May 23, 2011: Green

© Yan Jun

How about this: green on the dirty ground, green in the dusty air?
How about green within the murmur of noise from the power generator in front of the embassy?

I go to the embassy to try my luck. On the website they said you have to bring this and that. But I don’t quite have all the documents.

On the bus, I think: Oh! Again! Wrong! Why don’t I ride my bike? Finally I see it as a welcome-back message from my city after my 3 months of travelling: nobody can drive faster than a bike. You may know that all idiots in Beijing have bought a car. Last year, they sold one million of them in this city. So, what can I say? At least I’m not in a stupid car.

And I’m wearing green pants.

Green uniforms of the armed police, green juice from broken leaves of grass, green paint of a small wall . . . I feel like spring. It is early summer, but I prefer to think it’s spring because I am just back from nowhere.

A year has to start with spring.

And I have a CD with green sleeve on my table now: Kato Hideki and James Fei, Sieves. It looks like a small piece of grassland. But this grassland is not real. The real one is full of insects, dirt, cow droppings, and it’s far away from my table.

And as for the green: which is the real one?

In front of the embassy, where I sit with a girl whose selling unauthorised visa services, I am surrounded by green trees, green grass and green uniforms. I have to wait for 3 hours. There is no such thing as ‘green’ itself.

There is an Orange Carpet for diplomatic personnel. But in Chinese, literally, it’s the Green Channel.

But green grass never knows it’s green.

None of the idiots in Beijing ever know they are idiots. They are driving to the theatre, which is green, low-carbon and mother-earth friendly.

And I am sitting on a stone in front of the embassy. Looking like another idiot: do you also want to visit another shore? Have you seen this scene: all the doors of all the embassies are blocked by people who are going to another shore. They have no queue. Anxious. Busy for nothing. Like pollen molecules in Brownian motion.

And the armed policeman in green stands like a plant. And, like a plant, he has never been to another country.

James Fei lives on the campus of Mills College, Oakland. A lovely house, surrounded by beautiful trees and grasses. Real ones.

Read more about Yan Jun on PIW.

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