Solution to boredom

   The first pleasure in life is the cooperation of friends. If you have a friend with the same interests living nearby, you can meet each other without walking a long way in the wind and rain, and you can chat freely when you meet, and you can talk about your thoughts as soon as you talk, you don’t mind He’s got a bit of a queer temper, and he doesn’t think you’re dull and pedantic, like Johnson and Boswell are together, so you have no reason to complain about your stars. This kind of happiness will always make me elusive. First, I don’t know how to talk by nature. After sitting with a friend for less than half an hour, I feel a little guilty and timid, always aware that my dullness makes the other party feel boring. Who wants to talk to someone who can only say “yes” and “that’s not necessarily” meaningless words? Secondly, true and cordial friends should be formed at an early age. After thirty, people will inevitably be infected with some sophistication, and it is difficult to make friends who are truly like-minded. “Acquaintance is all over the world, how many people can you know?” Although they are two ordinary words, they are general. Therefore, my only way to relieve my boredom is to visit Houmen Street.
   Anyone who has lived in Beiping knows that the streets of Beiping are arranged according to the principle of symmetry like chessboard lines. Where there is East Fourth Archway, there is West Fourth Archway, and where there is Tiananmen Street, there is Di’anmen Street. The essence of Peking can be said to be all in Tiananmen Street. Its spaciousness, cleanliness and splendor immediately make you feel that it symbolizes the grand and graceful atmosphere of an ancient country and city. Di’anmen (back door) street just makes a strong contrast to it. It is remote, dark, narrow, cramped, and there is nothing that can make a new visitor nostalgic. I live in the Cihui Hall in Di’anmen, and this street is the most convenient way to go out for a stroll. Whether it’s sunny or hot, I don’t go out for a walk every day, and when I go out, I walk mechanically to the back door street. It is like a friend to me. Although it is ordinary, because we meet every day and are very familiar with it, it becomes very kind.
   It is only a few hundred steps farther from the Hall of Cihui to the back gate of Beihai than to the back gate street. Go out the back door, go straight north to Houmen Street, turn west and walk a few hundred steps to Beihai. I go to Houmen Street every day, and I go to Beihai at most once a week after my old friend Xu Zhongshu moved south with the Academia Sinica (he used to live in Beihai). It’s not that Beihai is meaningless to me, I believe Beihai is better than all the gardens I’ve seen, but Beihai is finally a luxury to me, like a country girl’s only beautiful dress, which is not easy to get out from the bottom of the box Wear it. Sometimes I was planning to go to Beihai, but as soon as I got to the back door, I changed my mind and kept walking north on the main street instead of turning west. To buy a ticket to Beihai, spending 20 coppers is a trivial matter, and you can’t avoid the formalities, after all, it is a kind of trouble; you can drive straight in through the back door street, and no guards will ask you for the ticket, interrupting your fantasy. This is the first distinction. The people visiting Beihai are fashionable people, all of them are well-dressed and oily. Your hair is not combed, your beard is not shaved, and your shoes are not replaced with a clean pair. “Talking about poetry and books with a dirty face” is already a big deal, let alone going to the park? Backdoor street is full of peddlers and pawns, no one thinks you look weird, you can be completely “casual”. This is the second distinction. When visiting Beihai, when you walk to the door of “Fangshan” or “Yilantang”, you can’t help but want to look up to see if there are any acquaintances among the tea drinkers, but you are afraid of saying hello, afraid that there are your acquaintances there, He hurriedly walked over with his head down on purpose, as if he had done something bad. You will never run into an acquaintance on Houmen Street. Although you will often see familiar faces who have not passed each other’s names, they will do their own thing, so there is no need to say hello. You can try your best to taste a little bit of freedom and mystery in the heart of “Anonymous”. This is the third distinction. For these reasons, I always sacrifice Zhuliang Huadong and Xianghe Green Willow in Beihai and walk alone in the back door street.
   When I go to Houmen Street, I rarely come back empty-handed. Although it is dilapidated, although the road is not half a mile long, there are more than a dozen antique shops and a second-hand bookstore. This embellishment can be seen that Houmen Street has also experienced a prosperous era and has experienced some vicissitudes. The back door used to be the bannerman area, and the bannermen fell down, so the back door also fell into disrepair. But the broken copper and iron from the shabby houses are still being sent to the antique shops and barren goods stalls at the back door. There are not many of these things worth collecting, but once in a while, they are cheaper than those in Longfu Temple and Changdian. I spent four yuan on a rubbing copy of “The Monument of the Chen Dynasty” in the early Ming Dynasty, six yuan on more than twenty ingots of Qianlong imperial ink, two yuan on two seven-star double knives, and sometimes a few cents on it. A magnetic bottle, an old piece of paper, or an incense burner. These little things are not expensive, but the burst of joy when you get them is really worth pursuing. I used to learn how to fish when I was in the countryside. I used to squat for a long time without seeing the shadow of the buoy. I accidentally caught an inch-long small fish. Although I knew it was not enough to swallow, I was very happy. I was shopping at antique shops and abandoned goods stalls on Houmen Street, feeling like fishing. Fish is a trivial matter, fishing and looking forward to it is fun, and what you catch is naturally even more interesting. The owners of many antique shops and second-hand bookstores have become good friends with me from acquaintances. Passing by their door, my foot involuntarily stepped in. I went in and looked at it for a long time, and everything was the same as I saw yesterday. I feel that I am still leaving empty-handed after searching for a long time, and I am a little sorry for the master; the master also feels that there is nothing new to sell me, and I feel a little apologetic. But this is not embarrassing at all, and it does not hinder the goodwill between me and the master. Tomorrow, my feet will still involuntarily step into his door, and he will still receive me with that smiling face.
   It is useless to deny that Houmen Street is dirty. As far as it is concerned, although it is not a slum, everything is completely civilian. The most basic need of common people is to eat, and many activities on Houmen Street are carried out continuously based on this basic need. If you are a foreigner, after walking through the back door street, sit down and search for your mind, in addition to broken copper, iron, clothes and shoes, there are only green onions and garlic, deep-fried dough sticks, and stewed pork sausages, Some greasy, dusty 7384 and flies and camels are mixed together and shake their shadows in front of your dizzy eyes. If you think back to the passers-by you saw, he was either a foreign driver standing by the boiler chewing sesame seed cakes, or a peddler sitting on a shoulder pole guarding salted garlic fish. All the colors and smells are strong there. These chaotic and dirty scenes are like aged beef cheese and stinky fermented bean curd, which will inevitably arouse your disgust when you first encounter them; but if you get used to their taste, they will have an irresistible temptation for you.
   Don’t say that Houmen Street is ordinary, it is full of life and changes! As long as you are curious and willing to scurry around, you can definitely discover new worlds on and around this less than half a mile long street. I have been shopping for more than a year before I discovered a teahouse in an alley in Luxi. You can sit there for one night and listen to “The Legend of Jigong” or “Changbanpo” for three dollars. As for the old boxer in the Huoshen Temple becoming my master, it is only recently. If you have a penchant for humor, you can always find an amusing diversion there. One evening I was sitting in a second-hand bookstore when a cripple came in from outside, told the owner a poor story about his life, and begged for a copper to go out. I thought this man was strange, so I got up and walked behind him. After he limped into more than a dozen shops, his legs suddenly straightened up, and he took very steady and leisurely strides, singing “I’m like a wild goose from the south”, and sank to In a dark alleyway. Of the people in this world, whether their lives are complex or simple, about whom can you say “I really know what he’s all about”?
   When it’s time to light up, especially in summer, Houmen Street tries to show off modern civilization on top of its ancient trunk. Row after row of electric lamps with hundreds of candles were hung in front of the barber shop and airline lottery office, and the photos of fashionable girls and famous Peking opera actors displayed in the glass windows of the photo studio became more and more dazzling. There are large radio speakers on the door of every foreign store, broadcasting Peking opera, drum book cross talk and many other lively things that can’t be described. At this time, Houmen Street becomes a sea of ​​people, people on the left, people on the right, all kinds of people. The young grandmother leads her flowery children, the owner of the mutton shop flaps his banana leaves, the students in white shirts and black skirts with lapel sleeves fold their arms or lean on the telephone poles, and the bricklayer sits on the steps and knocks. To remove the ashes in the chimney, everyone was listening, watching, and in a daze as if they understood. At this time, I must be on the back door street; at this time, I put aside the weight of decades of education and thousands of years of culture on me, and sink freely in the unity of virtuous and foolish, white and innocent. Among the divided groups of people, try to satisfy the primitive requirement that cows want to be with cows, and ants want to be with ants. I feel that I am one of the multitude, and I feel the throbbing of the throng in my own veins.
   Houmen Street, what a kind friend you are to a person who is afraid of dealing with others and unwilling to be alone!

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