Inga Svala Thorsdottir

Wu Shan Zhuan


The following situations are not interviews, but are recorded dialogues at different places in V.R. China, spring 1995.
There are always more than three people talking together.

A friend "Do you understand"
Former times we did not have much contact.
We drank together last time.
That night you fell into the river.
You can speak good english. Where did you learn it?
You know 20 years ago, there was an english lesson in the radio for the international sailors. There I learned for one year. "Do you understand".
I was a dancer in the performing group of the city, you were a good painter. "I am sorry" is this sentence correct english?
This town is really not bad, everything you do can be done smoothly, just like the rust-less-steel.
He is a specialist on doing decorations of rust-less-steel.
I think that for a point of view of a western woman, we this kind of guys are not that civilised. "Do you understand".
He is the leadership of the T.V. station. "Do you understand".
In fact he is only able to say "Do you understand".
If you know the name of a foreigner, it's not enough to proof that you do speak english, even you also know several english english words, it's only several english words. But "do you understand" is a complete english sentence.
Too smart. This is my english. I am from England. You are all from P.R. China "Do you understand".
I am like a ghost of a river. Death for me is no problem. But when I think about those friends, how could they live without me. "Do you understand".
I said to my father, your wife is from the peoples-park. Every night, I drink until next morning.
When do you sleep?
He is impotent.
For the happiness of tomorrow, we should all go to sleep.
Anyone having a mobilphone in this town sleeps in the morning, the answer if you call me in the morning will be. "This number is out of service"

"The son of a Beining opera player"
It's the same with you.
How many times did you talk about love with girls?
All of them are the beauties of our town.
Every talk failed, why?
In the end you also realized that they spent time with only because you are funny guy. That's all.
Knowing each other was'nt love.
Then you became afraid to adress a beautiful girl.
Throug your parents introduction, you know the girl you married, to show the society that you are loved too.
After the marriage your hate to women is exploding on your wife. You abuse her physically, for example by purpose you left your bike in the harbour, at midnight you asked her to fetch it without giving her the key. Also spiritually you choose to masturbate instead of having sex with her.
Your sexual desire is sometimes too much and your tie breakes.
But you dont have the courage to have a love-affair.
Recently you got to know a girl, the first thing you told her was that you are under sexual pressure and that you are not satisfied being a leader of the adv. department of the local T.V. station. Now you persecuty your former T.V. announcer and your former leader of the news department.
In the end you are relatively open minded, when that girl had a love-affair with a charming man, you did behave normally in public.

"Miss Bai"
She is in the town too, call her to have a lunch together.
Good morning. Miss Bai.
Good morning. Who are you?
Me. I call because of the goods. Is it arrived?
What? We talked before.
Yes it is arrived, who are you?
Ohh, it's you, how about having a lunch together?
Great. So you are still making stories for the town. It is very nice to see you again.
It's great to see you too.
A Taiwanish guy runs this restaurant.
Did he also cheat somebody out of money? And escape to mainland.
Possibly, in this town we have gotten some already.
What are you doing here?
It's awful to get the money for the things you sold.
What was it?
What's going on?
Me, a Guy from Hong Kong and another one from Beijing did this oil business together.
Where is the oil coming from?
Panama. The ship is from England. An Import-export company in guizhoun took care of all the legal procedures. For Importing the oil. The Guy from Hong Kong did all the legal procedures for the part abroad, the guy from Beijing took care of the transportations. I myself take care of the sales.
How come, you sell the oil in the town?
It's a luck, when the ship arrived in Guangzhou harbour. We heard the company which was supposed to buy the oil was going bankrupt. You have to know the cost of keeping the ship in the harbour is 10000 US Dollar a day. What could we do more? We only could move the ship to the hometown. Then try to find some buyers. How much is the whole dealing?
17000000 Yen.
We need to see the end, before we will die.
The ship arrived in the harbour here, we went there to see it at once. What did we see? A great piece of sunshine was on the sea, a reflection of sunshine.
The ship was leaking. God helped us. I made a call to Hong Kong to inform the insurance company and tell him that the ship was leaking.
Now, we see the live of the death of saleswoman.
Thank you.
What do you like to eat?
Here they have a western cake.

"On the train from Shanghai to Beijing"
This is really a coinsidence. Where are you going?
To Beijing for fun.
I am going to Tianjin to buy a couple of fishing boats.
How much does it cost?
Around 5 million Yen.
Business is like all gambeling it depends a lot on luck.
I do depend on my wife.Her uncle was a leader of that province. If others would buy they would have to pay 8 millions Yen. By this, you see I earn 3 millions Yen.
Do you have a lot of luggage?
We only have those two small handbags, something to give, 10000 Yen in this one. 100000 Yen in that one. + some money for ourself on the way.
Take care.
Does'nt matter. Last time we bought 600000 Yen. I paid 10000 Yen for the guard, it worked out, let's go and eat.
Please make 100 Yen food for each of us.
The most expensive is 50 Yen for each.
O.K. What do you have?
Chicken, beef, ocean gingsen, fish, etc.
We need it all. I spent 4 years in jail.
For what?
I cut an ear off a guy. Also cut his arm off and threw it away, please drink.
You should drink more.
I can not drink, look my face and scarfs.
Very red. You see. They must find us crazy, To spend money to show crazy, thats good. Take some photos.
How old are you?
Last year was a good year for everybody doing business with fish.
When you see that many people are serving you, you do more you get more.
Now that communism is performing like this, it is not a ghost.
Why should I leave this country?
When we are eating (it) feels like all of it belongs to us.
We order the meal, not only to eat it, but it is necessary to make the order.
I understand why some chinese see no point in going abroad.
Why should they get to know a street in Paris?
He is still working for the national daily goods distributing center, he is a quiet heart.
OHH Bad I cut my finger. Do they have a band-aid here?
The tobacco is the best to stop the bleeding.
Everything I learned in jail is real.
The guys which find us crazy are all a sleep. Now, we go too sleep also.
Where is your macazine "The law and the life"on the cover I saw a littlebit erotic images, I would like to read for a while.
So you are still missing the girl in the oriental supermarket in Shanghai.

What is next on the program?
We have been eating and drinking, Let's go to a discotheqe.
It's better to go to the "Blue bridge".
A Karaok dancing room, is belonging to our manager.
Yeah the post office also runs a karaok.
Yes, already for two years.
You, as a manager of the post office, you gave all the condition of the criminality in this town.
But our manager is innocent, himself. He is just like a grass which happened to be growing on a ground where a rape took place. The grass cant be guiltty. Let's go to "The Blue bridge".
"It has been facing the ocean breeze for five thousand years.
Woman is a tiger.Woman is a tiger.
Let me once more miss you again. Because tomorrow you will become the bride of another".
Do you want to sing something more?
Keep on showing.
Karaok for ever O.K.
What time is it?
I should make a call to her.
Can I use your mobil-phone?
You should use your own.
But it is out of electrisity.
Let me check.
Love is the best dictionary, and I have no.
Let's sing "The internationale".
What? The image has turned to be a swimming-suit serie.
Yes now, we do have so many versions.
Let's sing.

"A criticism dinner"
You were a poet. But now, you force your wife to sell the tea-eggs on the street.
You force your mother to sell the T.V. program in the street too.
And everyday you push yourself to collect the rent of many small different business places.
The uglyest thing you do is that you abuse the innosense of baby.
First you take a video of them. then you cheat them to let their parents buy that video.
All this you do, under the name " The Baby is the flower of the nation".
We do know that the material for each video costs you 10 Yen. But you charge 60 Yen for each,
even though you spend only 10 minutes on each baby. According to this your interest is 600 %.
You are the parasite of baby.
After the case of tenanmen 1989. You stayed in jail for half a year, because you wrote the slogan "The one which is against the will of masses, should die". In the jail you wrote the poem "Sweet potato". Comparing the messages in this poem to your behavior now, we realized that treachery is the profession of a poet.
The ideas in the poets mind are to romantic.
Recently you have been spying around trying to find out the bad financial situation of companies and institutes in our town. Your aim is to buy them for nothing and sell them later for a high prize.
For example the white house cinema-house.
Now you have shaved your head trying to show that you are still a poet. This is too superficial.
We have another friend which is still a writer, under the reformation, he got a new job, editing a magazine for children.
I still remember his novel "People of the dusk", there he describes a crazyhospital, he himself becoming a writer made him the most successful guy coming from this hospital. For this he got a prize from the united nations.
What about you?
Your mother said, when the adventuregroup "China-U.S."came to the end of he Yangze river and found Shanghai. "What did they do there?".
The beach of Shanghai is lighted up with neon lights. So please go out to collect your rent in the light of neon.
Please say hallo to the old T.V. program lady and say hallo to the younger teaegg seller.
The poet was not killed by slandering.

"A pedicap driver"
How much is the start?
How much do you earn a day?
It depends, it's hard to say. Around 60 Yen a day, you see, like me, what I earn what I spend.
Do you have time to spend your money?
Of course, I dont have that much sparetime, but I have a lot of relatives.
You know Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, they are all dead now. So they dont ask for my money. I only spend it by myself. Your wife is an original foreigner. But your chinese is from this town.
She is from Iceland.
Where? Is it an island in Russia ?
No, it is a country close to Danmark.
Alright that's far away. Do they use pedicaps there?
I did'nt see any.
I am very lucky today. I can charge you more, my foreign investor.
Please stop there, I like those army bags.
I can go and ask for a price.
We never sell only one. If you really like one, I can think about it, 100 Yen for one.
Nonsense, this kind of an army bag should never cost more than 10 Yen.
Lets's go.
You bike to slow.
He is mmaking up a missery.
I think in a hope to get more.
Alright I bike faster.

nicht im Heft:

"An import-export office".
Whom are you looking for?
She works here.
O.K. Tenth floor.
How are you?
Fine, thank you. My manager has a meeting right now, he asked you to excuse, I spoke with him about the show in Spain this morning, it is really a good idea, this will bring our goods on a certain higher level.
Thank you.
We have already taken part in many trade-fairs abroad. I know the bad taste, to keep the booth cost low, we always get a bad location, not many people came by. I have a big confidence in your show. This is our first try if we succeed we keep on. You both, living abroad, have a very good condition to do this kind of business, you find the buyers, and we supply the goods. I heard that your brother is doing a wool-pullover business in Australia and doing good.
Later you can contact him, this is his namecard.
What kind of things do you export-import?
All kind of things, we find samples from the facturies for the buyers.
How much is the basic sallery now?
200 Yen.
Yes, really, the grey income depends on success, doing good is important, right now doing import-export business in China is very hard, too much competition, in this small town, we do have more than 50 import-export companies.
Yes, I heard that in one building in Hamburg, there are around 30 Chinese companies trading with Chinese silk.
Will you go to Guangzhou spring trade fair?
Yes, other wise we could give you more samples. Most of our samples are on the way to Guangzhou already.

"In a fashion store".
To be honest. before you left the country, that night you did'nt invite me for the dinner, I was really angry, then.
I am sorry.
It is hard to make an old friend, it is easy to get a new friend. Go out now while eating you will get them.
Now that I am doing fashion business, to link it with our relationship I learned a lot about colors, I do better than others.
How can they have so much money?
It is impossible to get all fat away from them. If you are only depending on sellin them one or two fashion clothes.
I bought already. I also want to have that one. Can I puy you some money now, to reserve the clothes?
I will keep it for you.
Where are the clothes from?
Taiwan, South Korea, but most of them are made in Guanzho.
I see.
I heard that they copy the stile from bootleg videos. That the day after it shown, you will see it in the streets, yes.
Please iron it for me.
You dont need to iron this kind of clothes. This we call natural wrinkles, it is in fashion. Why should I lie to you? Ironing is the most simple thing.
Is there a toilet here?
Yes beside the dressdummy.
Can you do us a favor?
We Want to make a map of China from silver.
We have many gold-silver shops in this town, they come all from other provinces. I will tell you tomorrow.
What we do later.
I have a plan of making a pig factury. It's the most safe business. From each pig, if you do good. You earn 300 Yen. Even you do bad you still earn about 100 Yen.
Great idea. What about your former navy factury?
Do they still produce electricity fans?
Do they still pay their labours 2 fans a months?
I dont know. Somehow they still exsist like that.
We had a lot of fun in the old days.
If you lost 30 Yen gambeling, you started fighting, friends were always together. They were moving around, some got paid in the beginning of the month, others later in the month, for that reason we felt that there was not a lack of money, strang, sometimes, being poor is only a privat fantasy.

copyright by neid, den künstlern und autoren