Disability Certificate

Go read it. The story (beneath Joel’s lengthy background information) is so…so…so China.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Kafka could have penned this story.

June 19, 2006 @ 4:37 am | Comment

Yeah, but if Kafka had penned it, we’d know it was a macabre allegory. Sadly, we know that such scenes really, truly have happened in China, probably right along the lines of this sad story.

June 19, 2006 @ 7:40 am | Comment

what the f*** is wrong with people in china? at least some good comrade stood up for the poor old man.

I was told a story by a freind of mine about a abandoned baby on a train. the mother had apparently left the baby, becasue it had a cleft palate, and when the conductor found it, they didnt know what to do, so they tossed it from the train. no ticket, no ride.

June 19, 2006 @ 2:53 pm | Comment

Russia is much worse. I swear it.

June 19, 2006 @ 4:44 pm | Comment

This story has been around in various different forms for years (they haven’t had coal-burning passenger trains since the 1980s). It’s an urban myth and plays on all the usual sterotypes about bureaucratic inflexibility. The last time I spent a three days on a train ride I ended up feeling very sympathetic towards the train attendants – they had to put up with so much crap from obnoxious passengers all claiming their “rights” and bullying their young women. No wonder trains need their own police. The problem with the newly-rich China is that so many people feel they deserve to be treated like VIPS – even when they only want to pay for hard sleepers.

June 19, 2006 @ 6:58 pm | Comment

No one’s trying to position this as a story about modern-day China. The post at Danwei makes clear this is a very old story with many, many iteratrons.

June 19, 2006 @ 7:02 pm | Comment

Russia is worse only if you don’t know your way around. I was thinking about Russia when I read this story, and I was thinking how on a typical Russian train,

1. It would be almost inconceivable for any train conductor (or other train official) to behave that way to a crippled passenger, and if he did

2. A hundred old ladies would shout at him and tell him “What would your mother think?” And if any war veterans were on the train, they guy wouldn’t be able to walk for a month after the journey was over.

But then again Russia can seem different from the perspective of foreigners who are just passing through. Which included most foreign journalists in Moscow, by the way.

June 20, 2006 @ 2:34 am | Comment

PS, please don’t transform this thread into a series of urban myths and hearsay anecdotes and tourist stories about Russia. Please spare me. Today I can’t be bothered to refute it all.

June 20, 2006 @ 2:40 am | Comment

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