March 31, 2006

Day 37: Nina writes: “My brother’s and my life”

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 4:39 am

Nina Wu has written her second blog post: “My brother’s and my life.” Read it and share her pain. Thanks again to our anonymous translator, we have the whole thing in English below. Among other things, she describes a stolen laptop, the circumstances of which sound rather fishy.

My brother’s and my life

March 30, 2006

When I got up today my eyes were swollen into two big walnuts. I had to wear sunglasses out. Luckily, it was bright outside, and the sun felt good on my body. I squinted and looked at the sky. The Beijing sky is much worse than Shanghai’s, but I remembered how I used to rise early and return late. When did I last have time to look up at the sky? I shouldn’t be too demanding. There was a din along Dawang road where the old houses were being demolished. Remembering the innumerable times my little brother walked among the noisy mass of people, I felt close to him again. I greedily looked over every street peddler, every pile of rubble. Brother, are you lucky enough to see this bright and beautiful day? Do you know that your sister is walking on the same street you walked on so many times before? When I thought that he may be locked in a dark room, without any view or news of the outside world, my mood darkened too.
My notebook computer

In the afternoon, I dialed the phone number I had dialed so many times before. This time, I finally learned that it was the criminal investigation division of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. It was the same woman who I spoke to the first time, but her tone of voice was much different from before. This time she said that I needed to wait for further notification. Thinking back on the experience of
losing my laptop, it was difficult to believe. In the afternoon on March 8, International Women’s Day, as I came out of a security and commerce meeting in the International Convention Center, I decided to buy some fruit for my daughter in Lotus Supercenter in Zhengda Squre.
In the few seconds when I stooped to collect my oranges, the shopping cart next to me had disappeared. The laptop and clothes had disappeared too, without a trace, having evaporated into the crowd.
There was no one near me, and I immediately asked the store clerk behind me whether she had seen anyone pushing away my shopping cart.
She shook her head. A few minutes later, I explained the situation to the supermarket guards, asking them to help me search, and I also went to the customer service desk to report the situation. After searching the first floor of the supermarket, I was back where I started. The clerk had already left, and just a few steps from where I lost my cart I discovered my shopping cart. The clothes were still there, but my HP notebook had disappeared. It seemed like this experience was going to come to a close after filling out a report in the Lujiazui police station. But that wasn’t the case. On March 22, the second day after I returned to Shanghai, I received a call from the police officer above, telling me that my computer may have been found, but I needed to tell them the serial number to prove that it was my own. I told her that the back of my computer had the company’s product registration number. You could even just plug in the computer and check whether the login name was mine or not. The female officer could only tell me that my computer may have been found by a public security bureau outside the city, but I needed to offer proof. I was overjoyed, and went to some trouble to find the serial number to tell her, but I heard nothing else after that. Every time I dialed the number, men answered. None of them knew of my case, and none would tell me which department they were from.

Sentimental songs

While eating dinner in a restaurant with a friend, I heard an old song that expressed my feelings. It basically said: thinking of yesterday from here, my heart silently hopes that you’ll suddenly appear in front of me… Thinking of past business trips to Beijing, when I would try to have a meal with my brother, sometimes with friends and sometimes just the two of us. Now I could not have the extravagant hope that he would appear at the dinner table. That scene of wild laughter and debate would not appear. It was also hard for me to find that happy feeling of being a youthful woman again. I sighed, and my friend patted my shoulder. Everyone already knows that a tranquil life is so far from me now.

A father forever

Worried about my father, that night I decided to call our family home.

Both my father’s and my brother’s birthdays are in April. Despite our parents’ claims that our kindly feelings were enough, my brother would never forget any of our birthdays. If my brother didn’t call at the right time, or my parents couldn’t offer him birthday wishes over the phone, and my lies will no longer be tenable. Worrying about how my parents’ ill bodies would deal with that blow, I absentmindedly wondered what to do. Fortunately I hadn’t told my parents that I was in Beijing. Otherwise, I would certainly be subject to their questions about Haozi’s situation.

The apartment telephone, which hadn’t been used in a long time, rang.

It was New York Public Television. They wanted to show one of my brother’s movies, Beijing or Bust, but they could not reach him. I told them to read the paper or the Internet to hear what had happened.

I already lack the power to tell my brother’s story again.

Why does fate torture people? It suddenly plucked my brother from his life, and made me live in his apartment, meet his friends, read his books, and listen to his CDs. I have felt every breath of his past life, but I can’t be by his side. I deal with inquiries about his life by myself. I can’t be the core of my brother’s life. I’m too tired; let my brother come home again. Please let his life continue.


  1. Hey Rebecca, thought you might want to know the WSJ gave a nod to Hao Wu in an editorial re: Vatican-Beijing rapproachment.

    Comment by davesgonechina — March 31, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

  2. i found that there are few comment here, i think that it’s because u write ur blog in english, but i am sure u will get more response nd support if u write it in chinese.

    anyway, i am always behind u.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 2, 2006 @ 11:46 am

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