Xin Kai (psyeudonym) is a wholesale clothing seller. I stopped by his story today and he told me about an incident that happened today with the chengguan
I write often about the chengguan. Officially, they are a bureau located in every city that is responsible for managing public spaces in a city. But they are more commonly known as a violent and deathly street mafia.
I also thought this conversation was interesting becaue we talked about the police stopping him because he looked different.
Xin Kai: Today the chengguan game.
Me: Why would they come for you? You have a store.
Xin Kai: I had all these new winter jackets dropped off from a seller and there wasn't room in my store, so the piles of jackets were placed in front of my store. Then the chengguan came and they didn't even ask if the jackets belonged to anyone. They just started putting my jackets in their truck. If I didn't come out earlier they would've just taken all my coats and all their family members would've been warm this winter. Bastards.
Me: How could they just do that?
Xin Kai: Ha, they don't have to ask, they can do that to anyone. They are the chengguan. But I got my stuff back with a little bit of arguing.
Me: Well they probably didn't believe it was your stuff. You don't really look like a typical store owners.
Xin Kai: Yah I don't, great huh? [had a proud look on his face] They can't bully me that easily.
Me: Well you do look pretty different with your hair. [The top part of his hair is 2 inches long, the rest of it is buzzed, half of the hair on top is kept long that extends past his neck. He has a tatoo on one side of neck.]
Xin Kai: yah you like this? I used to have it even longer and then a few years ago I used to have the outline of my hand imprinted into the back of my head. Looked like someone had grabbed my head. It was pretty cool.
Me: What makes you think of all these creative styles?
Xin Kai: I like that it's different. I have a new style ever few years. Plus it keeps people far away from me. No one ever cuts in front of me. Like when I need to buy a ticket at the train station, people step out of my way. They think I am mafia member. Which is fine with me.
Me: Do the police ever stop you?
Xin Kai: All the time.
Me: Like where?
Xin Kai: At the train station, on the road. They used to stop me more, but now its more relaxed.
Me: Does it bother you that they stop you?
Xin Kai: What does it matter? I haven't done anything wrong. Sure you can run my identity. But I'm clean. I have nothing on me. This is me, this is my special look, fuck them if they don't like it. I'm not a bad person.
Me: So you know the power of your "look."
Xin Kai: Ya, I like it a lot. I am trying to think of what I should do next.
Me: maybe I should adopt your hairstyle - people are always cutting in front of line.