The paragraphs below come from LiÃº WÄ›i, our friend who watches the bicycle park where we exercise (among other security duties). He’s the one on the right.
Three days after the Sichuan earthquake I was interviewing him for the Regular Zhou column (where I write little profiles on Tianjin’s è€ç™¾å§“ for an expat magazine), and I asked him what he’s most concerned about right now, meaning his life, living circumstances, and future plans, etc. But instead of talking about his job or family or his personal hopes and dreams he gave me several minutes about the earthquake and the Olympics. I’ve roughly transcribed and translated/paraphrased/mangled the interview (with a lot of help), and the earthquake/Olympics portion is below. (Keep in mind this poorly translated oral Chinese.)
What Iâ€™m currently concerned about is the Sichuan province earthquake. This time the earthquake is unanticipated and sudden. Our China nationâ€™s Prime Minister has already arrived at the scene to fight the earthquake and help disaster victims. This is an extremely difficult affair, an especially big affair. The entire countryâ€™s citizens are paying close attention to the circumstances of the earthquake disaster areaâ€™s common people. A lot of common people, the government businesses, and private commercial businesses all extend help, helping them have money to rebuild their own homes,. Whoever has money sends money, whoever has strength sends strength, whoever has things sends things. This shows the united spirit of the Chinese people: “When one place has trouble, all places provide help.”
I right now care a lot about the Wenchuan, Sichuan province great earthquake affair. According to statistics the death toll has reached more than 10,000*. A lot of people are without a home to go back to and sleep outside. These things foreigner reporters are all aware of, the influence is tremendousâ€¦ the situation is unfavourable.
China holding the Olympics utilized a lot of manpower and financial and physical resources. The Chinese Olympics committee chairperson Liu Qi is confident regarding managing this Olympics well. The Olympics doesnâ€™t assist Chinaâ€™s common people very much. It mainly expresses Chinaâ€™s place in the world, by showing that China can run this Olympics well. Furthermore the Chinese people are extremely concerned with this matter, however, “Heaven isnâ€™t helping out.” In Sichuan province this Wenchuan great earthquake appeared, afterward very many Chinese people lost confidence. I feel we ought to transform our sorrow into strength, and strive as much as possible to manage this Olympics well.
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*This was three days after the earthquake. Right now the death toll is already or nearly in excess of 80,000, if I remember right.