Hemisphere Circus

  Many of my Chinese classmates have come. In order to prevent us Chinese visitors from being too cramped, they kindly arranged us to sit together around the end of the long table. After getting off the plane and arriving in Germany, everyone was scattered in different corners of the small town and outlying farmhouses, and each followed their family partners to and from school. These partners belong to different classes in the school, and the elective courses are also different. In addition to the Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival organized by Chinese teachers to jointly produce seasonal food and distribute to German students, there are also sporadic group research trips in Germany. We Chinese students rarely gather for a long time in private during so many months. Opportunities to communicate together, occasionally when we met at the train station on the way to school and on the campus, we just nodded and waved far away. So taking advantage of the opportunity of having a meal together, we all had a conversation. The scene was very hot. Some people went on an outing in the mountains with their homes, and some went to the ballroom party with their partners. They met handsome boys and some people. Participated in club activities in the school.
  At first, I listened very deeply and positively. From time to time, I frequently inserted my own experiences in the discussion gap. I nodded, smiled, exclaimed from time to time, and shook my body along with the enthusiastic collective laughter, but soon I discovered all the words and There was no response to my actions, as if I was speaking to everyone from the bottom of the water or from an astronaut space station with thin air. I have spent a lot of time telling everyone that my friend and I lost her dog during the purchase this afternoon. I told everyone about the many disturbances we encountered in the supermarket. However, a certain classmate suddenly waved into the air like a fly. Waved, the train switcher brought the topic of conversation back to the skin problem that was originally being discussed. Some people said they only brought a bottle of moisturizing water when they came, and now they get used to their dry face every morning; some people say that they have been to a cosmeceutical place several times with their friends in the house and bought many cheap sprays and body sprays. The milk is ready to be brought back to the country; some people complain that the skin is dry because people here do not have the habit of boiling water. They can’t find anything to sip apart from sparkling mineral water, and sparkling mineral water is always unaccustomed to drinking. Some people talked about drinking milk, and many people began to agree that the milk here is very cheap, cheaper than water, and the taste is very positive, fresher than the domestic feeling.
  When they talked, the dusk gradually dimmed behind the floating clouds, and the park countryside shrouded in twilight escaped from the daylight, slowly revealing the breath and traces of nature itself. I looked for a long time at the edge of the boundary between the forest and the lake in the darkness, as if seeing the island, the sea, and my own farm and pond again. Dad’s figure rose from the mud deep in the pond, walking along with rubber shoes and water jackets. Coming from the river bank, the lights flickering in the reeds, we churned the earthen jar under the straw shed, the waves rolled, forming a milky whirlpool. We stretched our hands towards the depths of the small whirlpool, and continued to salvage the deposited scum. The scum was slippery and sticky, and it was about to swallow every palm line on the hand. Sudden memories made me immersed in more details of life about milk. We have raised many cows and sheep on the small island surrounded by sea. Every evening in the island life, I will step on the sunset under the oblique sunset in the forest. Extend the stretched shadow and drive the herds of cattle and sheep back to the fence. In the winter when the icy roads in the ponds are covered with snow and the veterinarian cannot come, our whole family will wait for the newborn cattle and sheep in the fence. The baby goat that has been separated from the mother’s body is pure white without any dirt after the blood is removed, and it is as clean as a cloud in the sky. We stared, smiled, and kept puffing milky white water between our mouths and noses. No one would speak. Everyone was very solemn and solemn, as if we were watching the stables in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Small and weak calves and sheep face fierce peer competition when they are born. They cannot reach the nipples of the ewe and cow, and are often pressed by their brothers and sisters when they eat. At this time, we would take them out, cut out the bag of milk bought from the supermarket and give them to drink. A bag of ordinary milk in a bag weighs about 250 grams, and the calf and lamb within three weeks can drink two packets a day. Whenever I press the open bag against the animal’s palate, I can always feel the soft heartbeat beneath the surface of the fur. However, I did not share these experiences with anyone at the table.
  No one continued to question our lost dog in the supermarket, and no one cared about where the dog went after the loss. I decided not to speak any more, but watched everyone speak quietly. The familiar Chinese language passed to me from a distance through the aroma of food seasonings and the shiny table with knives and forks, but I did not speak. After a short silence, everyone burst into laughter, and soon a new person continued the original topic, as if the gap had never existed. I watched all of them talk and laugh, taste each other’s dishes, and it felt as if our whole class was still in Shanghai, still in school, and still in the gym. Everyone was doing passing exercises according to the instructions of the physical education teacher. The ball passed all the way to me and it was interrupted. When I bent over to pick up the ball, the gym get out of class bell rang. I held the ball and stood up and found that I was the only one left in the activity room.
  I started to feel amused, and I asked myself why I felt that the relationship between me and the whole class could be drastically improved just by flying together for more than ten hours and staying in Germany for less than a full year. Suddenly I thought of my mother, and I thought of her suddenly grabbing my arm at the boarding gate. Don’t go, or I will be the only one left, she said.
  The white tablecloth, the waves and the snow-capped mountains and peaks are entangled in layers. A dozen knives and forks cut off the sound of cooked meat. I look at the laughter on both sides of the long table. The left side is Chinese and the right side is German. The conversation on both sides is Very warm, flowing with a thick and dense texture. Unfamiliar and familiar words flowed slowly, falling down at my left and right feet, forming an invisible abyss. I was silently stirring the unknown vegetables from the salad bowl, feeling as if I were some kind of bacteria excluded from the human immune system. The thick juices such as Thousand Island sauce circulated among the vegetable leaves, and eventually the leaves could not bear the weight of the juice and fell on the porcelain plate. The sauce also fell along the dumped rhizome and collapsed into a small salt lake.
  My friend asked me if I was uncomfortable.
  She was sitting on my right hand, keeping the strange silence like me. I looked through the hair on the back of her head. At the end of the long table on the right, there were many German parents sitting around them. They also spoke very fast and laughed loudly. Men and women talked and laughed, discussing London, Rome, and Paris. From time to time, they talked about our group of Chinese students. They talked about currency savings, foreign exchange transactions, stock market conditions and the policies of various countries on China, as if the park they were in was not located in France. A remote town in the southwestern part of the Uzbek State, and it is in the delivery center of the New York Stock Exchange. The German I mastered quickly ran out of place names, and the rest of the conversation was in languages ​​that I couldn’t understand at all. My friend and I are sitting in the middle of the long table. There is an invisible boundary that separates us like a gap between two hemispheres. We each look at the world we can’t understand, trying to learn from each other’s sporadic English. Yoshimitsu Kataba who understands a little about that world in translation. Yes, they go mountain climbing together. Yes, the feeling of jet lag is slowly gone. When we first came, everyone would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night or early morning, thinking that they would go to school soon, but basically not anymore. Yes, they think your bread is very hard and there is no taste in the dishes. Yes, they think your use of knives and forks is very strange. Yes, they think you have been in the toilet for too long.