This is the first essay of the semester that I wrote.
我曾经跟一位摆梳子地摊的人聊天儿。 我之所以跟她聊天儿是因为我那天晚上要坐飞机回美国过年。经过地摊的时候我突然想起我忘了买礼物送给我一个朋友。 那个朋友的头发又长又乱，我一见地摊卖梳子的就确定梳子最适合她，所以临时决定就卖梳子给她。摆地摊的人从我的表情看出来我对她的梳子很感兴趣，马上开始给我介绍她的各种梳子又什么不同。
我买好梳子后继续跟他聊天儿。我们彼此做自我介绍，她说她是东北人， 在沈阳长大。他的家人都在那儿住。 她以前在打火机工厂工作，但是工厂变得越来越现代化，所以她被炒鱿鱼了。她下岗以后没办法挣钱，也就没办法养活家人。由于受不了这种情况，她来北京找工作。她本来有开东北饭店的梦想，不过她一到北京就发现她的梦想实现不了了。再加上，她花光了自己攒的钱买火车票来北京，所以她没办法会沈阳和家人团聚。我觉得遇到这么多困难的人真是再可怜不过了，但是她却不要我可怜她。她睿智地说“对酒当歌”，即使我今生没机会再见到家人，去世后一定能再见到他们。在那以前，我干脆在这儿卖梳子，好好过日子。”
Why She Came to Beijing
I once had a long chat with a lady who sold combs on the street. I ended up talking to her because that night I was flying back to America to celebrate the new year with family. As I was passing by her, I suddenly rememberd that I hadn’t yet bought a gift for a friend back home. This friend’s hair was long and messy, so as soon as I saw the lady’s combs, I knew I had found the perfect gift, so in that instant I decided to buy some. The seller could tell from my expression that I was interested in her goods, and immediately began to explain to me the difference between the various combs she had for sale.
After purchasing the combs, I continued talking to her. We introduced ourselves, and she said she was from the Northwest of China, and grew up in Shenyang. Her family still lives there. She used to work at a cigarette lighter factory, but after it modernized and became more automated, she was fired. After losing her job she had no way to make money, and therefore no way to support her family. Because of this unbearable circumstance, she decided to come to Beijing to find work. Originally she had dreams of opening up a restaurant showcasing her hometown’s food, but as son as she got to Beijing she realized that this dream would never be realized. Furthermore, she had already spent all her savings on the train ticket to Beijing, so she had no way to reunite with her family. Listening to a story filled with such hardship and sorrow made my heart ache, but she assured me that she sought nobody’s pity. She sagely said “‘Sing to accompany wine’ (literally translated, which means that life is short, so make merry while you can), even if I cannot see my family again in this lifetime, once I pass on I will surely see them again in another world. Until then, I might as well sell these combs and live happily.”