A Busy Place, Now Deserted
That year, 2003, although Beijing was in its late spring, it was a sunny day, bright blue skies. The window was still opened, and the wind filled my bedroom. The curtains fluttered and flapped. I set myself comfortably in the bed with cushion behind my head, and watched the TV shows. I heard the footsteps in the hall, and the key turning in the lock before the door was opened. It was my roommate, Jubb.
"Did you see what the paper said this morning?" She asked while threw her jacket on her bed. The she poured herself a glass of water, and sat down on the edge of her bed that was next to my bed.
"No, I didn't." I replied. "I'm too lazy to translate, what did it says?"
Jubb pulled a folded newspaper towards me, and began to read the headlines of the newspaper, which were printed in large Chinese characters, to me loudly.
"Chinese Government finally abandoned its cover-up of SARS outbreak." She glanced up at me as she finished reading.
"Have you read the whole thing yet?" I asked.
"Not yet, I just bought the paper. I'm going to read the rest now," She replied and ordered. "Come and help me check the vocabularies on the dictionary, quick!"
I took out my electronic Chinese-English Dictionary from my school bag that was laid beside my desk, and moved across to her bed. After spending almost half an hour translating detailed report on the spread of SARS, we both instinctively knew it was true with the hearsay that had been spread around our university.
We had heard the rumour that there was a flu epidemic sweeping through China, and it had come to Beijing. This contagious disease was later give the name...