Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Red Stamp


The Red Stamp


In China you quickly realize that nearly everything you do requires some form of approval from someone. And as a foreigner, you will quickly realize the god-like power of the red stamp. The red stamp is your key to the world. Want a bank account? That’s going to require about five red stamps. Want a cell phone? That’s another six stamps. In fact, just a simple outing to the local grocery store yields about four red stamps on your receipt. I don’t know why they’re always red, but they always will be.
Whenever I get a little too comfortable with my surroundings, or forget where I am, these stamps serve as a reminder that I am still in China, and that the People’s Party is watching. It’s almost like the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings is watching me and reminding me to watch my step and my behavior.
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