa to report that his son could not stop
      vomiting. I followed him on my bicycle to his house where I learned that Honggui had given
      intravenous ouabain to the boy. As Honggui had been in a hurry to leave, I was told he injected the
      medicine rather quickly. Soon the child began to vomit continuously. They had failed in their efforts to
      stop it. I suspected that because the drug was injected too quickly, the blood concentrations increased
      rapidly and the vomiting center in medulla was activated. I happened to have chlorpromazine at hand,
      so gave the child an injection and the vomiting soon ceased.
      At this time Honggui also came and heaved a sigh of relief: "I just pushed the drug a bit faster and
      didn't expect that it would be so terrible!" Now I believed that RL’s wife finally understood why I had
      injected only once a day before.
      In the afternoon, Deng RL took me and Honggui to the town to buy something. We each rode our
      bikes and had just reached a street corner when a policeman stopped me: "Hmm! You are here again.
      [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 14:38:54编辑过 ]
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        Why did you run last time? " It's like being hit by a bolt from the blue. Deng RL and Honggui are too scared to know what to do. The police dragged me to the police station. He confiscated my money, watch, bicycle and bicycle certificate. After a simple inquiry, he locked me in a small cell. I feel like I've fallen into an abyss, and grief has overwhelmed me. It's all over! Last time I was allowed to "escape" from the police station, but this time I was arrested on purpose. I didn't dream of further flight, feeling that I would definitely be sent back to China. Will I be shot there because I am just sent back to the border, or will I be killed by the "mass dictatorship" and sent back to Kunming? These terrible scenes passed in my mind one by one. This time everything is lost! I decided not to blame duner or regret buying the bike. Even without Deng or a bike, I could be caught at any time. In my wandering years North, I sat on the edge of the abyss every day in Vietnam. I tossed and turned all night, and my previous hopes are now dashed. I feel like a tortoise in a desperate situation or a fish on a chopping board. What miracle will happen? I've been praying to God for help. The next day, when the door opened, I was still in a coma and was told to go out. I hobbled behind the police to the front desk. I'm surprised to see Deng there! The police spoke to duner in Vietnamese and handed me over to him. I went out with RL for no reason. He put me in the back of his bike and we rode off. Outside the city, RL explains, "yesterday you and we

        Why did you run away last time?"
        It was like being struck by a bolt from the blue. Deng RL and Honggui were too scared to know
        what to do. The policeman hauled me to the Police Station. He confiscated my money, watch, bicycle
        and bicycle certificate. After simple questioning, he locked me in a small cell.
        I felt that I was falling into an abyss, grief overwhelming me. Everything was gone! Last time I
        was allowed to “escape" from the Police Station, but this time I was arrested on purpose. I had no
        illusion of further escape, feeling definitely that I would be sent back to China. There, would I be shot
        randomly for just being sent back over the border, or would I be killed by “masses dictatorship” after
        being sent back to Kunming? These horrible scenes passed one by one in my mind. This time
        everything surely was lost!
        I decided I should not blame Deng RL and should not regret buying the bike. Even without Deng
        RL or the bike, I still might have been caught at any time. During my years of wandering North
        Vietnam I was actually sitting at the edge of an abyss every day.
        I tossed about all night, my earlier hopes now dashed to pieces. I felt like a turtle cornered in a jar
        or like a fish placed on the chopping block. What miracle might still happen? I kept praying to God for
        The next day, I was still in a daze when the door opened and I was called out. I stumbled along
        behind the policeman to the front counter. I was surprised to see Deng RL there!
        The policeman talked briefly in Vietnamese with Deng RL and then handed me over to him.
        Baffled, I followed RL out. He sat me on the rear seat of his bicycle and we rode away.
        Out of the town, RL explained, "Yesterday you were suddenly arrested by the police, and I was
        puzzled. Back home I discussed with family and friends a plan for your rescue. Today I went to the
        Police Station and spoke to the chief, telling him, 'My son is dying. The County Hospital can do
        nothing, so I went to Dongxing and asked the Chinese doctor for help. He treated my son for a few
        days and my son has improved. I just went with him to town to buy more medicine, but then you
        arrested him. What can I do now? Do you want to see my son die?’"
        The police chief realized he needed to work with the commune in the future; besides, Deng RL’s
        younger brother Deng RY previously had worked in the County Branch of the Labor Party and was
        friendly with the chief. After reconsidering for a moment, the chief told Deng RL, "Then you should
        control him well, don't let him run around. When your son is healed, you send the doctor back to
        So that his how RL got me out. Once again it was a miracle that I could not have imagined. Thank
        God for having mercy on me again.
        Fortunately, it was this particular case that Deng RL could use as my excuse. But if I were
        arrested on other occasions (which might happen anytime!), how could I get free?
        When we arrived home, RL's wife and father greeted us and were greatly relieved.
        Deng RY reminded me that, in fact, people crossing the border were very common. Those living
        nearby went to Dongxing to buy small commodities, people from there came to visit relatives, and
        nobody cared. Catching the border-crossed Chinese was only aimed at those who stayed a long time
        with their relatives. RL explained that he told the police chief he had gone to China to ask me to come
        for temporary healing, an act of compassion they would not refuse.
        After lunch RL asked, "Who is the owner of your bike?" When I explained it was Liu Fu,
        chairman of Yen Thank Commune, RL said, “Then I am going to get the bike back.” Deng RL and RY
        rode together to fetch the bike and brought it back with no trouble.
        RL said the police chief had not been there, only the policeman who had arrested me. It seemed
        that the policeman had arrested me just to get my bike and money. However, when the certificate
        showed the bike belonged to Liu Fu, chairman of Yen Than commune, he knew he could not keep it. So
        the policeman agreed to return the bike to RL but refused to return the money and watch.
        I said: "Forget it, the watch is an old watch, money is but a dozen bucks. My personal freedom is
        good enough."
        I recalled the time when Liu Fu acted tough but talked softly to sell me his bike, even though I
        was rather reluctant. Unexpectedly, what seemed wrong had turned out to be right. If I had purchased a
        bike from someone else, how could I have gotten it back now? Therefore, whether an event is good or
        bad we do not always know at the time. Time may give us better insight into the truth.
        Deng RL’s son’s vomiting had stopped, so I was free to return to Tien Yen. For safety’s sake, RL
        accompanied me until we had traveled beyond Dam Ha County.
        Third Escape From ‘Catching the Chinese’ Raid
        The Lunar New Year was coming and several of us "Chinese guys" got together in Daan’s hut to
        eat fried dumplings; Uncle Daan was happily smiling all the time.
        Just as the New Year ended, unexpected news came that the police searched and arrested bordercrossed
        Chinese again. There were several nabbed in neighboring communes and counties. What
        should I do? I remembered when I visited patients of Old Town some time back, I learned there had
        been no border-crossed Chinese there for a long time. So I decided to go and hide out there temporarily.
        Going there to the home of a familiar patient, I explained my situation. The owner readily agreed
        to hide me upstairs. His house was one of the few with two stories. In order not to be seen by passersby,
        all three meals a day were taken upstairs to me. I was moved with much gratitude.
        In one corner of my hiding place were several old textbooks of a former private school: "Three
        Characters Classics", "Hundred Surnames", "Thousand Characters", and "Comprehensive
        Philosophical Phrases" etc. When I was a child I had seen them in my grandfather's house. I was too
        young to understand them well at that time; later I had no more chance to see them. Now, surprised to
        find them in this Vietnamese village, I was overjoyed and read them all with gusto. I felt that they
        indeed contained many brilliant philosophical thoughts. In China the Cultural Revolution had swept
        away "the four old", and Chinese culture experienced unprecedented ravages. Even traditional
        children’s books like these were burned. Forgetting one's ancestors and contempt for one's own
        heritage, there was nothing comparable in previous Chinese history.
        A few days passed safely in my new location and the security situation gradually eased. I thanked
        the family and quietly returned to Dong Hoa.
        Tingwen told me that one day a county policeman did come, but not to hunt down the Chinese
        here, as virtually all had left. Instead, the policeman required that Tingwen lead him to Ho Er’s home
        which was more than a kilometer north from Dong Hoa, because two border-crossed Chinese were
        there. Tingwen had no other choice but as they proceeded he considered how he could foil this plan.
        Walking and walking, Tingwen said slowly to the policeman, "I heard that Ho Er has two
        shotguns. You know Ho Er is very crude and rash, if he 'bangs (fires)' over us, I don't know if you or I
        will die."
        The policeman also realized that Ho Er was well-known as a rash man. He began to slow his pace
        and finally said, "Forget it!"
        Ho Er was a somewhat mysterious local character. Nobody knew much about his background
        except that he came to Tien Yen shortly before the Communist take-over in 1954. Word got around that
        he was from Haiphong because he spoke with an accent. Many years before, it was said, a "ghost"
        (here, the French) bullied him, so he killed the “ghost” with his bare hands and then fled to Tien Yen.
        Soon the French retreated and Ho Er remained safely in Tien Yen. He lived alone on a hillside more
        than a kilometer north of Dong Hoa and cultivated waste land by himself.
        There were a lot of rumors about Ho Er: Ho Er ate yam with skin and peanut with shell; when
        plowing he put a basket of yam on each side of the field, and grasped a handful of yam together with
        mud and water to eat when hungry. Even more amazing, he once drove a water buffalo to pull a row of
        lumber up the slope. He yelled and hit the buffalo but could not make it pull the lumber up. Ho Er was
        angry and yelled at the water buffalo: "Well, if you can't pull it up, I will. But if I have to pull it up the
        slope, you are going to die." He pulled, towed and crawled, his shoulders and knees injured and
        bleeding, and he managed to pull the lumber up. Then he turned on the water buffalo and said: "You
        damn it!" He punched the animal in the eyes, nose and mouth, beating the big creature to death, just
        liked a modern version of Xiang Yu, the King of Chu! No wonder the policeman thought it wise not to
        confront such a person!
        [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 14:42:27编辑过 ]
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          First time to Haiphong

          In northern Vietnam, most of the overseas Chinese lived in counties like mengcai, Hakou, Baxia and Tianyan near the border of Guangxi Province in. There are also some Chinese in the county
          Near Yunnan. When it comes to the mainland, China's population is getting smaller and smaller. However, the number of Chinese in Haiphong and Hanoi has increased again. After its establishment, the Communist Party of Vietnam regime, Vietnam and China signed a treaty, reserving that overseas Chinese only have identity to people in Hanoi, Haiphong and Nanding; the rest are classified as Han nationality, and ethnic minorities are in Vietnam. Because there are many overseas Chinese in Haiphong and Hanoi, I would like to visit there to broaden my horizons and look for new opportunities. One day, Mr. Qian visited Donghua and told me that the shipyard would send him to Haiphong minivan to pick up a batch of materials and equipment.  He asked me if I would go with him. Recognizing a promising opportunity, I immediately agreed. The truck driver is a former policeman transferred to the shipyard. He was still wearing his police uniform, which was yellow. Qian said it would help us travel. Two teenage brothers accompanied us, carrying a pair of big boxes. Qian confided that the box contained goods smuggled from Dongxing by boys. He said the brothers were very active in helping their parents "do business" in coastal defense. Money sits next to the driver, and the rest of us stand behind the truck. It is a gravel road from Tianyuan to Haiphong. We approached honggai and walked along a rugged wind road to the coastline; from honggai to Haiphong, the road was even. When I stand

          First Visit to Haiphong

          In North Vietnam, most overseas Chinese resided near in the border of Guangxi province in
          counties such as Mong Cai, Ha Coi, Dam Ha, and Tien Yen. There were also some Chinese in counties
          close to Yunnan. Going inland, the Chinese population became less and less. But in the metropolitan
          cities of Haiphong and Hanoi the number of Chinese increased again. After the establishment of
          Vietnam’s Communist regime, Vietnam and China signed a treaty which retained Overseas Chinese
          identity only for those in Hanoi, Haiphong and Nam Ding; the rest were categorized as Han, a minority
          in Vietnam.
          Because there were many overseas Chinese in Haiphong and Hanoi, I wished to visit there to
          broaden my perspective and seek new opportunities.
          One day, Qian visited Dong Hoa and told me that the shipyard was sending him to Haiphong in a
          small truck to pick up a batch of materials and equipment. He asked me if I would like to come along.
          Recognizing a promising opportunity, I agreed immediately.
          The truck driver was an ex-policeman who had transferred to the shipyard. He was still wearing
          his police yellow uniform which Qian said could be helpful on our journey. Two teenage brothers
          accompanied us, carrying a pair of big boxes. Qian confided that in the boxes contained goods the boys
          had smuggled from Dongxing. He said the brothers were very active in helping their parents “do
          business” in Haiphong.
          Qian sat up next to the driver, while the rest of us stood in the back of the truck. From Tien Yen to
          Haiphong was a gravel highway. Approaching Hon Gai, we followed a windy and rugged road along
          the coast; from Hon Gai to Haiphong the road was more level. As I stood in the truck, against the wind,
          looking forward, my heart was full of hope. The two brothers enjoyed horseplay all the way. They had
          pre-packed gravel and soil which they tossed at Vietnamese girls passing on the roadside. The girls
          shouted and cursed them loudly as they watched the truck speed by. The brothers laughed
          mischievously, bending to and fro.
          We arrived at Hong Gai at noon for lunch. Hon Gai was the capital of Quang Ninh Province at
          that time and was well-known for high quality anthracite coal. There were only a few blocks in the
          town center, but in the suburbs were a lot of residential huts which housed many ethnic Chinese.
          Not far west of Hon Gai was the famous Vinh Ha Long (Halong Bay). Under the blue sky we saw
          more than a thousand rocky peaks of varied sizes and weird shapes jutting up from the endless sea. It
          was said that some of them had large caves, like the Seven Star Cave and Reed Flute Cave of Guilin,
          China. These caves had many Karst geological formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars
          and other shapes. Compared to the landscape of Guilin, the seascape of Ha Long Bay looked even more
          beautiful and peaceful. If we might take a boat ride between the peaks, how amazing it would be!
          There was an island along the coast of Ha Long Bay where our truck traveled along a side road.
          Inland was a sanatorium where it was said Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia had lived for some
          time. After several ferry trips, we arrived at Haiphong in the evening.
          Qian took me to his Cousin Luc’s home. Luc lived on the second floor in the side apartment of an
          old-style house. The family of three was crowded into a bedroom and small living room, a total area of
          about 20 square meters. His son was a high school student who usually slept in the living room; now he
          let us sleep there.
          Cousin Luc was a truck driver for a printing house and his wife was a cotton mill worker. They
          welcomed us warmly. At dinner they treated us to rational pork and a fish bought from the free market.
          They told us if we had come the previous month, we could have had another kind of fish then plentiful
          on the market. Those fish had been confiscated from Taiwanese fishing boats detained after crossing
          the border. All fish were taken and a fine was levied.
          What surprised Haiphong residents was that these fish were all of the same kind and almost of the
          same size. It was said that the Taiwanese fishermen sprinkled a certain kind of bait on the sea to lure
          one type of fish to bite. Haiphong people learned from such things, admiring the scientific
          advancements of the outside world and realizing that even fishing involved science.
          Our hosts recalled the horrific scenes when U.S. aircraft had bombed Haiphong a year earlier. In
          order to resume production immediately after the air raid, the government required that all workers hide
          in a nearby air-raid shelter. The aircraft roaring and the bombs exploding were in close proximity and
          all but deafened their ears.
          Cousin Luc said it was really "life hanging by a thread" at that time. His niece Hu Mei, hiding
          under a small bridge, unfortunately was hit on the back by shrapnel, causing a massive hemorrhage.
          She cried desperately, “This time I will die!” As feared, she succumbed on the way to the hospital.
          I was frightened to hear all of this. Alas, the cruel war!
          During the next two days, Qian showed me around Haiphong, North Vietnam’s second largest
          metropolis and principal harbor. The urban area was rather large, perhaps 10 or 20 streets, but there
          were few shops and few people on the street. An auditorium-style building called the "Great Concert
          Hall" plus the small square in front was the city's most distinctive landmark. Most buildings were built
          during the French regime. They appeared old and dark, some damaged and not repaired.
          We visited two department stores, possibly the only two. One was just a single shop with a front
          counter and a shelf behind displaying daily necessities, mostly domestic products such as clothes,
          footwear, toothpaste and plastic products. The quality was rough; the toothpaste, for example, was only
          contained in a zinc tube without painting and trademark.
          Most commodities were sold by coupons. I was told there were foreign aid items from China, the
          Soviet Union and Eastern Europe available from time to time; they typically sold out quickly but then
          were resold. As for high-end goods such as bicycles, sewing machines and radios, only a few people
          who got the coupons could buy them; they were not displayed in the stores.
          We went to a pharmacy where some medicines were displayed on the counter and shelves. I
          noticed some prettily packaged antibiotics and other drugs imported from Communist countries, and
          even some from France and Japan. The descriptions on the packages were printed in various languages
          but I had a general understanding of what they said. Taking advantage of this rare opportunity, I bought
          as much as I could with the little money I had with me
          There was a bookstore. Although it was also a single shop, the stock was more complete than in
          the department stores, including some Chinese books from China. I purchased an acupuncture manual
          and a “Handbook of Internal Medicine”.
          At lunchtime, Qian and I stopped in at a state-run cafeteria. The printed menu showed only two
          choices: noodles with meat or without meat. Using money and food coupons, we paid 100 grams of
          food coupons per bowl. We were hungry, so Qian and I each bought two bowls. The noodles were
          rather fresh, unlike those sold by the Tien Yen cafeteria which had an odor of cockroach excrement. I
          was told there also were private rice porridge and noodle shops, but a guide was necessary to find them.
          Walking on the street, I sometimes heard people speaking Cantonese. Qian said that in the past
          Cantonese speakers were more prevalent and their economic power was strong; now all their assets had
          become "communist property". He explained that because Vietnam was at war, the government could
          provide limited jobs but did not allow private business. Therefore, many people relied on sneaky ways
          to conduct small business or handicrafts for a living. The government turned a blind eye. Some of these
          entrepreneurs were very skillful, such as using scrap copper and waste iron to weld and assemble a
          bicycle of better quality than the "Unified" brand.
          The father of the two teenage boys invited us for dinner. He lived on China Street. As the name
          indicated, China Street was the home of many overseas Chinese. I was told that when North Vietnam
          became Communist, the name of China Street was retained but most other street names changed. Some
          were named after anti-French “heroes” or “patriots”, such as Phan Phoi Chau Street, Li Thuong Kiet
          Street and Le Loi Street. Others were named for heroes who had historically resisted Chinese
          aggression; the most famous was Hai Ba Trung Street. The two Trung sisters were heroines who
          resisted the invasion of Ma Yuan, the famed General Fubo of the East Han Dynasty (25-220 AD).
          Although they ultimately failed, the sisters still won the respect of Vietnamese people.
          China was now strongly supporting Vietnam. Although the Vietnamese government was grateful,
          old grudges and rivalries of the past 2,000 years were not forgotten
          On the fourth day, we bid farewell to Cousin Luc’s family after breakfast, took the truck full of
          cargo and returned to Tien Yen. Haiphong had not met my expectations of being a truly "metropolitan
          Healing Hemorrhoids in Haiphong
          Qian learned that I had been very successful in healing hemorrhoids in Dam Ha, so he solicited
          patients for me in Dong Hoa, promising a cure for 100 dong. My first patient was a villager there. With
          Qian assisting I performed “ligation-atrophy”. The operation went smoothly, the hemorrhoid fell off
          and the patient was healed after a week.
          The news spread, keeping Qian and me busy healing a few more cases, the patients being relatives
          of Dong Hoa villagers from a neighboring commune. Eventually, some residents of Haiphong,
          informed by their relatives in Tien Yen, invited me to treat them. I went with Qian on the shipyard truck
          or went with friends by bike.
          At this time my friend Adong asked me to treat his cousin in Haiphong. Riding our bikes to the
          Haiphong ferry, we saw three persons there who appeared to be Eastern Europeans. They wore rough
          clothes, old shoes and old rectangular watches. Adong laughed and said, "I’ve no idea where the 'Gwei'
          (Cantonese used to call foreigners ‘Gweilo’ or ‘Gwei’, meant ‘Ghost’) come from. They are poor
          I interjected, "East European Poles and the Czechs are not worse off than those from the Soviet
          Adong agreed. He said East European countries were partly "capitalistic” with some of their
          people involved in dazzling and dissipated entertainment. Then he told me a story: A student was
          selected to study in Poland. Ready to go, he boarded a plane, but was pulled off and sent back home. A
          year later, his father was informed that his son was in Poland engaging in "corruption" (pornography)
          and would be sent back soon. The father and family were baffled because their son had never gone to
          Poland! Later they learned that the son had been replaced there by an impostor.
          We did the operation for Adong’s cousin the same day we arrived in Haiphong. The operation
          went well.
          Next day, Adong took me to visit his old classmate Ho who bought a roast duck to treat us. We
          were rather overwhelmed by the unexpected favor, but Ho said, "Life has improved!" He explained that
          recently the Vietnamese government had relaxed control of the economy and allowed people to engage
          in small business. A family-run roast duck shop was opened nearby and prospered. There were also
          several Chinese who found an old ice making machine. They repaired it and ran an ice shop, which in
          turned led to the opening of two cold drink shops. "I’ll treat you to drink iced sugar water tomorrow."
          Ho said.
          [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 14:45:31编辑过 ]
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            It seems that as long as the authorities do not strangle the people, but let them breathe, the people will work spontaneously and the economy will improve. We bought medicine from the drugstore and went to the bookstore. At a glance, we can see that there are Shaoji's version of "the cultivation of Communists" on the exhibition boards of Liu Zhongguo and Vietnam. In China at that time, Liu Shaoqi was defined as "traitor, traitor and scab maker" and became the number one goal of "the whole party wants to fight, the whole people wants". However, in Vietnam, his works appear in this eye-catching exhibition. What'd you mean by that? A Dong took me to a new congee shop and ordered a bowl of chicken fish noodles. We each had a ball and shrimp and a cup of tea. Three ingots per bowl, twice as expensive as a roadside shop. Good service, lots of customers. Boss Li knows Adong and comes to our table to chat. A Dong congratulates him: "business is good, boss Li!" Boss Li said with a wry smile, "it's better to do it secretly than before. But you still have to take care of those who have power. Even the garbage truck driver, you can't offend him. " "Why do you want to please the garbage truck driver?" "If you don't, he may complain that there is too much water in the garbage, or the broken bowl, or the glass may hurt him, and then throw away your garbage. What can you do? Even if the garbage is OK, he will still punish you for parking the truck 20 or 30 meters away, so you have to move all the garbage away and take your bag alone. " I can see, like in China, the prisoners of war

            It seemed that as long as the authority did not choke the people too tightly, but let them take a
            breath, then the people would spontaneously exert themselves and the economy would improve.
            We bought medicine from the pharmacy, and then went to the bookstore. At a glance we saw Liu
            Shaoji's "On the Cultivation of Communists" on the display board, in both Chinese and Vietnamese
            versions. At that time in China, Liu Shaoji had been defined as a "renegade, traitor and scab", and
            became the number one target that "the whole party has to crusade against and the whole people want
            to kill.” Yet here in Vietnam his works were featured in this eye-catching display. What did it mean?
            Adong took me to a newly opened porridge shop and ordered a bowl of noodles with chicken, fish
            balls and shrimp plus a cup of tea for each of us. It was three dong per bowl, which was twice as
            expensive as the roadside shops. Service was good and there were many customers. The boss Lee was
            acquainted with Adong and came to our table to chat.
            Adong congratulated him: "Good business, Boss Lee!"
            Boss Lee smiled wryly and said, "Better than secretly doing it as before. But still you have to take
            care of those people who have any power. Even the garbage truck driver, you cannot offend him."
            "Why should you curry favor with the garbage truck driver?"
            "If you don’t, he may complain that the garbage contains too much water, or the broken bowl or
            glass may wound him, and then refuse your garbage. What can you do? Even if the garbage is OK, he
            still may punish you by parking the truck 20 or 30 meters away so you have to move all the garbage
            bags there by yourself."
            I could see that, like in China, those with power in Vietnam had a way to gain money and other
            A Careless and Aborted Rescue
            My friend Feng Gang of Haiphong invited me to treat his friend’s hemorrhoid. During the
            treatment I stayed in Feng’s place most of the time. It was a two-story building with dozens of tenants.
            Feng Gang and two other Chinese families lived at the end of the second floor. Each family occupied
            its own small room but shared a small living room where I slept for a few days. My friend’s family
            chatted with me about acupuncture. They hoped to learn it from me but the time was too short.
            It was difficult for me to communicate with my family in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Then I
            learned that I could mail a letter directly from Vietnam to Hong Kong. That way I could send letters to
            my wife Yu Ou and my sister and through them transfer the information to Guangzhou. I wasn’t writing
            anything that would cause trouble, so it didn’t matter if the letter was inspected by Vietnamese police.
            I was anxious to find a local address where letters could be sent to me from Hong Kong. Feng
            Gang offered immediately, saying he had a Hong Kong connection. One of his relatives went to Saigon
            when the French retreated in 1954, and moved to Hong Kong later. They still kept communication.
            Gang said when he received a letter from Hong Kong he would ask someone to bring it to me in Tien
            I was overjoyed. It seemed that in Vietnam, an overseas relationship was not regarded with as
            much suspicion as in China. I was very grateful to Gang for his willingness to help. Now I could
            correspond with my wife as well as my sister, and through them be linked to my family in Guangzhou.
            “A letter from home is more valuable than gold”. After that, every time I got a letter my joy was
            Gang forwarded several letters to me and everything went well until a very unusual incident
            happened. Now that Yu Ou and I had re-established communication, she was understandably anxious to
            rescue her husband. A friend of her father was a captain who was sailing to the port of Haiphong. Yu
            Ou asked him to take that opportunity to contact Feng Gang and try to take me out.
            The captain had been to many countries around the world but had never dealt with Communist
            authorities. With no sense of caution, he asked the local shipping company in Haiphong for help and
            was taken to the Police Bureau. A policeman was sent to knock on Gang’s door, saying that a man from
            Hong Kong wanted to see him. Gang wondered who it was.
            Gang uneasily followed the policeman to the Police Bureau and saw the strange captain. The
            captain asked Gang to inform Zeng Qing Si that he wanted to bring him to Hong Kong. Gang was
            alarmed and prevaricated that he didn't know Zeng Qing Si. It was true because I had never revealed
            my identity to anyone, but now he suspected that Deng Third was Zeng Qing Si. Even if I was in
            Haiphong at that time, there was no way I could go to Hong Kong with the captain. The police would
            arrest me on the spot. Those like the captain who had never lived under a Communist regime had no
            idea how to handle such a situation.
            The captain saw he was getting nowhere and backed off. The policeman sent him away but asked
            Gang to remain for questioning. Gang denied all knowledge of the captain’s request. Returning home,
            Gang was still anxious and preoccupied, but understood that he could no longer forward letters to Deng
            Third. When Gang told me what had happened, I apologized again and again, and told him that I had
            no advance knowledge of the captain’s mission.
            I was moved by Yu Ou’s eagerness to rescue her husband but greatly troubled that she had made
            such an awful blunder. I wrote a letter right away, admonishing her, "As you have spent five years in
            college (Yu Ou had been in Communist prison for five years), it's sensible but foolish enough to do
            such a thing."
            I had been wandering Vietnam for several years, and was using the fake name and identity, but
            now all of a sudden everything was exposed! I suspected that even if it were not so exposed, both
            Chinese and Vietnamese agents must already have the ins and outs about me. Anyway, my situation
            would be more difficult after that, and even Feng Gang might be stalked. A channel of communication
            which I had exerted every effort to build up was now blocked.
            After my letter to Yu Ou was sent, I regretted blaming her so much, realizing the pain she would
            feel. Even without my complaint, when she learned of the unhappy result of her effort, she undoubtedly
            would be greatly hurt and remorseful.
            A Troubling Trip to Haiphong
            There were signs afterwards that my worry was not unfounded. A few months later, Qian invited
            me to go to Haiphong again to purchase equipment for the shipyard. He took the opportunity to make
            appointments with two hemorrhoid patients.
            We stayed in Haiphong a couple of days. The two hemorrhoid operations were successful, but two
            other unusual things happened.
            One day, while Qian was out doing business, I went to visit Feng Gang. As I approached the
            entrance of his building, a woman about 50 in Chinese garb came over and asked in Vietnamese, "Who
            are you looking for?" Somewhat startled, I answered in Vietnamese, "Mr. Gang." After entering his
            home, Gang told me the woman was a member of the residents committee. I was taken aback: There
            were also residents committees in Vietnam! It seemed that the ubiquitous control network of the
            Communist Party was similar in Vietnam and China, but in China it was more strict and dense. From
            that time, I realized I should visit Gang as seldom as possible.
            Before departing Haiphong, Qian and I went to the truck parking area to pick up his load.
            Unexpectedly, a man about 40 years old came over and greeted me (rather than Qian) in Cantonese. I
            do not recall exactly what he said, but his appearance and demeanor were quite odd. He had a short fat
            face, liked to bow and nod his head, and rolled his eyes quickly. A faint smile appeared on his mouth
            corners when speaking. The man didn't say much and then left.
            Qian watched us closely, kept silence, then whispered to me: “Let’s go! He is a policeman!”
            I was immediately on guard. Fortunately, all the goods were loaded, so we started out.
            Approaching the ferry, Qian told me to go in front and mix with the Vietnamese. We left Haiphong
            safely and had no problem when we crossed on the Hong Gai ferry. After staying overnight in Qian’s
            friend’s home, next day we crossed the Tien Yen ferry with greater ease. After all, it was far from
            Haiphong. Both Qian and I supposed that the policeman just gave me a signal and let me go, although I
            didn't know why. Anyway, the Vietnamese police were not active in arresting border-crossed Chinese.
            But I now realized I must be more careful if I needed to go to Haiphong later.
            Healing and Sightseeing in Hanoi
            An overseas Chinese in Hanoi, through his relatives in TienYen, asked me to help treat his
            daughter's hemorrhoids. Traveling with Qian and Adong, I first took the bus to Haiphong, then the train
            to Hanoi.
            As in China, a travel certificate was needed to buy a long-distance bus ticket. With the assistance
            of a friend, I spent 10 dong to buy a fake certificate. Adong helped me buy a bus ticket. As this was my
            first time taking a bus, I inevitably was a bit timid. Fortunately, it was not as strict as in China; nobody
            checked the certificate when we got on and off the bus.
            The train from Haiphong to Hanoi was the older French style with a narrow gauge rail span of one
            meter. It was slow and sometimes shook violently. There were only benches on both sides of the car.
            Many passengers sat on baggage or stood.
            The patient was an employee of a large hospital in Hanoi. Because she was on a waiting list and
            required to stay in the hospital for a long time, she and her family decided to ask me for help. The day
            after arriving, we successfully completed the operation. The following day one of her hospital coworkers
            visited her. She came out to meet him. When he learned the operation was only the previous
            day, her co-worker asked in surprise, "You don’t need to rest in bed?"
            While monitoring her recovery, my friends and I took the opportunity for touring this historic city,
            my first visit to a foreign capital. Taking in the sights, I dreamed about visiting the capitals of other
            countries as well. Little did I know that after 20 more years, my dreams would come true!
            On Hanoi’s wide streets were a number of two- or three-story buildings. They were gloomy and
            old, with few shops open for business. Pedestrians were few. On one side of a major street all the shops
            were ruined, evidenced by their broken facades. In the middle of the street was a large bulletin board
            with more than a thousand names written on it, names of those purportedly killed in a blanket bombing
            by the U.S. B-52 aircraft.
            [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 14:50:39编辑过 ]
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              Sometimes we can see broken chariots, amphibious vehicles abandoned on the street. The department store is a three story building, more solemn than the coastal defense, but few consumer goods and rare customers. On the second floor, I took the opportunity to buy imported medicine. In an almost empty counter, I found two boxes of "Liushen Pill" (a traditional Chinese medicine formula), but the saleswoman said it was "only for display" and not for sale. Most of the buildings on the street are one or two floors, and the former shops have now been changed to residential areas. Hanoi is the capital city with a dense population but limited business and lack of cultural activities. The capital shows no sign of prosperity. We came across a beer cart while wandering in the street. Money is happy, but everyone can only buy one. Fortunately, Qian, I didn't drink. Dong only drank a little. So the three of us lined up to buy three glasses of beer. Almost all the beer was drunk by money. Happily wiping his mouth, Qian said he hadn't drunk beer for many years. Qian and Dong go to a leather store to buy leather belts. I found people queuing up to buy popsicles nearby, so I joined them. Each customer can buy two. When the salesman gave me only one, I asked the other in Vietnamese, using my book. The woman didn't understand. She kept me repeating. My clumsy speech almost got me in trouble. If someone recognized me as a cross-border Chinese, it could be a big problem. Fortunately, a woman behind me is a local overseas Chinese, and she immediately provided me with the correct phrase. There are many overseas Chinese in Hanoi

              Sometimes we could see broken chariots, amphibious vehicles abandoned on the streets. The
              department store was a three-story building, more stately than those in Haiphong, but with few
              consumer goods and rare customers. On the second floor I took the opportunity to buy imported
              medicines. In an almost empty counter I found two boxes of "Liushen pills" (A Chinese herb formula),
              but the saleswoman said it was "display only" and not for sale.
              The buildings on smaller streets were mostly one or two floors, previously shops now converted
              to residential houses. Hanoi being the capital, there was a dense population but limited commerce and a
              lack of cultural activities. This capital city showed no signs of prosperity.
              Wandering the streets we encountered a beer cart. Qian was happy, but each person could only
              buy one cup. Fortunately for Qian, I didn't drink and Adong drank only a little. So the three of us lined
              up to buy three cups and almost all the beer was drunk by Qian. Wiping his mouth with enjoyment,
              Qian said he had not drunk beer for many years.
              Qian and Adong stopped by a leather goods store to buy a belt. I found people standing in line
              nearby to buy ice lollies (popsicles), so I joined them. Each customer could buy two. When the
              saleswoman gave me just one, I asked in Vietnamese for another, using a phrase I had learned from a
              book. The woman did not understand and kept asking me to repeat. My awkward speech almost got me
              in trouble. If someone had recognized me as a border-crossed Chinese, it might be a big problem.
              Luckily, a woman behind me was a local overseas Chinese who immediately supplied the correct
              phrase for me. There were many overseas Chinese in Hanoi so it was not unusual to hear someone
              speaking Cantonese.
              We visited several places of interest, such as the Ba Dinh Square: a place for public assembly or a
              festival parade, built during French rule; the Single Pillar Pavilion: a stout pillar erected in a pond and
              supporting a pavilion; Hoan Kiem Lake: a lake endowed with myths and legends, a famous scenic spot;
              Confucian Temple, etc. These pavilions or temples were similar to those in China, the horizontal
              inscribed board and the antithetic couplets were all written in Chinese. Occasionally they were different
              characters because Vietnam had modified a few Chinese characters to suit its own culture.
              We made a tour around the Hanoi University of Poly-technology. There were a few bare
              buildings, no scenery or landscaping, and just a few trees. During the years of war, that was the best
              they could do. The famous Red River Bridge (Pont Long Bien) was the main bridge in and out of
              Hanoi. When the French ruled, the vehicles traveled to the left; after the new regime took over, they
              went to the right in order to link with the national highways. This change in traffic pattern caused a jam
              that kept policemen busy and drivers confused. Newspapers reported that during U.S. aircraft bombing,
              antiaircraft guns and Soviet-made missiles defended the bridge fiercely, preventing its destruction.
              To Visit an Old Classmate
              I also took the opportunity to visit Nguyen Tai Thu, who was my classmate at the Beijing Medical
              Earlier, I had read an article on the development of acupuncture in Vietnam in the "New Vietnam-
              China Daily". The author was Nguyen Tai Thu, now the president of Vietnam Acupuncture Society. It
              was said that he had been a member of the People's Assembly and later a member of the Committee.
              When we were studying at Beijing Medical College, Thu was the deputy head of the Vietnamese
              student group in our class. I remembered him as being enthusiastic and approachable, so decided I
              would try contacting him in Hanoi. When I consulted Qian, Adong and other friends, they all agreed
              that I should go.
              In Vietnam, people placed more emphasis on kinship and friendship, unlike in China where the
              rule was "class struggle”, "draw a line from the enemy”, and even “refusing to acknowledge family
              members”. The local mantra in Vietnam: "First kin, second power, third regulation" meant that family
              or kin was more important than official power or law and regulations. Later it added "hook"
              (cooperation), and became "First hook, second kin, third power, fourth regulation”, with cooperation
              given first priority.
              From my experience over the years, I believed that interpersonal relationships remained strong in
              Vietnam, encompassing clan, compatriots and schoolmates, as well as nostalgia and friendship. So I
              decided to visit Thu.
              To be prudent I asked Qian and Adong to see Thu first. Nguyen Tai Thu was a celebrity in Hanoi,
              so they had little difficulty finding his address. Thu immediately expressed welcome. The next evening
              all three of us went to visit him.
              Thu greeted us happily, as warm and enthusiastic as ever.
              I smiled and asked, "Do you remember me?"
              He kept repeating, "Yes, I remember, I remember." and firmly shook hands.
              Thu led us into his large living room. I did not see other family members and forgot to ask about
              them. There were a table and two or three chairs by the wall but no other furniture. It seemed a bit bare.
              On the walls were several awards issued by Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, most of them just pieces
              of paper, only a few framed.
              I talked frankly about my present situation. Thu remembered that I was a typical "more
              professional than red" student when we were in the Medical College. He also knew, of course, about
              the current Cultural Revolution in China. He offered to help me, saying he was friendly with the
              Director of the Public Security Bureau of Quang Ninh Province (where Tien Yen County was located).
              As we talked, another visitor arrived and Thu introduced me to him. He was from the Prime
              Minister's office and shook hands with us politely. He spoke briefly with Thu and then left.
              We talked for a while longer before saying goodbye. Thu saw us to the door, expressing hope that
              we would visit him again later.
              After we had been back in Tien Yen for more than a month, one evening Adong asked me to visit
              Dr. Mei of the County Hospital to consult about his father’s diabetes. Dr. Mei greeted us warmly.
              During our conversation, I was surprised when she said, "I went to Hanoi for a meeting two weeks ago.
              Dr. Thu (Nguyen Tai Thu) came over and said, 'Please take care of my old classmate.’ I did not
              understand at first but then realized that his old classmate is you; although I hadn't seen you before, I
              had heard about you already." She continued, "Dr. Thu was in charge of the meeting but I didn't know
              him previously. Perhaps he heard that I had come from Tien Yen and that is why he spoke to me of
              Hearing what Dr. Mei said, I knew that Thu was sincere in helping me. Although his effort was
              ultimately unsuccessful, I was still grateful to him.
              When I was repatriated to China many years later, one of my classmates told me that Nguyen Tai
              Thu on behalf of the Ministry of Health of Vietnam had invited our former classmates of Beijing
              Medical College as a delegation to Vietnam for an academic exchange. Thu asked them about me (my
              classmates didn't then know I had wandered in Vietnam), expressing his warm regard. I requested my
              classmate to forward my best wishes to Nguyen Tai Thu whenever he had the chance.
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                Deng Wan put it in the palm of his hand and said, "fried is delicious." The worm was white and shaped like an oval meatball; one side was scratched by a saw; a pair of small, black fangs protruded from the front; the only black hard part of the worm. Deng Wan said that the wood insect was bitten by two front teeth and lived in the woods all his life. I think it's interesting that woodworms spend their whole lives in holes in wood and know nothing about the outside world. What could be the meaning of such a life? Soon, some villagers began to ask me to treat their diseases. One reason is that I have recovered my cousin Tian's wife's stomachache; the other is that I have cured a patient of postpartum hemorrhage. She was pale and frail, and many thought she would die. I gave her an iron dose of vitamin C, which she's increasing every day, and she'll be able to do housework soon. Soon, the family held a party for the baby on his one month birthday. The Deng family and I were invited. I gave them 10 Duns of red packets, more than the total cost of my three people 8 Duns, including drug visits. I was asked to treat a child who fell from a tree and broke his right thumb bone. The child's aunt is a famous "goddess" in the local area. Many villagers around asked her to make divination. She is blind, but every time she divines, she can catch mosquitoes, flies or other insects, saying it is because of evil. It's amazing! The caller relayed her words and asked me to help her nephew as much as I could, and she would pay. She is known to have money. I went to the sick boy's house and found a man

                Family Letters Conveyed Sorrow and Joy

                I had fled to Vietnam alone, my wife had narrowly escaped to Hong Kong, and my parents,
                siblings and little daughter all were in Guangzhou. What was their current situation? Although they
                were in difficulty, they were more concerned about me who had fled to an “uncivilized place” with no
                kin or relatives and a language barrier. Thus separated, all of us lived with worry and anxiety.
                Therefore, whenever I got a chance, I would request someone to help send a letter from Dongxing to
                Guangzhou to inform the family of my "peace”, although it was not a real peace.
                I dared not send a letter directly to my home address. Even when I asked someone to mail my
                letter from Dongxing, it was sent to a different address arranged by my sisters. For a long time I could
                only mail letters to friends in Guangzhou, but could not receive letters until I had moved to Tien Yen.
                I remained friendly with Uncle Ching who still lived in his evacuation hut at the west side of
                Dong Hoa. Learning that Uncle Ching had relatives in China, I asked if he would accept letters for me
                from Guangzhou. He promised readily, and gave me his postal address in Tien Yen Town. In this way, I
                could receive family letters directly from Guangzhou. Later my sister found a returned overseas
                Chinese from Vietnam who lived Guangzhou and begged him to receive my letters. The old man
                agreed, so then I could mail letters from Vietnam to Guangzhou directly. However, the address was
                used only three times and then closed when the old man was questioned by police.
                I used Uncle Ching’s address for several years. After I was detained by the police, Uncle Ching
                still received two or three letters from my family. But he could not risk handing them to me nor could
                he reply. I realized my parents and family were in great anxiety, not knowing if I were dead or alive.
                Since I could mail letters directly from Tien Yen or Haiphong to Hong Kong, I was trying to find
                someone to receive letters to me from Hong Kong. At first Feng Gang of Haiphong was willing to help
                and received and forwarded a few letters to me. This arrangement had to be terminated after the fiasco
                involving the sea captain. Later I found an old gentleman in Tien Yen who had friend in Hong Kong
                willing to help. This allowed me to resume communicating with my wife Yu Ou and my sister and,
                hopefully, end years of mutual anxiety.
                But one day I received a letter from Yu Ou, saying, "Day after day, a couple of years passed
                quickly, my situation has become more and more difficult. I felt helpless as a woman. Do you
                remember what we joked before? As the old saying goes: 'A man without wife is no lord at home; a
                woman without husband is no lord for herself.’ Though it acts against my will, I have to think to marry
                another. I'm really unfair to you, can you forgive me?"
                I felt a sting in my heart, seeing the inevitable finally happening. Scenes from the past reappeared
                one after another in my brain. I recalled the year at the Beijing Medical College when I wholeheartedly
                concentrated on studying. More than half my schoolmates were girls, some expressing affection for me.
                But I remained indifferent to focus on my studies. The Suburban District of the Medical College was in
                the Eight College Zone, and the eight colleges were neighboring. Tsinghua University and Peking
                University (previously Beijing Medical College was one of the colleges of Peking University) were
                also not far away. Every weekend there were movies, drama performances or a dance party in Medical
                School, and hordes of male students from other colleges came. We laughed and said, "There are hordes
                of toads coming who want to eat swan meat!" However, I myself remained stoic. As the saying goes:
                “Sitting in a waterfront pavilion gets the moonlight first”, but I had no desire even to look at the moon.
                The only female face occasionally appearing in my mind at that time was Yu Ou. Whenever I
                thought of her innocence and her being persecuted and aggrieved because of religious belief, I could
                feel the pain of that injustice. After her release, rejecting all dissuasion and warnings, I was determined
                to marry her. We wished to let the past be past, and begin our lives anew.
                Together we imagined our future: I would apply for a job back in Guangzhou and become a
                doctor in a community clinic. As I worked earnestly to heal patients they, in turn, would be good to me.
                Yu Ou would continue to bring plastic dolls home from the street service station to paint, providing a
                modest but flexible income. If she could get another suitable job, that would be even better. Hopefully,
                through our hard work, we would build a better life together. Anyway, our goals were simple and
                seemed realistic.
                We soon encountered cold reality. In order not to be separated for a long time, so called "until
                reaching the age of white hair" (the popular saying at that time), we had asked friends to help find a job
                opportunity for me in or near Guangzhou. But my application was rejected again and again because my
                wife was a "released counter revolutionary”. Yu Ou was under “masses control” and the incantation of
                Golden Hoop (government control) was getting more and more frequent. Then disaster hit like a bolt
                from the blue, the ruthless bar of the Cultural Revolution forcing us to fly like mandarin ducks in
                separate directions.
                I realized now that her desire to remarry was out of desperation. Alone in Hong Kong (by local
                custom she was still called "Mrs. Zeng"), how could she continue to cope with daily life and social
                pressure? Missing and hunting her caged husband and daughter, her various attempts to rescue me had
                ended in failure. My exile seemed nowhere near an end and more danger could lie ahead. What reason
                could I give to demand that my beloved one spend her youthful years waiting hopelessly?
                With a heavy heart I replied, "I understand very well and entirely agree with you. Wish you
                happiness forever."
                Respectful of Catholic marriage laws, she contacted Father O'Mara (former parish priest in
                Guangzhou deported to Hong Kong by Chinese Communists) who consulted with the bishop’s office.
                It was determined this was a special case of exceptional circumstances and Yu Ou was permitted to
                remarry. A few years later Yu Ou and her family immigrated to Canada where they enjoyed a happy
                life. After my family and I immigrated to the United States, Yu Ou and I got in touch and gave thanks
                to God for his mercy.
                One Sunday after I had just finished treating a patient in Uncle Daan’s hut, my friend came from
                the town bringing me a letter from Hong Kong. Glancing at the envelope, I was pleasantly surprised to
                see my third brother’s handwriting!
                I could not wait to open it. Brother Third wrote of his arrival in Hong Kong by “waterway”! I
                certainly knew that meant he fled by swimming. The letter was very simple. However, it was enough!
                Years later I learned that he and a zhiqing classmate, after a seven-day journey of hiding by day and
                walking by night in the mountains (my own experience, so I was fully aware of its hardship and
                dangers). They had entered the sea somewhere in Bao-an County and swam for a few hours,
                successfully arriving in Hong Kong.
                I could mentally picture my strong and tall third brother (he is 1.88 meters tall) and his classmate
                proceeding bravely together to the sea and resolutely swimming to a future of freedom. I closed my
                eyes and lifted my head up to heaven: Another family member escaped successfully. Thank God for His
                Providence again.
                I recalled many years later that during the 10-year calamity of the Cultural Revolution, I
                experienced a world of suffering and hardship, but there were three events that made me happy - very
                happy: the first was Yu Ou successfully fleeing to Hong Kong; the second was receiving this letter from
                my third brother; but the third was yet to come.
                Seeking Refuge with ‘Cousins’ in Bac Giang
                Dong Hoa villagers were kind and friendly. But there were always several border-crossed Chinese
                drawing attention from the Vietnamese police. After escaping several raids, Deng Er, Deng Wan and I
                wanted to find an alternate place to stay. Deng Er had a distant aunt in Bac Giang Province. He and
                Deng Wan had visited her several times and recently someone there requested them to do carpentry. I
                asked to go with them.
                Deng Er was reluctant at first, worried that my practice of medicine might attract attention of the
                police. I proposed to go and see, saying that if the situation was suitable, I could apply for a moving
                permit to officially settle down. Deng Er talked with Deng Wan and they agreed that I could try. They
                also realized that if they themselves fell ill, being undocumented, it would be difficult to get medical
                care. So my presence would benefit them as well. They agreed that I could accompany them.
                We were going to Coffee Village of X Commune, X County, Bac Giang Province, more than a
                hundred kilometers away from Tien Yen. It took about two days on our bicycles. The two Dengs
                brought their carpentry tools; I brought two packets of medicine. We prepared dry food and water and
                simple baggage; we also bought dried squid or dry sand worm for gifts, because this kind of seafood
                was rather rare inland. Deng Wan had just learned to ride a bike recently and his bike chain became
                loose several times. Fortunately, I brought a simple kit of tools and helped him adjust the chain. We
                rarely encountered another person along the way and knew not where to find a bicycle repair shop.
                It was hot and we were sweating. Suddenly a heavy rain came. We put on plastic raincoats and
                bamboo hats, but the water still flowed over our heads and necks. The wind blew, pulling at our
                raincoats and hats, making us look somewhat ridiculous. Finally, seeing they were doing no good, we
                took them off and continued to ride on.
                That evening, we arrived at a small market and lodged with a relative of Deng Er. The family
                treated us warmly. When we left the next day, we thanked and gave the host a packet of dry squid. At
                two or three o’clock in the afternoon we arrived at Coffee Village. We boarded and lodged with two
                sons of Deng Er's aunt. I followed the two Dengs to meet Cousin Da and Cousin Nee. Deng Er's aunt
                lived with her youngest son.
                Coffee Village included both ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese but the majority was Chinese. The
                houses were scattered on hilly land and were mostly built with compacted earthen walls or muddy
                bamboo mats. Residents had three meals a day, with rice porridge or yam for breakfast and lunch, and
                rice for dinner. In addition to the collective labor of the production team, every family cultivated slopes
                for sesame. It was said that they planted coffee trees in the past, thus the name Coffee Village. Now it
                was easier just to plant sesame, which required only sowing the seeds by season and then harvesting.
                No weeding was necessary because, it was said, "sesame grows faster than weed”.
                The two Dengs began work at the home where they had a prior appointment. I watched them saw
                wood for a while and noticed a wood worm about two centimeters long fall from a hole in the wood.
                [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 15:01:13编辑过 ]
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                  Deng Wan put it in the palm of his hand and said, "fried is delicious." The worm was white and shaped like an oval meatball; one side was scratched by a saw; a pair of small, black fangs protruded from the front; the only black hard part of the worm. Deng Wan said that the wood insect was bitten by two front teeth and lived in the woods all his life. I think it's interesting that woodworms spend their whole lives in holes in wood and know nothing about the outside world. What could be the meaning of such a life? Soon, some villagers began to ask me to treat their diseases. One reason is that I have recovered my cousin Tian's wife's stomachache; the other is that I have cured a patient of postpartum hemorrhage. She was pale and frail, and many thought she would die. I gave her an iron dose of vitamin C, which she's increasing every day, and she'll be able to do housework soon. Soon, the family held a party for the baby on his one month birthday. The Deng family and I were invited. I gave them 10 Duns of red packets, more than the total cost of my three people 8 Duns, including drug visits. I was asked to treat a child who fell from a tree and broke his right thumb bone. The child's aunt is a famous "goddess" in the local area. Many villagers around asked her to make divination. She is blind, but every time she divines, she can catch mosquitoes, flies or other insects, saying it is because of evil. It's amazing! The caller relayed her words and asked me to help her nephew as much as I could, and she would pay. She is known to have money. I went to the sick boy's house and found a man

                  [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 15:08:44编辑过 ]
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                    offee village household registration

                    In the afternoon, I went back to coffee village and asked cousin Ni to show my moving permit and send it to the commune and then to the county police station. Now that I have my Hukou as a formal identity, I can walk around in public and sleep at night. Happily nibbling away a part of his front room with a bamboo mat provided me with a single bamboo bed.
                    I told nee I was almost killed by a red cap bomb. Perhaps accustomed to hearing things like this, he said without surprise, "lucky, lucky." Beijiang province was bombed several times before. Once, Ni took me to visit the former chairman of the commune who helped me to get a permit to move. The chairman's house is also a shabby hut with a compacted earth wall and thatched roof. When discussing the American plane explosion, he walked into the room and carefully took out a small barrel shaped warhead to show us, saying that he and other villagers had taken the bomb and dismantled it. He's going to ask someone to open it later because the dynamite is worth some money. I was shocked to learn that he hid the warhead under the bed. Didn't he worry about the accidental explosion smashing him on the spot? Watching him carry the bullet back to his bedroom, I still shiver! Despite my new "official" status, the villagers still think that I am a cross-border Chinese who privately wants to know how I got the move permit. But they're happy that I have status. Now there is a doctor in the village, which is convenient to see a doctor. Soon, the commune held An'an

                    Registered Residence at Coffee Village

                    I returned to Coffee Village in the afternoon and asked Cousin Nee to present my moving permit
                    to the commune and then forward it to the County Police Station. Now that I had a registered residence
                    and an official identity, I could move around openly and sleep peacefully at night. Nee happily
                    partitioned a portion of his front room with bamboo mats and provided a single bamboo bed for me.
                    I told Nee that I was almost killed by the bombing in Hong Gai. Perhaps used to hearing such
                    things, he showed no surprise and just said, "Lucky, lucky.” Bac Giang Province also had been bombed
                    several times before. Once Nee took me to visit the ex-chairman of the commune who had helped me
                    receive the moving permit.
                    The chairman's house was also a shabby hut with compacted earth walls and thatched roof.
                    Discussing the U.S. aircraft bombing, he entered the room inside and brought out with great care a
                    small bucket-like warhead to show us, saying that it was obtained when he and other villagers
                    dismantled an unexploded bomb. He planned to ask someone to open it later because the dynamite was
                    worth some money. I was flabbergasted to learn that he kept the warhead under his bed. Did he not
                    worry about an accidental detonation smashing him to pieces on the spot? Watching him carry the
                    warhead back to his bedroom, I still quivered!
                    Despite my new "official" identity, the villagers still regarded me as a border-crossed Chinese and
                    privately wondered how I obtained the moving permit. But they were happy that I had an identity. After
                    all, now there was a doctor in the village, making it more convenient to get medical attention.
                    Soon the commune held its annual election. I also was eligible to vote. Many days before the
                    election, banners with "Go to vote!" were seen everywhere, and the radio broadcast also called people
                    to vote. On Election Day voters stood in line to circle candidates on their ballots, place them in the
                    ballot box, and wait for the authority to announce the winners.
                    The ethnic Chinese chairman then appeared, greeting everyone and trying to appear cheerful, and
                    announced: "This is my last day as chairman."
                    The new chairman was a Vietnamese.
                    On our way back, cousin Da had taken me to the home of one of his relatives. The host was more
                    than 40 years old, of medium height with short hair and a small round face, and very clever eyes. He
                    had heard of me before and welcomed us warmly. He told his wife, "Go to cook the rice porridge to
                    treat the guests," then asked their children to pick and bring back ears of tender corn. We helped strip
                    off the grains for cooking.
                    The couple’s two children were adopted, a boy twelve and another seven. However, the younger
                    boy was higher in order of clan seniority than the older one, so the twelve-year-old was required to
                    serve the tea and rice to all including his seven-year-old “uncle”. This demonstrated that the family still
                    observed seriously Chinese traditional Confucianism regarding order of seniority.
                    At lunch we had fried peanuts and corn. I had never eaten such delicious tender corn, probably
                    because it was freshly picked. To my surprise we also were served white dry rice rather than "rice
                    porridge". I recognized this as a form of modesty that had been popular among Chinese folks in the
                    past, such as saying "simple dinner" for banquet, and referring one’s own child as a "puppy", and so on.
                    The overseas Chinese still retained this courteous and modest custom. However, after many years of
                    “class struggle” in China, all these niceties were thrown away beyond the highest heavens.
                    During lunch our host said he was going to Dongxing to buy a "station" - a transistor radio. The
                    Vietnamese called the radio a "station" because radio programs came from the broadcasting station. He
                    also said he knew someone in the County Police Station who would register it for him. In Vietnam it
                    was required that a radio purchase be registered with the police.
                    Radio was one of the advanced goods in Vietnam. Together with a bicycle and a wristwatch, the
                    three were regarded as a symbol of wealth and status. There was a popular tune, saying:
                    I don't love the first-class soldier,
                    I don't love the second-class soldier,
                    (because) he has only five dong a month,
                    a month only five bucks.
                    …... …...
                    Looking, looking, I found a lieutenant,
                    The lieutenant is old,
                    but he has a lot of money.
                    See, a “station” hung on the shoulder,
                    and a watch worn on the left hand.
                    Therefore, a "station" hung on the shoulder was very chic. A lot of people liked to sing this song
                    with great affection.
                    So our host went to Dongxing and bought a "station". a Panda transistor radio. He was so happy
                    that he carried it around day and night, showing it to everyone. For some reason, it never was registered
                    with the police, but I didn’t know why.
                    Coffee Village Stories
                    It was very hot for a couple of days following a broadcasted warning that a heat wave was passing
                    over. The head of the Coffee Village production team was a loud-mouthed ethnic Chinese. He declared,
                    spraying saliva: “Humph! They said that the U.S. aircraft found the heat wave, and chased and drove it
                    to Hanoi. No wonder Hanoi was so hot in these two days that people called for help.” He further
                    complained: "The Yankee has advanced science, even the weather is subject to his command!"
                    I found that although the political atmosphere of the whole country was anti-American, the mood
                    of admiring America was sometimes evidenced among the folks.
                    The former head of Coffee Village was a man known throughout the area for reading many
                    "Tang" or classic Chinese books. Three years previously, he suffered an epileptic seizure. After that he
                    resigned and began working in finance. He was gentle and was very friendly to me.
                    During a chat with him, I learned that the locals had a habit of eating raw pork and beef. I
                    immediately thought that his epilepsy might be due to brain cysticercosis caused by pig tapeworm.
                    After further questioning, he said that someone had expelled a sort of "long tape" in his stool during a
                    bowel movement. I explained it was tapeworm, and urged no further consumption of raw pork or beef,
                    especially "rice pork" (pork with something like grains of white rice embedding on it). I also told him
                    that the seeds of pumpkin produced locally could be taken to expel the tapeworm. He was very
                    interested and said that if he had had known it before, he might not have gotten sick.
                    Someone from a neighboring commune came to see me for his stomachache. He was tall and thin,
                    with two prominent canine teeth and flickering eyes. He claimed to be the head of the production team,
                    and described his ailment: "I don't know why, but almost everyone on the leadership has this disease."
                    It seemed that he was very proud of being "the leader".
                    I gave him medication and made an appointment for him to return after two days. Before leaving,
                    he said he would pay later. But after four visits, he thought he was healed, no longer came, and ignored
                    the debt. Two weeks later, he came back saying that it hurt again. So I gave him medication again and
                    asked him to pay, but he said he forgot to bring money with him. I told him that he had to complete a
                    course of six treatments. However, after five visits he again stopped coming.
                    Later a Coffee villager passing by his house reported that he had said: "Humph! That Chinese
                    guy, I didn't call police to catch him is good enough, how could he dare to ask me to pay?" I dismissed
                    it with a laugh. However, the villagers saw this was unfair and urged me to ignore him afterwards. I
                    remembered in the past I had encountered a similar situation in Dong Hoa. "The same rice feeds
                    hundreds of different people". Anyway, such cases were rare.
                    A person from a commune visited Cousin Nee. I noticed that the man had no earlobes. After he
                    left, when I asked Nee why, he laughed and said, "He is the former Party secretary of a commune. They
                    have an unwritten rule: Anyone who is caught in adultery should have his ears cut off. Would the Feng
                    Shui be unfavorable? Three consecutive Party secretaries have had ears cut off. This man tried to rape a
                    female high school student. The girl pretended to submit, but suddenly grabbed his ‘spring bag’
                    (scrotum) before proceeding, pinching and pulling. The man cried in pain and was totally immobilized.
                    People came and caught him. Instead of cutting off his ears, the student’s father showed mercy and
                    only cut off his ear lobes with trembling hands."
                    I had never heard such an intriguing tale and could not help but laugh. I thought this was an
                    effective means of resisting rape. I also could see that in Vietnam the traditional moral code was still so
                    powerful that even Party officials who violated the rules had to obediently accept punishment. In
                    China, that would only be a fantasy.
                    Thanh was the work-point recorder of the production team. He was a Vietnamese, the son of a
                    tailor. When the villagers asked the tailor to make clothes, he would measure, cut right away, and return
                    any extra cloth to the customer immediately, so he had a good reputation. Despite this craft, his family
                    was still poor.
                    Thanh’s family was friendly to the two Dengs and asked them to make some furniture. The Dengs
                    spoke only limited Vietnamese, and Thanh's family spoke a combination of Chinese and Vietnamese.
                    Soon Thanh's youngest sister fell in love with Deng Wan, and they talked about marriage. I was happy
                    but also worried for them: Deng Wan didn’t have a legal identity, so what would happen in the future? I
                    didn't know how the Thanh family felt about it. Anyway, they were married.
                    Six months after I left Coffee Village, the problem I feared actually happened: Deng Wan was
                    deported back to China. But after some time he returned. This back-and-forth was repeated over and
                    over again for several years, including during the era of worsening Sino-Vietnamese relations. The
                    difficulty for this couple could only be imagined. But finally Deng Wan was able to obtain his Vietnam
                    ID and the lovers formed a family.
                    Residence Registration Revoked
                    My good times didn't last long. I was a person with ID for only two months before the County
                    Police Station notified the commune that I must obtain a "formal" moving permit. My blood suddenly
                    chilled: My residence registration was broken! They did not directly arrest me and gave me a way out,
                    probably because I had healed some patients and had a good reputation. Anyway, the Vietnamese
                    authorities were more humane; this was my experience from wandering in North Vietnam for many
                    I packed up my things and headed back to Tien Yen. Before leaving, I wanted to express my
                    gratitude to Cousin Nee. His wife was weak and could not do heavy work, so I gave him money to buy
                    a used sewing machine she could use to help support the family. I also gave a little money and a set of
                    used clothes to Aunt and Cousin Da. In this way, I changed from being a person with ID not needing to
                    be alert day and night for two months, to one who had again lost everything!
                    Back to Dong Hoa, I found Uncle Daan happy and asking why I had been away so long. The
                    villagers also were concerned and asked. I told them I was in Bac Giang but didn't mention Coffee
                    Village. Soon there were patients to visit me.
                    Seeking a New Foothold
                    The situation in Northern Vietnam was always up and down, depending on the war in the South.
                    Adong was public security agent of the town community. One day he came to Dong Hoa, warned me
                    that police recently had been checking strangers more often, and advised that I go to town less
                    frequently. He also said that if I wished, he might take me inland to visit one of his relatives. There I
                    might find a place to settle. There were few border-crossed Chinese inland, unlike Dong Hoa where
                    they were objects of unwanted attention.
                    Of course I was willing and very grateful for his sincerity for trying once again to help me. This
                    time he would take me to Nam Dinh, the third metro city in North Vietnam. Riding our bikes, we
                    passed through Hong Gai, Haiphong, and on the third day afternoon arrived at Adong’s relative’s home
                    in the suburbs of Nam Dinh. This commune was mainly Vietnamese with only a dozen Chinese
                    households. Adong talked with his relatives about finding a foothold for me. The host said there had
                    never been "Chinese" there and he was not in power in the commune, so he was unable to help.
                    After dinner, he chatted with us about the terrible bombing at a military uniform factory nearby
                    last year: "Everyone in the village had to go to shoulder the corpses to bury. What was a corpse? Only a
                    head or a leg or just a piece of flesh with blood. You carried it on the shoulder and were stained with
                    the blood on your head and face and body; it was just like a vampire and really scary!"
                    Then he said: "It is said that there will be bombing again. Alas! I am worrying about where to
                    evacuate the two kids."
                    "Why not come to Tien Yen?" Adong suggested.
                    "Oh, that is difficult too!" He sighed.
                    We had to return without any result. On our way back through Haiphong and Hong Gai, friends
                    told us that they received an evacuation notice again. They were cleaning out an abandoned air-raid
                    shelter in the suburbs of Hon Gai. We stayed one night and hastened back to Tien Yen.
                    The following day, Adong came to Dong Hoa
                    [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 15:12:19编辑过 ]
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                      编辑文:The next day, a Dong came to Donghua and said to me, "yesterday we just left honggai. U and American planes bombed. The place where we drank the iced sugar water was bombed to ruins. Fortunately, we left in time, otherwise. He added, "I don't know if the girls who sell us ice sugar water have been killed. After the explosion, the police stopped all the passers-by and gave everyone a excavator. " Once again, I barely passed by! A Dong said that his wife received an evacuation notice two days ago, so he came to Donghua and wanted to rebuild his cottage in the old place and open a bicycle repair shop, "making a dollar is a dollar." Within a few days, many residents from Tianya Town, Hongji and Haiphong came here to build a simple hut on the road to Donghua. County hospitals and other county units were evacuated to the north slope of Donghua. I have been advised to be more careful during this period, because the police will pay more attention to strangers. Therefore, I take turns to hide in different homes during the day, more often sleeping in sugar at night on sugarcane fields or mountains. I slept well in the cowshed one day. I went to Uncle Qing to see if I had any letters from Guangzhou. I found a cowshed in the south of a lonely mountain. When I asked whose cowshed it was, uncle Qing said it belonged to whose town people sea. Hai is a lumberjack. He keeps two buffalo to pull his woods. He put buffalo in at night. I asked Uncle Qing if Hai would let me sleep there at night. Uncle Qing also thinks this is a good place. The next day, uncle Qingshu reported the case, "Haiwei said for another person, he disagreed. B

                      [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-16 15:16:25编辑过 ]
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                        Apply for temporary residence

                        The reunification of the north and the south means that there will be no bombing, no evacuation, and no fear of conscription for young people. During the Vietnam War, the situation of the cross-border Chinese was ups and downs. Now
                        The war is over. We want to know what the Vietnamese government will do to us. Can we stay? Anything else? On the positive side, I have learned from time to time that the situation in China has gradually eased and I have begun to consider whether I should come back. To this end, I made some preparations, such as asking someone to help exchange RMB. I cautiously used vague words to advise my family of intentions. However, I still have to eat here, sleep there and watch out for the police. Other friends of Adong helped me find a legal residence several times.  In spite of their failure, I appreciate them. Later, a Dong suggested that he could talk directly with DAC, the head of the county police station, to see if he would give me a legal temporary residence. I agreed. Two months later, Dong conveyed the DAC's request that I submit my application. So I wrote to say that I met difficulties in China and crossed the border to Vietnam. I have been a patient for almost seven years. I hope the Vietnamese government will give me a temporary resident so that I can continue to serve the patients with peace of mind. The application was translated from Adong to Vietnamese, and it was also original in China. DAC told me to wait and don't worry. It seems reassuring; at least I don't have an emergency. Although I'm still eating and sleeping, it's not necessary

                        Applying for Temporary Residence

                        South and North reunited meant no more bombing, no evacuation, and young men no longer
                        worried about conscription.
                        The situation of the border-crossed Chinese had been up and down during the Vietnam War. Now
                        that the war was over, we wondered what the Vietnamese government would do with us. Could we stay
                        there any longer?
                        On the positive side, I learned from time to time that the situation in China had eased gradually,
                        and began considering if I should return. To this end, I made some preparation, such as asking someone
                        to help with Chinese currency exchange. I cautiously advised my family in vague terms of my
                        However, I still had to have a meal here and a sleep there, and always beware of the police. Adong
                        and other friends had helped me several times trying to find a legal place to stay. Although
                        unsuccessful, I was very grateful to them. Later Adong suggested that he could talk directly with Dac,
                        head of the County Police Station, to see if he would give me a temporary legal residence. I agreed.
                        Two months later, Adong conveyed Dac’s request that I submit an application. So I wrote, saying
                        I had encountered hardship in China and crossed the border to Vietnam. I provided health care to
                        patients for almost seven years. I hoped that the Vietnamese government gave me temporary resident
                        status so I could continue to service patients with peace of mind.
                        The application was translated into Vietnamese by Adong and handed over together with the
                        Chinese original. Dac told me to wait and not to worry. That seemed reassuring; at least I was in no
                        immediate danger. Although I still had meals and slept here and there, it was not necessary to sleep in
                        the wilderness.
                        My previous medical training class was expanded and was semi-public at this time.
                        After a period of time, Adong conveyed Dac’s word to me. He wanted me to apply for
                        "naturalization in Vietnam" (joining the Vietnamese nationality) instead of "temporary residence". I
                        was reluctant and made no change.
                        Some time later, Dac asked to see me personally. Adong accompanied me to the Police Station
                        where Dac greeted me courteously. Our conversation was translated by Adong but sometimes Dac
                        spoke directly in Cantonese. His main point was still “naturalization in Vietnam”. It seemed he attached
                        great importance to this issue.
                        I said in a mild and roundabout way, "As my family is in China, I hope that the Vietnamese
                        government will give me a temporary residence. I guarantee that as long as I stay in Vietnam, I will do
                        my best to service patients. Later returning to China, I will remember you, continue our contacts and
                        keep the friendship."
                        I could see that Dac was not very happy, but he did not say anything, just telling me to wait for
                        the news. In the days following I heard vague rumors that my resistance to naturalization might put me
                        at risk.
                        A former patient of mine sent a message to me that he had something important to tell me. The
                        man was a veteran and a member of commune public security. I was alarmed and went to his single
                        hut, but the door was locked. He was a bachelor and not always at home. As it was far to his hut, I did
                        not return. I naively believed that because I had turned in the application I would necessarily receive a
                        reply, either positive or negative. If they notified me that my application was not approved, I would go
                        back to China myself.
                        After a few more weeks, on some day in October 1975, Adong told me that someone from the
                        Provincial Public Security Bureau wanted to see me.
                        I expressed doubts: "Would that not mean there is a problem?" Adong did not know. However, I
                        still thought very innocently, “Since I had applied, I must have a response.”
                        Preparing for whatever might be ahead, I packed a few clothes, a winter coat, and a towel and
                        toothbrush, and then went with Adong to the police station. It was not Dac but a man from the
                        Provincial Public Security Bureau who met with us. He was very polite, asking me in Cantonese to
                        accompany him to the bureau.
                        The Public Security Bureau was in Hong Gai, so I said goodbye to Adong and followed the
                        policeman to the bus station. Before arriving at the bus station my escort took me to a house at the end
                        of the street and directed me to take a rest first. It was Qian’s Vietnamese cousin’s home! Being so
                        close to the police station, I didn't understand why I should rest here instead of at the station. As we sat
                        for a while with Qian’s cousin, I considered excusing myself to use the toilet and then slip away. But I
                        quickly gave up the idea, still clinging to the belief that since I had applied for temporary residence, I
                        must receive a response.
                        We crossed the ferry, took a bus and arrived at Hon Gai near evening. The police were already off
                        work; my escort said we would stay at his friend’s house that night. I did not question why we were not
                        going to the Guest House of the Public Security Bureau or another public facility. That should have
                        been the normal procedure but I did not think of that until later.
                        I followed my police escort into a small hut with a bamboo bed and a dining table in the front
                        room. I did not know how many rooms were inside. The host treated us to a simple dinner. They talked
                        in Vietnamese, so I didn't understand much. After dinner, the host arranged for us to sleep. His family
                        members and the policeman slept inside, leaving me to sleep alone in the front room. The hut was
                        small, so how could they accommodate a guest inside? Why not arrange the police to sleep with me in
                        the front room? But at that time I didn't think about that.
                        I was tossing and turning and could not sleep well. What would happen tomorrow? I was aware of
                        possible danger, and again considered the idea of escape. But if I ran out, surely the neighborhood dogs
                        would bark. Anyway, I still stubbornly clung to the idea that since I had applied, I must receive an
                        answer. If I was not approved, then I would just go back to China myself.
                        The next day after the breakfast, the policeman produced a document and officially detained me. I
                        read the document, really surprised that it was signed by the chief of the Public Security Bureau! I
                        knew this was unusual, because the repatriation of border-crossed Chinese was a trifling thing, nothing
                        that needed to be ordered by the chief of the Public Security Bureau, nor requiring that an officer be
                        sent specially to Tien Yen to bring me here. Just notifying the local police to arrest me would have been
                        quite enough.
                        No matter, I was detained. Perhaps my mind was somewhat prepared for this or maybe I had
                        simply become numb after many years in and out of detention. Anyway, I felt no great shock.
                        The policeman directed me forward and followed quietly, handing me over to another officer in
                        the reception room and then left. There was only prison in Vietnam but no “detention center” like in
                        A policeman sitting behind a table, and a short man about 40 years old (later known as a "jail
                        aide") approached me with a stern face. He motioned me to take off all clothes except my underpants.
                        He kneaded the seams of them but found nothing, and then checked the other clothes one by one. In
                        addition to cash totaling a dozen dong, he found only a straightened gold ring hidden in my waistband.
                        After the jail aide left, the policeman began asking in Cantonese about my name, age and address.
                        As I did not have address in Vietnam, he asked me to report the place I stayed most frequently in Dong
                        Hoa village, Tien Yen County; then my address in China. I had reported it when I applied for temporary
                        residence, so I did so again.
                        After this inquiry, I was sent to Cell No. 125.
                        There were already four prisoners in the cell: two Vietnamese and two Chinese. All four got up to
                        greet me in Vietnamese and Chinese respectively; I identified myself to them as "Chinese" in both
                        Vietnamese and Chinese.
                        The two Vietnamese seemed displeased and sank back on their boards on the ground, but the two
                        Chinese expressed a weary welcome. Later I understood that the Vietnamese resented my coming in
                        and making the Chinese in the cell dominant.
                        By now my mood was basically calm. I didn't wonder how the Vietnamese government would
                        handle me, because I knew all border-crossed Chinese were repatriated, and nothing else. Of course, I
                        was worried that back in China I would be subject to investigation and denouncement, and might
                        encounter all sorts of suffering and humiliation. Would I be charged with "treason" and be sentenced to
                        prison, or even be beaten and slain in a completely lawless way?
                        But I also had learned that the abuses of the Cultural Revolution had eased, and there was less and
                        less news about fighting and killing between the two factions. In fact, I had not seen or heard of any
                        Chinese who fled to Vietnam for a long time. As long as I did not encounter lawless fighting and
                        slaying, I was not afraid of investigation, because I had never done anything criminal. In addition, I
                        also knew that China and Vietnam were friendly countries and were "comrades plus brothers"; crossing
                        the border into Vietnam was not regard as against the law. Just like fleeing to Hong Kong, it simply was
                        a "violation of border regulations". Wasn't it true that some border-crossed Chinese even returned to
                        Vietnam not long after being repatriated to Dongxing? At least that was the case for those in
                        Guangdong and Guangxi. But what would happen to me in Kunming? I did not know. But I thought the
                        same rule would be followed.
                        On the other hand, for several years, I had intermittently read the “New Vietnam-China Daily” (in
                        Chinese) and the "People Daily" (in Vietnamese), and learned of several major events in China: China
                        and the Soviet fought for Zhenbao Island; Mao's "close comrade-in-arms" Lin Biao escaped and died;
                        and, what surprised the Dong Hoa villagers most, was that the number one enemy common of Vietnam
                        and China - the President of U.S. imperialism shook hands with Mao.
                        When newspapers published Mao’s picture showing him aged and puffy, many people said "it
                        looks bad.” Others said even more bluntly, "Old Mao's fate is up.” All in all, I felt that the situation in
                        China had been improving. The idea of returning had gradually grown in my mind. I also hinted at my
                        intention when I wrote to my family in Guangzhou. When applying for temporary residence, I naively
                        thought that if it was not approved, I would automatically go back to China. But I really didn't expect
                        the application to be denied and me to be forcibly repatriated. That was to bring more suffering and
                        Regarding such suffering and humiliation, I had experienced quite a lot over the years, but
                        believed I could survive more in the future if necessary. Be calm facing the sufferings, I reasoned, and
                        this chaos would pass away. The "Great Leader" wanted people to hail him "live forever", but he could
                        not live forever.
                        Be strong, time was on my side!
                        I calmly recalled my experiences during this period: From applying for temporary residence I was
                        requested to apply for naturalization instead. In my interview, Police Chief Dac personally requested
                        this again but I still was unwilling to change; apparently my fate of "cannot stay" already had been
                        decided. Later during the waiting period, I heard troubling rumors and was privately given a message
                        of "something important to tell you", but still did not become concerned. In addition, I was not detained
                        by local police but by an officer specially sent from the Provincial Public Security Bureau to Tien Yen
                        to take me to Hon Gai; and before going to the bus station we took a rest at Qian cousin’s house; when
                        arriving at Hon Gai we stayed one night at the policeman’s relative's home instead of an official place;
                        the policeman let me sleep alone at the front room - all unusual procedures that offered me
                        opportunities to escape. But I still did not perceive this, clinging to the idea that "since I applied, there
                        must be a result, if it's not approved, I will automatically go back". So I made no effort to evade or
                        escape. These events and how I had handled them now told me the way I must go. It was somehow my
                        destiny to go through more sufferings.
                        Just do what God wills, and pray that God will support me.
                        Now, after more than a decade, I realize what might have been my fate if I had been allowed
                        temporary residence at that time: Three years later, in 1978, China and Vietnam changed from
                        "comrade plus brother" to mutual hatred. Overseas Chinese were massively expelled by the Vietnam
                        government. I would definitely have been driven back to China. With my "record" as "cow demon and
                        snake spirit" in the Cultural Revolution and fleeing to Vietnam, I would not have been allowed to settle
                        like other Vietnamese overseas Chinese. I might well have been charged with treason. What then would
                        have been my fate?
                        Now I see my denial of temporary residence as "A blessing in disguise" – that is indeed a
                        profound philosophy.
                        [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-17 14:14:32编辑过 ]
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                          Four bar (prison) provincial prison, usually known as "Fourteen bar", surrounded by mountains on three sides. About 20 cells form a semicircle. There is a row of offices and guard quarters near the exit. The lower floors are kitchens, outdoor showers, etc. My cell phone has a window to the office in the distance. Each cell can hold six prisoners. A few planks were laid on the floor as a place for six people to sleep together. There's a closet at the back, which has a portable toilet and a washing bucket.
                          Under the front window is a small hole in the wall. I was told to lock the foot of a heavy criminal. Another offender: two long rectangular bars with hinged ends. Two semicircle holes were inserted into each bar from the outside. The prisoner's foot was placed in the hole, and the other end of the column was locked outside. So the prisoner can only sit or lie down. Fortunately, I didn't see anyone locked in my cell. Every morning, a policeman with a prison assistant checks the ward. They opened the door and glanced inside to verify the number of prisoners. Then a prisoner took out the toilet and changed it for one of the clean ones, and also for a bucket of fresh cold water. After drinking, the remaining half of the body is washed with a bucket of water, and each person takes turns to wash every day. The prison assistant was the one who searched me that day. He always has a serious face. Two other Chinese prisoners called him "pig" and said they really wanted to hit him. Shortly after the rounds, we had brunch at about 10 o'clock, including a small bucket of rice, a small bucket of rice

                          The Fourteen Bar (Prison)
                          The provincial prison, generally called the "Fourteen Bar", was surrounded by mountains on three
                          sides. There were about 20 cells forming a semicircle. Near the exit was a row of rooms for an office
                          and guards’ dormitory. On a lower level were the kitchen, open air showers and the like. My cell had a
                          window facing the office in the distance.
                          Each cell could accommodate six prisoners. A few wooden boards were laid on the floor as a bed
                          where all six slept side by side. There was a closet in the rear with a portable toilet and a wash bucket.
                          Under the front window was a small hole in the wall. I was told it was to lock the feet of the felon or
                          other offender: Two long rectangular poles hinged at the end with two semi-circular holes in each pole
                          were inserted from outside, the prisoner's feet were placed into the holes, and the other end of the poles
                          were locked outside. That way the prisoner could only sit or lie down. Fortunately, I saw nobody
                          locked in my cell.
                          Every morning a policeman with a jail aide checked the ward. They opened the door, and glanced
                          inside to verify the number of inmates. Then an inmate took the toilet out and exchanged it for a clean
                          one, also exchanged and brought in a fresh bucket of cold water. After drinking, the remaining half
                          bucket of water was used to wash the body and everyone took turns each day.
                          The jail aide was the man who searched me that day. He always had a stern face and often was
                          very demanding. The other two Chinese inmates called him "the pig", and said that they really wanted
                          to beat him up.
                          Shortly after the ward check, we ate brunch about 10 o'clock, including a small bucket of rice, a
                          small bucket of boiling water, and a vegetable pot. The inmates allocated the food among themselves.
                          Each received a full bowl of about 150 to 200 grams of dry rice; the vegetable pot was almost always
                          boiled spinach. Dinner was around five o'clock. Every other week we had pork, each inmate getting
                          two pieces of pork about two fingers wide.
                          It was said that the Vietnamese and Chinese were mixed in most cells. Here “Chinese” referred to
                          both ethnic Chinese and border-crossed Chinese. Due to the differences in language and custom, the
                          Vietnamese and Chinese were always divided into two factions and quarreling in their confined space
                          of a dozen square meters. According to the rule of biology, the interspecific competition is always
                          higher than the intraspecific competition. Although all human beings are the same species, the rule
                          seemed to be true for different ethnic factions. Whenever a Vietnamese or Chinese was taken in or out
                          of a cell, the changed balance of factions would be reflected in meal allocation and other
                          Meal allocation was the main cause of conflict, and opposition between the two factions was
                          sharp. I could speak limited Vietnamese and tried to act as peacemaker. After negotiations, we agreed to
                          take turns, with the one who allocated the meal taking his portion last. This seemed rather fair to all, so
                          the factional conflict eased somewhat.
                          The lack of cleanliness connected with bowel movements bothered me. There was no toilet tissue
                          or any other paper in the prison. Some wrapping paper I had brought in was soon used up. What to do?
                          The bristles of the broom were not allowed to be pulled out, although I secretly used them once or
                          twice. A Chinese inmate advised me to ignore the problem which seemed a bit disgusting. Fortunately,
                          a new Vietnamese prisoner joined us. Our cellmates begged him to share his food, but I was happy to
                          receive his newspaper.
                          The weather was hot. Besides taking turns each day to wash our bodies in the remaining half a
                          bucket of water, we went down to the large open-air shower room next to the kitchen to take a shower
                          once a week. Everyone had a haircut once a month, done in the cell by a barber prisoner.
                          There were bedbugs on the wooden boards. Although they were killed with boiling water from
                          time to time, they could not be eradicated.
                          Another problem was scabies, and almost everyone was infested. I was very careful to avoid them
                          but still found a few between my fingers. A Vietnamese inmate had the most serious case of scabies,
                          with blisters all over the body. He used a needle to pierce them one by one. I advised against it but he
                          wouldn't listen. He developed a high fever the next day and was sent to the hospital.
                          I was detained for nearly two months in this prison and, fortunately, did not experience forced
                          labor, political studies, or criticism, denouncement and struggle. It was said that the labor camps in
                          other places were quite different, with forced labor, meager food, and abuse or beating commonplace.
                          That a prison is a microcosm of the outside society is true.
                          Two days later, I was called for inquiry. The inquirer was the same officer who took me from Tien
                          Yen to Hon Gai. He began with a set format of questions: name, age and address, but not family
                          members or social relations. He asked class status. I answered "professional" (my father was a doctor).
                          He did not understand the term and asked if it meant "bourgeois" or "petty bourgeoisie"? Neither, I
                          tried to explain to him, but he still did not understand. So I let him write what he pleased.
                          Afterward, he began asking questions, only occasionally recording my answers. For example:
                          China was very big, right? Where had you ever been? Was Beijing much bigger than Hanoi? What city
                          did you live in? Were there many factories? What factories? What hospital did you work in? Who was
                          the dean? Did you like your hospital? How was the relationship between you and your colleagues?
                          How much did you earn a month?...... But he asked nothing about the Cultural Revolution or political
                          His questions continued: How many years had you been in Vietnam? Where had you been? You
                          did heal a lot of patients, right? How many patients the most a day? If you continued to be a doctor in
                          Vietnam, where would you like to practice medicine: in Hanoi, Haiphong, or in towns or countryside?
                          Did you have many friends? Who were the best ones? Did you like to make Vietnamese friends? Who
                          were your best Vietnamese friends?......
                          I was really surprised by such an extensive and random inquiry, but gave straight-forward and
                          truthful answers. A day or two later it finally dawned on me that he had been testing my feelings for
                          China and Vietnam so to reach a final judgment about my stay. I understood right away that I would
                          certainly be sent back to China
                          There was no further inquiry.
                          Then I remembered Nguyen Tai Thu, the classmate I had visited in Hanoi a year earlier. It
                          suddenly occurred to me that he might be of help in my present predicament. The next day during our
                          cell check, I asked if I could write a letter. The policeman, stunned for a moment, asked to whom I
                          would write. I answered: "Doctor Nguyen Tai Thu, Hanoi." The policeman and the "pig" were very
                          surprised, but gave me a pen and paper.
                          I wrote my friend in Chinese as follows: "A year ago I visited you in Hanoi. We had a nice
                          memorial chat about the past years in Beijing Medical College. Things are unpredictable. A year later I
                          am behind the bars. The affairs of human life are unpredictable. But I’ll take things easy as they come.
                          Could we meet again sometime in the future? God knows. Wish to take care respectively." The address
                          on the envelope I wrote in Vietnamese.
                          What was written was written. I couldn’t hold much hope, but just gave it a try. Next day, I
                          handed the letter to the policeman and said I had no stamp. He glanced at it and said in a low voice that
                          it would be sent out.
                          Sure enough, that letter would make a ripple like a stone thrown into a pond.
                          Chinese and Vietnamese Cellmates
                          I met three other Chinese in my cell. One was a tall man from Dongxing or nearby. He might have
                          been a teacher or clerk. He did not talk much, seemed to be preoccupied by troubles, and liked leaning
                          on the window to look outside. I didn't make much of an impression on him.
                          The second was named Chen, in his 50s. He said he was a handyman in the family of Chen
                          Jitang's brother. One time he and another man were called to air-dry banknotes for Chen Jitang
                          (Governor of Guangdong Province, 1929-1936). They spread out the dampened banknotes on the roof
                          terrace, from time to time loosening them with bamboo rakes. He told a lot stories about the Chen
                          family. He and the tall man were repatriated before me.
                          My third cellmate was also called Chen. He was from Yangjiang County, about 30 years old. He
                          was an apprentice of an herbalist of Traditional Chinese Medicine. One of his cousins who fled to Hong
                          Kong two years earlier ran a small business and often remitted money to his family. Chen was longing
                          to join him and tried to flee to Hong Kong with several people but failed. Later he heard that he might
                          practice Chinese Medicine or do small business in Vietnam, so he and several friends went there
                          together. They had no relatives in Vietnam, did not understand Vietnamese, and soon were caught.
                          He talked a lot about the Cultural Revolution, said that in a village of his neighboring county, all
                          the “five categories” and their families were slain on one night, even the babies were not spared. The
                          evildoers shouted "Be red throughout the village and for generation after generation". The news
                          reached Hong Kong and was known to everybody.
                          I heard this with my hair standing on end and expressed concern about the current domestic
                          situation in China. Was there still random fighting and slaughtering? Chen said it was not as chaotic as
                          before. However, the two factions were still fighting each other; the targets to be overthrown went
                          higher and higher, from the city and province to the greater administrative regions, and finally to the
                          Beijing center. At first it was Liu Shaoji, Deng Xiaoping and Tao Zhu who were "proletarian
                          revolutionaries" one day but overthrown the next day. The big rebel leaders in Peking University and
                          Tsinghua University, the members of Central Panel of Cultural Revolution, fell one by one. Later
                          events were the Lin Biao defection; "Criticize Lin Biao and Criticize Confucius", with its disguised
                          goal being Zhou Enlai....... "In a word, not a single man is good."
                          Hearing that there was no longer randomly lawless fighting and killing, I recovered some peace of
                          There were four Vietnamese in my cell successively. One was a fisherman from a small island off
                          the coast. He was in his 30s and had been held for half a year for fighting and wounding somebody. He
                          was reckless but honest, and I had more contact with him than the others. Another one appeared to be a
                          minor official and was sophisticated. One was a thief and often a troublemaker, causing the atmosphere
                          between Chinese and Vietnamese to grow tense from time to time. Another was also a thief in his teen
                          years; he was temperamental and not always reasonable, once almost fighting with old Chen.
                          Felony criminals were not held with the border-crossed Chinese.
                          [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-17 14:18:13编辑过 ]
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