001 • ZHENGZHOU, CHINA

Click for Lightbox. (C) Remko Tanis

A WEDNESDAY IN FEBRUARY, 16:54:59

He has heard it all before. Every day on the ride home from school, his grandfather complains about how Zhengzhou is going to shambles.

Yes, when you grew up this road wasn’t there yet. You have told me a billion times how ugly you think the skyscrapers are. You hate how the lāmiàn store you stop by every day now advertises gluten free noodles and how some kid there gets this annoyed expression on her face because you use cash and refuse to pay with your phone.

What? You left it at home? Again?

I can’t wait to get my start at life. I don’t care for what used to be. Used to be nothing. Used to be a stupid backwater town, is what this was. Zhengzhou. Who cares about what was.

Now, I can board a plane here and get out in Vancouver. Thanks, Sichuan Airlines! Gotta love their web address, by the way: 88888888.cn

Eight times eight. Nothing bad will ever happen to them.

Soon the city will get its first direct flight to Europe. Already we have eight, no, nine cargo trains a week going there.

Meanwhile I’m still stuck in the back of this cargo bike.

Just get me home already.

Can’t believe I drained my power bank again.