HAN SHENG WEI: The dream I’m going to tell you is about me and my colleagues. We were on our way back from work. When I arrived at my house, I saw that the door was open. I thought it must have been left open by someone from my family, so I went in. But when I walked through the door, there was another road on the other side. I followed that road and after a while I saw another house. I stepped into the house, it was a very simple house, and quite old. Inside the house, my father was sitting next to the fire, he was smoking. I asked him: “Didn’t you quit smoking?” When I went to visit my parents last summer, my father had quit smoking, but now I saw him smoking again. Then I asked him: “Did you put that door out there on the street?” I don’t know what my father said because I woke up.
When I was 12, I went to a school, which was far away from my hometown. I would come back home once a month, stay for three or four days, and then go back to school. This lasted for four years. When I graduated, my parents sent me to a technical school to learn welding. After that, I came to Beijing. I’ve been living here for three years now, and I left my hometown 7 or 8 years ago. I don’t go home very often and I don’t stay for very long. I always stay in other places.
Once an aunt of mine asked me how old my mother was. I said I couldn’t remember her age, but I remembered that in the Chinese calendar, her birth year was a year of the snake, so she might be 42 years old. My aunt asked again: “Which year?” I said: “The year of the snake.” “Then she must be 44 now,” said my aunt. You see, I’ve been away from my hometown for such a long time, I don’t even remember how old my parents are.