I’m Going to Show Them

Yeah. This is how it’s done. 

I charged into ICBC bank on Hongmei Road like I owned the joint. Shit, I live across the way now. And I’ve been here nearly 6 days. I’m going to show the 2 Caucasian ladies waiting how an American in China does business. 

I went straight to the futuristic looking white machine, gleaming with blue-red-green lights. Folks with their printed ticket numbers waited in various lines. Very calm. Very orderly. 

I’m going to get this ticket printed out. 

Without hesitation, I forged ahead–all Chinese characters staring back at me from the screen. 

Immediately, I forced my new passport into a slot annotated with “Passbook” beneath characters. First, photo page down. A whirring sound erupted. No receipt printed. 

Again, I forced the passport in. 


Okay, photo page up next time. I shoved the passport in more assertively. 


The machine sounded like it was eating this most essential document, requested in China at every turn. 

Suddenly, a bank employee appeared at my side. Very gently in some English,”Oh, you cannot put in passport. Chinese citizens only.”

She brought me over to a much more simple looking machine, pushed a button and out came my ticket: D033

A security guard and another man he was speaking with stood by amused. 

I am going to show them, dammit. 

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