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Elderly woman's odyssey defies language barrier

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  • Christine
    Elderly woman s odyssey defies language barrier (AP) , SHANGHAI Friday, Aug 27, 2004,Page 5 A trip to a public toilet left 60-year-old Yao Jixiu lost in
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 31 1:15 PM
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      Elderly woman's odyssey defies language barrier


      (AP) , SHANGHAI
      Friday, Aug 27, 2004,Page 5
      A trip to a public toilet left 60-year-old Yao Jixiu lost in China's
      biggest city, but after two weeks of sleeping outdoors and then
      traveling to Nanjing by mistake, the lady from a tiny village finally
      made her way home, state media reported yesterday.

      Yao, from a small village in central Jiangxi Province, had traveled
      to Shanghai to visit her daughter.

      But the two were separated on Aug. 5 when Yao visited a public toilet
      at the crowded People's Square, a vast plaza in the center of this
      city of 20 million, local newspapers reported.

      Like millions of other elderly rural Chinese, Yao speaks a local
      dialect, not the standard Mandarin spoken as the national language.
      And she is unable to read or write.

      Lost and unable to communicate, Yao slept on the street and then made
      her way to the train station, planning to use the 40 yuan (US$4.80)
      she had in her pocket to buy a ticket home, the Shanghai Daily and
      Oriental Morning Post reported.

      But the ticket seller, unable to understand her strong accent, sold
      her a ticket for nearby Nanjing, just a few hours away, instead of
      the far more distant Jiangxi provincial capital of Nanchang, the
      reports said.

      Then, after spending several nights sleeping in Nanjing's train
      station, Yao was befriended by a kind grocer, who contacted the
      police.

      But police in Nanjing, unable to understand her, eventually sent her
      to a center for homeless migrants, the reports said.

      There, Yao finally met up with a Jiangxi native who helped her
      communicate with the center's staff and contact her family, who had
      been searching for her for more than two weeks.

      "Mom behaved very bravely. She never gave up, despite the
      communications barrier," her daughter, Yang Yuelan, told the Shanghai
      Daily.
      This story has been viewed 308 times.


      Copyright © 1999-2004 The Taipei Times. All rights reserved.
      --- End forwarded message ---
      --- End forwarded message ---
    • kitmengleong
      That s appalling! Why didn t the police do more than just send her to a homeless shelter? Her odyssey should have ended at the police station with the police
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 31 7:44 PM
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        That's appalling! Why didn't the police do more than just send her to
        a homeless shelter? Her odyssey should have ended at the police
        station with the police finding a translator to solve her language
        problem instead of merely using the homeless shelter to get rid of the
        problem! And to think she had to be lucky to find someone who spoke
        her language at the shelter before she could find her way home.

        Jieming
        DragonSeedLegacy
        ChineseCultureOnline

        --- In DragonSeedLegacy@yahoogroups.com, "Christine"
        <tineypandabear@y...> wrote:
        > Elderly woman's odyssey defies language barrier
        >
        >
        > (AP) , SHANGHAI
        > Friday, Aug 27, 2004,Page 5
        > A trip to a public toilet left 60-year-old Yao Jixiu lost in China's
        > biggest city, but after two weeks of sleeping outdoors and then
        > traveling to Nanjing by mistake, the lady from a tiny village finally
        > made her way home, state media reported yesterday.
        >
        > Yao, from a small village in central Jiangxi Province, had traveled
        > to Shanghai to visit her daughter.
        >
        > But the two were separated on Aug. 5 when Yao visited a public toilet
        > at the crowded People's Square, a vast plaza in the center of this
        > city of 20 million, local newspapers reported.
        >
        > Like millions of other elderly rural Chinese, Yao speaks a local
        > dialect, not the standard Mandarin spoken as the national language.
        > And she is unable to read or write.
        >
        > Lost and unable to communicate, Yao slept on the street and then made
        > her way to the train station, planning to use the 40 yuan (US$4.80)
        > she had in her pocket to buy a ticket home, the Shanghai Daily and
        > Oriental Morning Post reported.
        >
        > But the ticket seller, unable to understand her strong accent, sold
        > her a ticket for nearby Nanjing, just a few hours away, instead of
        > the far more distant Jiangxi provincial capital of Nanchang, the
        > reports said.
        >
        > Then, after spending several nights sleeping in Nanjing's train
        > station, Yao was befriended by a kind grocer, who contacted the
        > police.
        >
        > But police in Nanjing, unable to understand her, eventually sent her
        > to a center for homeless migrants, the reports said.
        >
        > There, Yao finally met up with a Jiangxi native who helped her
        > communicate with the center's staff and contact her family, who had
        > been searching for her for more than two weeks.
        >
        > "Mom behaved very bravely. She never gave up, despite the
        > communications barrier," her daughter, Yang Yuelan, told the Shanghai
        > Daily.
        > This story has been viewed 308 times.
        >
        >
        > Copyright © 1999-2004 The Taipei Times. All rights reserved.
        > --- End forwarded message ---
        > --- End forwarded message ---
      • Christine
        ... to ... the ... If that happened in the U.S., there would be a huge lawsuit filed. But unfortunately, I heard of similar occurances. Maybe the police arent
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 31 8:08 PM
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          --- In DragonSeedLegacy@yahoogroups.com, "kitmengleong"
          <kmleong@a...> wrote:
          > That's appalling! Why didn't the police do more than just send her
          to
          > a homeless shelter? Her odyssey should have ended at the police
          > station with the police finding a translator to solve her language
          > problem instead of merely using the homeless shelter to get rid of
          the
          > problem! And to think she had to be lucky to find someone who spoke
          > her language at the shelter before she could find her way home.
          >
          > Jieming
          > DragonSeedLegacy
          > ChineseCultureOnline
          >
          >
          If that happened in the U.S., there would be a huge lawsuit filed.
          But unfortunately, I heard of similar occurances. Maybe the police
          arent properly trained to deal with these things. Also maybe they
          don't have time and money at these stations to deal with it. Not that
          it's an excuse for the behavior. It's a lucky thing she was coherent
          and resilient enough to find help.
        • Jane
          Yes, exactly! Too many questions can be asked on the ways of problems in the society are handled from day to day life. People normallly choose to have their
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 31 8:09 PM
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            Yes, exactly! Too many questions can be asked on the ways of problems in the society are handled from day to day life. People normallly choose to have their feelings numbed and stop asking why, not anything they like though...........

            Jane

            kitmengleong <kmleong@...> wrote:
            That's appalling! Why didn't the police do more than just send her to
            a homeless shelter? Her odyssey should have ended at the police
            station with the police finding a translator to solve her language
            problem instead of merely using the homeless shelter to get rid of the
            problem! And to think she had to be lucky to find someone who spoke
            her language at the shelter before she could find her way home.

            Jieming
            DragonSeedLegacy
            ChineseCultureOnline

            --- In DragonSeedLegacy@yahoogroups.com, "Christine"
            <tineypandabear@y...> wrote:
            > Elderly woman's odyssey defies language barrier
            >
            >
            > (AP) , SHANGHAI
            > Friday, Aug 27, 2004,Page 5
            > A trip to a public toilet left 60-year-old Yao Jixiu lost in China's
            > biggest city, but after two weeks of sleeping outdoors and then
            > traveling to Nanjing by mistake, the lady from a tiny village finally
            > made her way home, state media reported yesterday.
            >
            > Yao, from a small village in central Jiangxi Province, had traveled
            > to Shanghai to visit her daughter.
            >
            > But the two were separated on Aug. 5 when Yao visited a public toilet
            > at the crowded People's Square, a vast plaza in the center of this
            > city of 20 million, local newspapers reported.
            >
            > Like millions of other elderly rural Chinese, Yao speaks a local
            > dialect, not the standard Mandarin spoken as the national language.
            > And she is unable to read or write.
            >
            > Lost and unable to communicate, Yao slept on the street and then made
            > her way to the train station, planning to use the 40 yuan (US$4.80)
            > she had in her pocket to buy a ticket home, the Shanghai Daily and
            > Oriental Morning Post reported.
            >
            > But the ticket seller, unable to understand her strong accent, sold
            > her a ticket for nearby Nanjing, just a few hours away, instead of
            > the far more distant Jiangxi provincial capital of Nanchang, the
            > reports said.
            >
            > Then, after spending several nights sleeping in Nanjing's train
            > station, Yao was befriended by a kind grocer, who contacted the
            > police.
            >
            > But police in Nanjing, unable to understand her, eventually sent her
            > to a center for homeless migrants, the reports said.
            >
            > There, Yao finally met up with a Jiangxi native who helped her
            > communicate with the center's staff and contact her family, who had
            > been searching for her for more than two weeks.
            >
            > "Mom behaved very bravely. She never gave up, despite the
            > communications barrier," her daughter, Yang Yuelan, told the Shanghai
            > Daily.
            > This story has been viewed 308 times.
            >
            >
            > Copyright ?1999-2004 The Taipei Times. All rights reserved.
            > --- End forwarded message ---
            > --- End forwarded message ---



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          • kitmengleong
            I ve heard similar incidences happen in Malaysia sometimes in remote towns/villages. I think it s more a matter of out-of-sight, out-of-mind , so they just
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 31 8:34 PM
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              I've heard similar incidences happen in Malaysia sometimes in remote
              towns/villages. I think it's more a matter of "out-of-sight,
              out-of-mind", so they just sweep the poor lady under the carpet and
              hope things work themselves out. Basically if they can dump the
              problem elsewhere then it stops becoming their problem and becomes
              someone else's problem.

              This kind of mentality can be seen everywhere, even in Singapore. You
              should just read the results of the inquiry into the recent Nicoll
              Highway collapse here in Singapore to see what I mean. No one wanted
              to stand up and say that there was a problem with the construction
              works. This buck passing lasted 6 months until the whole darn highway
              collapsed.

              Jieming
              DragonSeedLegacy
              ChineseCultureOnline

              > >
              > If that happened in the U.S., there would be a huge lawsuit filed.
              > But unfortunately, I heard of similar occurances. Maybe the police
              > arent properly trained to deal with these things. Also maybe they
              > don't have time and money at these stations to deal with it. Not that
              > it's an excuse for the behavior. It's a lucky thing she was coherent
              > and resilient enough to find help.
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