ZHANG BO: Here is a dream that I had a few days ago and that I keep thinking about all the time. My girlfriend’s father had told me that he wanted to buy a car. I was very happy about that because I like driving very much, especially good cars. One day, her father went to a car shop to look at the different models. He liked one of the Chevrolets. I was quite happy to hear that, and then the night after that I had this dream. In the dream, all the streets were empty. It was in the district of Jianfa, around Xinhua Street in the city of Yinchuan. In the dream, my girlfriend’s father had already bought the car that he wanted, it was a black Audi Q7. I like this car a lot. And my girlfriend had just gotten her driver’s license, she called me and said her father just bought the car. She asked me if I wanted to go for a drive with her in the new car. I said yes.
She picked me up at my place and asked me where I wanted to go. I told her just to drive anywhere, to show me her driving skills. It’s not a long way from the district of Jianhua to where I live, only about a mile, but there are always heavy traffic jams in that area. She was driving to Jianfa. In my dream, she was the driver and sat next to her on the front seat. Then suddenly a silver grey car came driving towards us, I don’t remember what kind of car it was, but anyway, it was heading straight towards us. I told my girlfriend to turn around the steering wheel immediately, but maybe because she was just learning to drive she got a bit of a panic when she saw that car. I grabbed the wheel and tried to steer the car to the side, but we crashed. It was not a serious crash, though, so we got off the car to have a look, one of the headlights was broken. My girlfriend was very upset, she said: “What shall we do? How could we have a crash?” I told her to calm down, I would handle the situation, it was not such a heavy accident, I would talk to the other driver to find a solution. But just at that moment, my brain went totally blank, I didn’t know how to handle the situation anymore.
I worked as a taxi driver for more than two years, so I know all the streets and their situation quite well. The Jianfa district has traffic jams every day and there are accidents every day during the rush hour. I always get very upset when I’m in a traffic jam, so I find this dream very interesting. And I’ve never driven a car like the one in the dream, so I was really happy.
The taxi I used to drive belonged to my parents. My father taught me to drive even before I took driving lessons. The night after I got my driver’s license, my father let me drive his car for the first time. I was so happy to be driving my family’s car! It had always been my dream to drive when I grew up, to feel the wind when you’re driving, I like that feeling a lot.
After a while I started driving at night. I felt I had very good driving skills, so I started to take customers every night to earn some money. I was always in a good mood. But half a year later, I had a series of accidents. I remember one of them very clearly. It was on a very crowded street and I was driving fast, the car besides me tried to turn left and I crashed straight into it because my speed was too high. That was the worst accident I ever had, my car got almost completely destroyed. After that I had three or four more accidents. That scared me and I started to dislike driving, I always got into a bad mood when I was driving, so I wanted to change my job.
I tried different jobs but I didn’t like them very much. So I had to keep working as a taxi driver. But I didn’t want to drive at night anymore, so sometimes I would just leave the car somewhere and go out with some friends to have a drink. Not just because I was afraid of having another accident, but also because the customers you have at night are usually quite strange. During the two years I worked as a taxi driver, I had a lot of fights with people. At night you get a lot of drunken customers, and they are really weird. They always try to irritate me by talking down to me and saying things like “You’re just a taxi driver, you have to do whatever I want you to do!” And when they do that I get really upset and I start fighting with them.
Some time ago my girlfriend’s mother told me that the local government wanted to employ more people, and I thought maybe I could give it a try. I thought that sounded quite nice, no matter how much I could earn, but at least I could feel comfortable when I tell people what my job is. So I told my parents that I didn’t want to be a taxi driver anymore, and they agreed with me. I had the interview with the government and now I signed the contract. I’m really happy now. My next aim is to earn money to buy a car for myself. I don’t want to drive a taxi anymore, but with my own car I could drive every day, that must feel different from driving a taxi.