I've had just enough time to... see myself in the eyes of a child.
Taken in Kunshan while wandering around
“He doesn’t like me”.
Maybe it was not because he does not like me. Maybe it was because I witnessed what he did. Or maybe it was because he was protective of his little sister. His sister, who was looking at me with questioning eyes.
“Who are you?”
“What do you want?”
“Why are you taking our picture?”
She could not figure me out yet. So she was hesitant with her response. Maybe she will smile if I say a kind word or two. Maybe she will run away. But I kept my distance. I have no right to intrude.
Her brother, he just glared at me. I am a stranger. I can be up to no good. I cannot do anything for them except getting them into trouble. So he challenged me with his look. If I put on a fierce expression. Maybe he will run away. Maybe he will call for his family. I am after all a stranger and an outsider. So I kept my distance. Smiled, and backed off. I am after all an intruder into their world and I have to respect that. (I was in Kunshan with a couple of hours to kill and I’m not going to do that watching TV in the hotel room. So I wandered out into the street where ordinary people lived.)
Earlier, I “caught” them playing with the stainless steel bolts and washers that they somehow dismantle from the railings of the steps and overhead bridge. I tried one with my bare fingers and found it to be fast secured. Maybe, they have found all the loose ones or maybe they did it with some tools though I did not see any. If they construct the railings so poorly that children can dismantle them, then it is not the children’s fault for you can expect a child to do exactly what they did. I did not want to encourage them though so I checked my smile and moved away wondering what did I learn from this encounter to have it so strongly registered in my memory.