Wei Liu: My Life in China 1.1: 180 Square Feet Home Filled up With Fur
Wei Liu: My Life in China 1.1: 180 Square Feet Home Filled up With Furniture
The Series Books of My Life in China
Wei Liu April 2013
Common people write memoir or autobiography too. As a common person lived in China, when I write it, some people around me say, “You are not celebrity. Who will read your autobiography?” If someone says to them, “You are just inferior,” they must feel so incensed, but in their heart, don’t they just regard themselves as inferior? I believe in that all people are equal to each other. And my autobiography writing about the ups and downs of common people, with the grand political and economic events that affect people’s life, which will appeal to common people more than books not focused on therein.
Literature, by the norm of whether its scenes actually happened or not, is divided into two big categories: non-fiction and fiction. Non-fiction including autobiography, memoir, and other writings on things happened. Fiction is novel. Prose is an unclear category and should be cancelled. So literature is not just novel. Someone says, “This year I read 40 novels.” Are all the 40 books imagined scenarios?” Outside the Window by the Taiwan writer Yao Qiong is her autobiography, nonfiction, not fiction, not novel. If the reader cannot tell whether a work is happened or imagined, he may just say, “This year I read 40 literary works.” Anyway, the series books of My Life in China is my, Wei Liu’s memoir, autobiography, and of course belong to nonfiction.
It is not quite possible to require anything to be 100%. There is hardly 100% consent or 100% against. Let’s use 50% as the demarcation. Over 50% or mostly consent is consent; over 50% or mostly against is against. The same, if over 50% of the words in a work actually happened, then it is nonfiction; if over 50% of the words in a work is imagined, then it is fiction, which is usually called novel.
In this book series, except myself, other people around me are only mentioned by their last name, not their first name. They know who they are. My words depict the life of me, as a common person in China and render the solution for the 1.3 billion Chinese people to free ourselves from the hardships and oppressions and to finally have a happy life. Everybody is welcome to spread or publish my writings. Once you do not charge the reader, you don’t need to pay me, the author, anything. According to the international convention, the works educating or serving the public, like the book series of My Life in China may cite other works and are not confined by the copyright. Wish all who consent the ideas of the human rights and democracy, spread these ideas to one or more people every month, to save yourself, to save China, to let the world have more peace and happiness.
The end of the foreword.
Book 1: From Birth to the Graduation of Elementary School
My Life in China 1.1: 180 Square Feet Home Filled up With Furniture
In late April 1970, I was born in the No. 1 Workers’ Hospital, Lianglukou, Urban District, Chongqing, China. My father is a doctor in this hospital. So the hospital is both the place I was born and the place where my home is. My mother has a last name of He. In China, women do not change their last names after marriage, which I like. She is a teacher in No. 52 High School, Guihuayuan, Chongqing, China. My last name Liu is from my father’s last name Liu. My home is in a 3-floor building, which is the hospital dormitory for its employees. The wall of the building is the grayish cement and the ceiling is made of gray tiles, forming two slopes arched in the center. The doors open to the inside corridor, invisible from outside. From outside, people see a line of big square windows, 4 feet long and wide, no balconies. The building faces north and south. Each window from the two sides lives a family.
Little, little me is held, carried, or guided into the second floor of the building. The top floor or the third floor is the auditorium of the hospital. “Ka, ka, ka—” descending down several wooden steps, turning to the left, walking to the end of the dingy corridor, then turning to the left is the door of my home. My home lies on the northeast corner of this building.
The door is dark brown. In front of it is a 5 square feet greasy yellow cloth curtain. My dad or mom lifts the curtain, opens the door, and then a room filled up with varied furniture come to my scope. This is a room about 180 square feet, with about 18 feet in the north-south direction and 10 feet in the east-west direction.
After entering the door, beginning from the southwest corner is a dark brown bamboo shelf, on which my mom and dad have put so many stuff that I never know. Next furniture to the north is a greasy dark brown cupboard, in which there are several china bowls. A crib is beneath the cupboard. On the top of the cupboard are 4 thermoses. In China, the tap water cannot be drunk. If people do, we will get sick.
The next furniture on the west wall to the north is a wardrobe that contains all the clothes of our family. Its facade is bight brown paint, with the upper left corner being a black pine tree, which is a Chinese painting. Its right side is a big mirror that distorts everything. By looking at it, I never know whether I look beautiful or ugly. The big wardrobe is the only good-looking furniture in the room.
The next furniture on the west wall to the north is a queen size bed. My mom, my dad and I, we three sleep on it until I reached 11 years old. There is no enough space on the bed. So my dad put 3 stools by the bedside, lying a part of his body on them.
Further to the north is the north window, facing the 5-floor ward building of the hospital, where my Dad works.
Now we move to the east wall. The northeast corner is a pentagon book cabinet, which contains several hundred books of my mom and dad.
On the east wall the next furniture to the south is a 9-drawer desk, 3 feet tall, dark brown. My Dad calls it 9-drawer desk for it has 9 drawers, with 4 on each side and 1 in the center. By this desk, my Mom and Dad have spent many hours, reading. I’m too short to use it then. Before 1981 when I reached 11 and my home moved to the new residential building of the hospital, it had been the desk for my Mom and Dad.
The furniture in my home is one next to the other, with no fissure in between. On the east wall the next furniture to the south is the flat cabinet, my Dad calls it that way. Its upper right corner is the 1 square foot mobile glass door. That is my favorite place—the candy place, but I seldom see any candy there.
On the flat cabinet is a 12-inch black-white TV and a radio, which our family listen to the broadcasting story at lunch every day. 3 feet away from the flat cabinet in the center of the room is the round table—the dinner table of our family. The round table itself looks shabby with fissures running across the dark red top, but the white tablecloth and the glass place on it makes it look nice.
Back to the flat cabinet, on the east wall the next furniture to the south is two bamboo chairs with an end table in between. My mom and dad use them to accommodate the guests. When the guests sit on them, the two bamboo chairs often shake. Behind them is the east window, with the window being 4 feet long and wide.
On the east wall the next furniture to the south is the sewing machine. My mom does not use it often for she is not good at it. In front it is a short desk, about 1.4 feet tall, with blue and black ink trace on it. That is my desk. When I was 5 to7, I draw on my small desk. After the small desk, we return back to the door again.
The wall and the ceiling of the room look white, old, with fissures in many places. The floor is wooden, having the color of red, black and gray, irregularly being together. The original paint is red. In some places, especially under the bed, there are dark holes. From time to time, we can hear the mice coming out and in from there. These are all the stuff in my home.