T-23: The Middle of an Ongoing Story - China Blues - CycleBlaze

July 23, 2020

T-23: The Middle of an Ongoing Story

In accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Procedures Code of the PRC, the suspected criminal (me) in a drug smuggling case is ordered to appear at the Haikou Customs Building for questioning. Refusal to respond to this summons may lead to an arrest warrant being issued. (I should note that I actually received this paper version of the Summons as I was leaving from having been questioned.)
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Two years, two months, and eight days ago, something incredibly horrible happened to me. My lack of doubt that the person who was probably responsible was in fact responsible is not in any way affected by this person's denial that he had anything to do with it. 

I try not to go into too much detail about the Incident in places that aren't relevant but someone mailed a package to my apartment in China with my name and address and phone number on it and felony quantities of ecstasy in it. This someone got my name and address and phone number because—as I was biking in Vietnam—he (or someone he knows) sent me a message out of the blue on a chat program:"hey Marian, I've got an awesome birthday gift for you, what's your mailing address in China" and I assumed I knew who it was (it wasn't who I thought it was, that much we know now) and that there was no reason for me not to provide this information to him.

A few days prior to this message (though I wouldn't connect the dots until after the police released me), the person who was almost certainly responsible for my Incident was ranting about me on his website in terms of how I was linked to what he thought was a ddos attack and how, the year before, I tried to murder him from China using a false police report. He also mentioned a Michael Douglas movie, The Game.

During today's meeting of the detective who is now responsible for my case, the follow-up deposition that I've been waiting on for two years, and the official task of moving the Evidence envelopes from a very large mostly empty sealed container to a much smaller container (during which time I had to visually identify and—on video—confirm everything) and witnessing the sealing of the newer, smaller container, I got to see the DVD case that my "awesome birthday gift" was poorly hidden in for the first time since the day I was arrested: a Michael Douglas movie, The Sentinel

I can't say for certain who sent me that package. I know it came from Germany. Know it was sent with Deutsche Post. Know that the name and address for the return are a nonexistent person. But that doesn't really mean anything. I can't even say for certain why I got that package. I know I wasn't buying a thousand dollars worth of drugs. If nothing else, if I were going to try to smuggle drugs, I like to think I'd do a better job of it. I'd also like to think that anyone smart enough to "use me" as their drop (if they were intending on getting their drugs into the country in my name) would have better packaging than what came to my apartment. 

Therefore, the only thing I can come up with is that someone was trying to hurt me, and as there is only one person I know who has made public statements to the effect of thinking I'm a Big Bad Evil who has negatively impacted his life, it's not real hard to understand why I think it was him. Hopefully, he won't blame whatever bad thing is going on his life like his (checks) current what-he-identifies-as-a-botnet attack on me.... oh wait, yes, reading through his walls of text, I do get mentioned, but at least not by name this time.

Since the Incident, my behavior has changed in no few ways. Some of these changes, like the requirement to send a message to the criminal police every single time I left the city and to tell them where I'm spending the night when I leave for multiple days in a row (an order which, only just today, finally got rescinded) are externally imposed. Others, both negative (fear) and positive (actively enjoying my life) are far more internal.

From the 2018 Tour, my daily check-in with Detective Liu.
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The strangest change to my behavior after dealing with being on the wrong end of an interrogation by the Very Serious Police is that I actually have a lot less patience with the officers of local precinct houses inconveniencing me over their failure to understand their own country's laws and how those laws relate to foreigners. 

This is in absolutely no way related to my decision for this year's tour to specifically involve stopping at a number of police stations that I have had the ummm... pleasure... of visiting on past years' tours. 

I needed a good Theme and "my China Blues" with the "blues" not being my current inability to leave the country (well, more precisely, my current inability to return if I leave) but being "the police" instead seemed as good a theme as any.

Some of the police stations I'm going to visit should have positive memories of me. There's one place in Guangxi where the police were absolutely lovely when I first met them in 2008 (as the first foreigner to ever spend the night in their town) and again in 2012 (as the second). There's a place in Sichuan where the police showed up at my hotel with a pre-printed bilingual cheat sheet all enthusiastic and ready to register me, only to be disappointed to discover that I'd already registered myself. And, up in Gansu near where the tour will end, there's a town where the police were so damn nice and so damn helpful that I wrote a formal letter of praise on company letterhead and sent it to their bosses' bosses.

Others probably don't remember me nearly so fondly. But, so long I don't run into any troubles which indicate that they failed to learn their lesson the last time I passed through their town, we'll be fine. 

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