Hemisphere Circus

  We just interpret each other, and don’t share the translation results we hear with the people behind us. Everyone was so engaged in the conversation that none of them noticed that we hadn’t moved a piece of meat on our plate. Out of confession or other unspeakable feelings, we kept forks at the various herbs in the salad. Even so, the breath of the slaughterhouse behind the supermarket warehouse door is still there. Whenever I smell a bit of meat, I feel my stomach rushing, and there are many unknown streams of water rolling deep in my throat.
  When the apple juice and Coke bottles were being delivered again, there was music on the park radio. It was “Oh Susanna” at first, and then “Lily Marlene” was played after the song ended. This is probably a song that they all love widely. Many German parents put down their knives and forks and stood up, and came to the open space in the middle of the lawn in pairs. Under the night, the Germans twisted their bodies together. The Chinese students took out their mobile phones and started shooting. Some of them clapped and whistled. The flashlight flew, and the light and light trembled. In the gap between the shutter sound, an uncle who was still on the table suddenly asked me if I wanted to dance.
  He asked in English. My friend and I exchanged glances, turned to look at the classmate behind me and turned back to look at him. With the aid of his gestures and words, I made sure that he was just asking me alone,
  so I nodded and said okay.
  The center of the grass was farther away than I expected, and when I looked back at the dining table, I could only see dappled lights. Uncle’s coat has been taken off and left on the back of the chair. His neckline and sleeves were wide open, and countless soft and slender hairs on his arms and chest were exposed, shaking along with his body movements.
  Seeing that I was still in a daze, my uncle was very friendly, and repeatedly said don’t be nervous, don’t be nervous, we Germans don’t know how to eat people. He doesn’t know how to eat people. While he repeated the gesture with a feasting gesture, I had no choice but to smile in response, stretch out my hands and feet, and start sliding with him on the lawn. Our feet were separated for a while, and together for a while, our upper body gradually approached with the sound of music from time to time, and the skirt was brushing across the grass, making a slight rubbing sound. As the dance continued, I began to realize why he invited me. I was the only Chinese who wore a skirt. The other classmates were all wearing denim shorts. It has been almost a year since I came to Germany, and I still wear the clothes I brought from China, and I am not used to exposing a large area of ​​my skin to people.
  Uncle during the song switching, I asked how it feels to come to Germany. I told him that I thought it was great and I hope to come again in the future. I didn’t tell him anything that happened in the supermarket. He nodded with satisfaction and continued to ask me, how do you feel about the air here? Is it better than where you came from? I smiled at him, and I said I felt pretty good, very good, and very fresh.
  Uncle shouted to the crowd on the lawn in German. She thought the air here was much better than in China. Everyone laughed. My gaze shifted to the tributary of the Rhine River in the distance. There were many ceramic workshops on both sides of the river, and the smoke and dust from the porcelain-fired furnaces filled the sky little by little. I decided not to tell them that before I came to Germany, I lived on an uninhabited island surrounded by sea.
  They don’t dance anymore. Many people stand still with their backs to the prosperous industrial community, chatting and laughing amidst the sound of music, making suggestions for the development of the European Community, and commenting on the Chinese government’s pollution control efficiency and environmental protection propositions from time to time. A grandma came over and told me that she felt that my English was very good, and she couldn’t hear any oriental accent. When she spoke, several words with r still kept unnaturally curled tongue.
  I didn’t tell them that before I came to Germany, the only electronic product I had was an Apple MP3 without a screen. I took the ferry back to my home on the island surrounded by sea every Friday. Every weekend before leaving home, I would Download BBC English news for the new week in MP3. I listened every night during my self-study, when I was queuing up for dinner in the cafeteria, when I was listening to the podium, and when I was doing radio exercises, the middle-aged British voice in the player was calm and loud, covering everything. The rhythmic point of gymnastics, until I graduated from high school, I couldn’t complete a stretch of eight beats on my own.
  I just shook my head and said where, I still have a lot to learn, my English is better than the Chinese of all of you at best.
  They all laughed again.
  Many people began to ask me if I am used to eating and if I have ever thought about moving here from Shanghai in the future. I answered one by one, with laughter after another. I felt that I was acting funny and humorous in the center of the temporarily formed dance floor, my pronunciation was smooth and natural, without the embarrassment of stumbling back and forth in the pile of students on the left. Obviously, the topics discussed on both sides can be said to be exactly the same. I said that I slept well, and the food was completely to my appetite. Apart from missing chopsticks, there was nothing uncomfortable. Everyone laughed, and I also laughed, with a hearty and high voice. For a while I felt that it sounded very strange, as if I was actually acting as a completely different person when speaking English. The broadcast ended again, and a melody that I was very familiar with sounded. The violin pulled the bagpipes and gradually outlined a bright prelude. With the radio signals and the echoes between the valley streams, the music seemed to illuminate all over the country and seemed cheerful. And melodious.
  As if they had heard the signal to return home, everyone began to walk back to the seats. Just when we were about to go back, the uncle suddenly remembered something. He took out his cell phone from the front pocket of his jacket and told me about a Chinese circus that had been to the town at this time last year. He said that his whole family I went to see it. It was very interesting and exciting. The children liked it very much. He also specially recorded some videos. He said it was a pity that I would have seen it with my own eyes if I came early.
  He asked if I had seen a circus in China.
  I shook my head.
  Many years ago, when Cirque du Soleil came to China for the first tour, the venue happened to be located opposite the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, not far from my original home. When I hurriedly walked past the science and technology museum, I could see a little bit of children’s play through the corner of the tent that was blown by the wind. They put on masks with lions and tigers or African tribal totem patterns, and made a series of roaring sounds of wild beasts from their throats. This is all my impressions of the circus, but I didn’t tell him that.
  I’m not sure if the circus he was talking about is the same thing as the fragment in my memory.
  He has made a lot of videos and it takes a lot of time to look through them. While searching, my uncle asked me many more questions. With regard to the topic of cultural differences caused by personal life, after all his dancing time was exhausted, he turned his interest to some more metaphysical levels. He asked me what I believed. I said I didn’t believe anything. He asked me if he didn’t believe in Buddha either. I nodded. He asked me if all Chinese people are basically like this and don’t believe anything. I nodded. He asked me if I rarely see mosques, Buddhist temples or churches in the city, like their Worms Cathedral, which is Gothic, paved with stone and brick, and has colorful window grilles. I said that in the Ming Dynasty of China, influential missionaries entered the court. One of Shanghai’s most famous transportation hubs, Xujiahui, was named by a Chinese believer. The Catholic Church in Xujiahui is very large and is a well-known tourist attraction in Shanghai. .
  He shook his head, his expression very sad. Just when I was about to apologize, my uncle excitedly said that I found it, and the video was found. He handed me the phone and said, take a look, it’s very interesting. Your friend was there that day, and she went with us. Did I say Ellie went with them? He said yes, Ellie went with them. I said she never told me. He said that Ellie was very happy to watch, and wanted to buy the tickets for the next day, but it was a pity that it was already sold out.

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