My name is Margot. I don’t think much of the new neighbours. For starters, they are foreigners and don’t fit well into the area. In fact they lower the tone of the suburb considerably. Not that I’ve anything against foreigners, but when people come to a country that is not theirs they should make some effort to fit in; meld into the surroundings. You’d think they would; that’s what rats do. Peacocks strut around, and when a peacock shows off and spreads its tail you can see its arsehole. These people strut around like they own the place.
The new neighbours, so I heard, are Antoinette and Leon from Beijing or somewhere. China anyway. You can tell these things even though they’ve taken Western names. I thought communists were meant to be not so well off, but you should see their three cars! And the house they live in (I presume they rent and don’t own, though why the landlord thinks it’s okay to rent to communists I have no idea) is one of the most lavish houses in our neighbourhood. And that’s saying something. They’ve got three young children. No wonder the world is overrun.
Here comes the one called Antoinette up my path now. Presumably she’s going to ask for a cup of noodles or something! Chop! Chop!
Ching Chong Chinaman Coming up my path I shall pretend to be foreign Just for a laugh.
“Hello. My name’s Antoinette. I’m the new neighbour. I thought I’d come over and introduce myself.”
“When you come from China?”
“When you come from China to dis place?”
“From China? I didn’t. My family have been here since 1824.”
You’ve probably heard of the black tulip, and likewise the blue rose. These days, with genetic engineering, nearly everything is possible. That’s why Belinda wasn’t at all surprised when she came across an advertisement for “100 seeds of a blue rose”. She thought it a little strange that she should grow roses from seed. Grafting seems to be more the norm.
Using her credit card, she bought 100 seeds for $10.73. The postage was included, which was great considering the seeds would be sent all the way from China.
The first things she noticed was that lots of money had gone from her bank account. It seemed that the 100 seeds were $10.73 each.
After several weeks she received a letter from Customs. Did she know there was a fine of $50,000 for trying to import illegally foreign seeds and vegetable matter into the country?
Belinda was desperate. She couldn’t afford that. She wrote to Customs and suggested they stuff the blue rose seeds where the sun doesn’t shine and she hoped they sprouted thorns.
Her expensive, and useless, lawyer intimated she might get out on parole in a couple of months.
Adrienne had always wanted to go to Tibet. Ever since childhood, when she had read books about the Dali Lama and the monasteries and temples, and the mountains, she had a powerful yearning to visit. And the opportunity arose! Her husband surprised her on her fiftieth birthday with a return ticket to Tibet with a tourist party.
They arrived at Lhasa and the plane circled the airport for an hour because the military were holding some sort of exercise. But when they eventually stepped off the plane, goodness! No air! No oxygen! How do people breathe up here? Adrienne was immediately struck down with altitude sickness.
For the first three days she mainly lay on her bed gasping for air. She phoned her husband back home. On the fourth and final day Adrienne decided she had to see something. She walked down the street. It was very third world. The military were everywhere. Adrienne took a photo with her phone. Two men appeared. The phone was confiscated.
Adrienne was never so relieved to step on a plane. She had fulfilled her lifetime ambition. Why the Chinese wanted to keep this hellhole was anyone’s guess.