Thursday, April 17, 2014

Money and Love

      Nanhai, my hometown, is famous for car smuggling in China. In the 1980s, China was developing into a golden age and a lot of rich people wanted to pay high dollars for an imported car. Taking marginal geographical advantages, smuggling cars became a profitable industry. Thousands of laborers were involved in the illegal business. My uncle, an aspiring man,  became one of them in his early twenties, and his business created big changes in our family. During my children, our backyard was a mystical garage.  My uncle often parked several brand-new cars from the black market there. My grandmother used to air-dry the quilts around the cars carefully. So no outsiders could notice the cars. The backyard was an inglorious secret of our family.  In fact, his car smuggling business had a significant effort on my family and our lives.

     My uncle’s business brought his parents a happier life for his success of business. The development of smuggling business resulted in the prosperity of the local economy, and the local government eased its control. In 1998, my uncle successfully expanded his business to northern China. He eventually moved to Tianjin to build up his business, so he seldom came home. The occasions we met were merely the Spring Festival and the Mid- Autumn Festival. I never heard my grandparents complaining about their busy son. However, they were proud of their son who brought them a carefree life, because my grandparents had suffered from the misery during the Cultural Revolution. Both of them devoted their lives to raising their four children, so they deserved a better life in their twilight years. That motivated my uncle to work hard for his parents.

 Not only my grandparents, but also my mother and my siblings were the beneficiaries of the smuggling business. In the same year, my mother divorced with my father. Despite misery, we were facing a dilemma. After leaving the original villa, we needed a new place to live. My mother failed to buy a secondhand house with her poor salary. Therefore my mother, my little brother and I were homeless at that time. Nevertheless, our hero showed up. My uncle bought us a new house. Although my uncle had a good income then, buying a house made him taken a big amount money of his saving. He never complained the “trouble” we made and was willing to support us all the time. Nothing could express our gratitude to my generous uncle.  He treated me like his dear daughter and taught me a lot of life lessons. I did love my prestigious uncle. The illegal game brought us a safe house.

My uncle’s business also brought other rewards. Even though his business was illegal, he also helped the community. He donated money to the primary school and local charity every year.  Due to my uncle was a smart and honorable businessman, most of the resident spoke highly of him, no matter whether they knew his secret or not. A lot of parents introduced their daughters to him for marriage. Finally, he married a kindergarten teacher who bore him four girls. The rewards of his illegal game also made his four children have the opportunity to get good education in Macau. His whole families lived a happy life.

Fire can’t be wrapped up in paper. In 2007, there was an anti-smuggling campaign that swept across China. My uncle paid a huge price for the lose of his game. He got arrested and was sent to jail. However, he never showed depressed in front of his family. In prison, he kept reading every day. He never gave up improving himself. That is how he taught me to be a strong and positive person facing any dilemma. I never saw my uncle after he went to jail, and my family has nothing to do with the illegal business any longer. The whole family buried this secret forever, yet there is one thing I can’t deny. My uncle’s laundered money had brought a lot of joy to others. His charity remains in the minds of all those who he helped.



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