Title: The Extra 50 Bucks
Translated by Ginger Huang
Lead: Yi Qing is a writer and world traveler. As a freelancer, he has worked in drastically different fields as ranging from publishing, investment, film, drama, to news commentator. His blog is linked to most of the major portal websites in
I cannot quite remember the name of that hill in
It was a dusky day, ready for rain. The sky looked a like a Chinese painting. Our dutiful guide, a girl from
At first, our artistic friend mistook us for being Japanese; but when he found out we were indeed Chinese, he apologized profusely. I told him it was perfectly fine, since we were the Asian tourists in
It was a good painting, causing quite a stir in the crowd. Trying to match my compliments to the superior quality of his painting, I told him that I was in the publishing business and that I believed it would please him a great deal if I put his portrait in my book to introduce to Chinese readers.
He paused for a second. After getting the full meaning from our interpreter, he smiled and responded with a firm “No.” He explained that things simply didn’t work that way. His artwork had his copyright, and if I published it in my book, I would be breaching that right. Having said this, he continued to concentrate on my portrait.
The people surrounding us did not pay much heed to the conversation; they were too busy comparing me with the portrait, debating whether it resembled me the most and the least. But I was carried away by what he had said. In
The sky continued to grow dim, but in the end it did not rain. My new friend snapped his fingers and I knew my portrait was ready. I paid an extra 50 bucks to buy it (in addition to the labor fee) and received another friendly snap in response. What he didn’t know was that the extra 50 bucks had not bought me a canvas of my face, but rather an enlightenment I still carry with me to this day.
Yi Qing is a writer and world traveler. As a freelancer, he has worked in drastically different fields as ranging from publishing, investment, film, drama, to news commentator.