[personal profile] annadarya
[Newchwang]
The Chinese had the utmost contempt for the Russians, whom they regarded, not as 'foreign devils' like ourselves, but simply as barbarians. For this they had some reason. The Russians not only got drunk far more often and far more gloriously than any Chinese, but suffered from sudden fits of panic, when, for no clear reason, they would round up a number of Chinese and shoot them. The hard-headed Chinese saw and opportunity even in this. The widows, real or self-appointed, of the victims would come weeping to the Russian officers, who would be deeply touched, burst into tears of sympathy, and give them handfuls of roubles. From this a technique was developed, and if any shooting was in the offing, the Chinese grandmothers, who ruled their households, would see that the family ne'er-do-wells were the first to face the firing-squad and that handsome compensation was paid for them.

...Though my father liked the Russians and was on good terms with their commander-in-chief, Alexeyev, he was shocked by their incompetence, their unreliability, and their corruption. He could not bear to see a Russian postman drunkenly scattering letters on the snow at New Year, nor could he dream of offering the bribes which the Russians regarded as indispensable to any services rendered.
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annadarya

May 2012

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