Rhinoceros in Love

By Liao Yimei 廖一梅; Directed by Meng Jinghui 孟京輝 [*]

Tr. by Mark Talacko

Published by the MCLC Resource Center (Copyright Mark Talacko, May 2012)

Dramatis Personae:

Poster for a 2009 production of Rhinoceros in Love

Poster for a 2009 production of Rhinoceros in Love

Ma Lu — a loner and rhino keeper obsessed with his neighbor, Ming Ming, whose unrequited love drives him to extremes.

Ming Ming — Malu’s neighbour, a product of her time, materialistic and modern, hopelessly in love with a man who mistreats her.

Heizi — Malu’s friend

Daxian — Malu’s friend, a wiseacre and hooligan.

Toothbrush — A salesman befriended by Heizi, Daxian and Malu.

Hong Hong — A TV producer with a cynical realist’s take on love.

Lily — A TV producer and friend of Hong Hong who falls in love with Heizi


On stage: A woman, Mingming, is blindfolded and tied to a chair. A young man, Malu, is sitting beside her.

Malu: Dusk is the worst time for my vision. My eye wanders to the busy street. All I see are pretty girls. The buildings and streets are shifting in and out of focus; it’s like being in a movie:

You’re standing on the corner of the stairs. There’s a strange, fragrant scent. It’s a little warm. It smells strange. It’s only when it brushes against your body that you notice that you’re crying. That’s when it all started.

I’ve got a friend, Toothbrush. He wants me to believe in myself only when I’m in a rut, like when Tula’s pushing his way through the African savannah. But I know our situations are not the same. You’re not the same. You’re unique, soft, clean like the sky. My Mingming, how can I ever make you understand? You’re like a warm glove, an ice-cold beer, a shirt laundered in the sun, a never-ending dream.

You’re sweet and distressed, with fresh hope daubed upon your lips. Your freshness and hope make you unpredictable, like a wild beast; inescapable, like the sun’s rays; phony, like a shameless starlet; ruthless, like the starving.

I want to give you a home, be the father to your child. I want to give you everything you want. When you wake up I want to show you sunlight, want to caress your back, make you spread your wings to heaven. Can’t you feel how strong my desire rushes toward you, rises over the top of your feet, submerges your legs and completely drowns you? I think of you. I open my mouth wide, brazenly long for you; long for your hair, for your eyes; long for your chin, your breasts, your splendid waist and stomach, the scent diffused through your pores. I long for the way you wring your hands when you’re sad. You have the face of an angel and the heart of a bitch.

I love you. I truly love you from the bottom of my heart. I love you madly. I flatter you shamelessly. I swear to you my eternal love. Whatever I can do I’ll do it. How can I possibly make you understand that I love you this much? Silently bear it and swallow my tears? Shout it at the top of my lungs until I’m hoarse and collapse from exhaustion? Curse myself bitterly before the mirror? Rush into your office and knock you to the floor? Go to university, get a PhD and become an author? Give myself up for lost and be pitied by others from now on? Check into a mental hospital and love you until I actually have a breakdown? Get lovesick? Or should I set myself on fire beneath your window? Mingming, tell me what I should do. You’re smart, clever, quick-witted and silver-tongued, foolish beyond compare. My love, my Mingming . . .

Act I

The entirety of the back of the stage is filled by a base of an enormous clock that towers, unseen, into the sky. A group of people is gathered in front of it.

The group sings with one voice.

This is an age of too many things
This is an age of too much emotion
This is an age of too much knowledge
This is an age of too much information
This is an age of intellect and reason
This is an age of sincerity and pragmatism

We have too many tasks to do
We have too many things to learn
We have too many voices to listen to
We have too many desires to fulfill

Love is a candle, giving you light,
Snuffed out with one gust of wind.
Love is a bird in flight, decorating the scene
Gone with a change in weather.
Love is a freshly blooming flower, thrilling with its scent,
Withered after May.
Love is a rainbow, a multitude of splendid colours,
A twinkling hoax, evaporated by the first rays of the sun.
Love is so wonderful, but delicate to the touch.
Love is so wonderful, but delicate to the touch.

Crowd: Before the arrival of the new century, we want to organise the wealth of the world.
Before the arrival of the new century, we want to sweep away all the useless junk.
Before the arrival of the new century, we want to overthrow all unrealistic thought.
Before the arrival of the new century, we want to discard all the weak things.

Master of Ceremonies: We will welcome the coming of the new century with a giant clock, unequaled in size anywhere in the world. It will stand tall and firm, indestructible, an expression of humanity’s wisdom and strength. The atmosphere around the construction site is tense but merry. Designers and labourers are working overtime; the city’s residents have gathered around the site for a long time, not daring to leave. Everyone is joyously inspired by our pioneering work. They’re excited beyond belief!

Resident A: One hundred kilograms, the second hand alone is one hundred kilograms. Time has never felt so heavy.

Resident B: That’s the miracle of modern technology. Each gear has been supplied by the National Space Administration and is entirely made from titanium to resist, warping by the great changes time brings to the world–any warping would be dishonourable. It is a monument to our people.

Resident C: Each curve is meticulously carved. Each target will go down in history.

Resident D: Hundreds of people were born in this century; the best poems of our most outstanding poets to die this century will be engraved on the dial.

Resident E: A 67 year-old poet just killed himself so that his works would be chosen.

Resident F: This is our offering to the approaching new century, a giant clock unparalleled in the world, designed entirely by us, built completely by us.

Resident G: On it we should write that this is the crystallisation of human wisdom.

Resident A: I suggest we write that it is the 9th Wonder of the World, a landing beacon for extraterrestrials.

Resident B: They’re issuing “Big Clock” lottery tickets. The prize money is already up to five million Yuan, and it’s still going up! Whoever gets that money is going to be the lucky one of the 21st Century.

Resident C: I heard that the dial is gold-plated. It’s like what today’s people love to say: “Time is money.”

Resident D: A neighbour of mine promised to give me fifty thousand Yuan if I secretly carve his initials on the back of the big hand.

Resident E: You wouldn’t dare! You guys would be destroying something that will be a cultural relic in two hundred years!

Resident F: I want to secretly carve my name beside eight o’clock, that way I can leave my name to the ages.

Resident G: I want to carve my lover’s name on its base, and beside it carve a heart to show our enduring love.

The crowd looks in unison at the side of the big clock.

Crowd: Love is so wonderful, but delicate to the touch. Love is so wonderful, but delicate to the touch.

Act II

Malu’s home. Daxian is playing with a deck of cards in his hands. Heizi and Malu are sitting beside him.

Heizi: Is he coming or not?

Malu: How do I know?

Heizi: Call him! How can he let a woman come between friends!

Daxian: (Daxian takes a card with his hand.) Look here, look here. This side is red, this side black, I blow on it, and red becomes black. Hey, look over here! (Daxian works his trick. Malu and Heizi look on without interest.)

Daxian: Eh? How about it?

Heizi: What did Xiaoshi say exactly?

Daxian: He said he’d be over in a bit.

Heizi: After this we’re not inviting him to play anymore.

Daxian: Fine. (He conjures another trick.) Watch this, watch this!

Heizi: (To Malu.)What does that new chick I’ve seen you with do?

Daxian: Hey! Dreamer! You listening?

Heizi: I also want to become somebody with something to do! I’m asking you Malu.

Malu: I think she’s a secretary in an office.

Heizi: Did she tell you that?

(Malu shakes his head.)

Heizi: Then how do you know?

Malu: She smells like a photocopier.

Heizi: You’re kidding!

Malu: I can determine a person’s status, profession, and what they’ve just done, all from the smells they give off. Don’t believe me? Take a whiff of Daxian. Do you smell that hospital smell? No matter how much lemon-scented washing powder or industrial-strength soap he uses, he’ll never wash it off. The smell has already soaked into the crevices of his bones, seeping out every minute of the day.

I can smell those office workers who carry the smell of photocopiers and air conditioners; those small time businessmen whose bodies reek of smoke; even housewives just out of the kitchen, dolled up in their latest mall purchases and sprayed with perfume still can’t mask the smell of oily smoke in their hair. And then there are the hookers. Each one carries the scent of a John’s astringent sperm on her body. I can even tell from somebody’s breath what they had for lunch: Fish-flavoured pork, spicy tripe, mushrooms and vegetables . . .

Heizi: All that with your bulbous nose?

Daxian: The usefulness of the nose isn’t determined by its appearance, but by its function.

Malu: That’s right! People have standards for testing eyes and ears, and if they fail them, they think that they’re disabled, which influences their work, whether they go to university, even their attitude about life. There are many colourful terms to describe disabilities of the eyes and ears: blind, deaf, colour blind, but there’s no such term for a disabled nose. A stuffed nose only describes the symptom of a cold, which can be easily cured with some Sudafed. A competent, outstanding nose has never received any attention.

Daxian: It’s just like that rhino Malu looks after. His eyes are no good, but his nose is fantastic.

Heizi: It’ll soon match a dog’s nose.

Malu: Take yourself for example. (To Heizi) Your hair always carries smell X. You should wash your hair after you fool around with someone.

Daxian: Really? Let me smell.

(Daxian turns to chase after Heizi. There’s a knock at the door.)

Heizi: Don’t mess around! Open the door already. Xiaoshi’s here. Let’s play poker!

A toothbrush salesman enters

Salesman: Hello Gentlemen. I’m in advertising at the Huichen Company. Allow me to take a few seconds of your precious time. On the eve of the 21st Century we are happy to invite you to learn about our company’s new high tech product: the Diamond Brand-Diamond Patterned-Diamond Toothbrush, a revolution in health care. People don’t know it, but every day after they brush their teeth, bacteria quickly flourishes in their mouth creating tooth decay, causing halitosis and tartar build up. What can you do about it? The only sure-fire cure is to use our company’s Diamond Brand-Diamond Patterned-Diamond Toothbrush every morning and every night. You’ll exterminate any chance of bacteria forming, freshen your breath, and never get tooth decay. First thing in the morning, brush your teeth and leave the house with dignity. In the evening, brush your teeth and kick start your sex drive. Since this is the first toothbrush examined and verified by the Chinese Dental Association it can prevent cavities very effectively. At the same time, it is the only toothbrush verified and recommended by the Chinese Committee of Preventative Medicine. I don’t want to mislead anyone here, my testimony is only to tell you about a success that’s worthy of true celebration. Where does this happiness come from? This gentleman has asked a good question. The Huichen Company is running a “present, offer and give” customer appreciation campaign to thank the good citizens of Beijing for buying our Diamond Brand-Diamond Patterned-Diamond Toothbrush. So what does “present, offer and give” mean? This gentleman has asked another good question. “Present, offer and give,” means that we present, offer and give you two Diamond Toothbrushes for free. Come on gentlemen, let’s brush our lives clean and soar to another world!

Daxian: Got it. Give me two.

Daxian and Heizi take toothbrushes from the salesman’s outstretched hand.

Daxian: OK. Get out.

Salesman: It’s like this gentlemen. We present, offer and give you two toothbrushes, and you buy one Diamond Brand Toothbrush, for a total of 16 yuan . . .

Heizi: Nope, we don’t want the third. Two are enough.

Salesman: No, it’s not like that. You don’t understand what I mean.

Daxian: You give, we want. What else is there to understand?

Heizi: Give me two more, he still doesn’t have any. (He says motioning toward Malu sitting motionless by the table.)

Salesman: It’s not like that.

Daxian: Wait, wait, wait. I want to ask you something. You guys are running a “present, offer and give” customer appreciation campaign, right?

Salesman: Right.

Daxian: I’m a customer, right?

Salesman: Right.

Daxian: I want these two toothbrushes, OK?

Salesman: OK.

Daxian: So what’s the problem? Get out of here. We’ve got things to do.

Salesman: It’s not like that, mister.

Daxian: How is it not like that?

(The salesman looks at the three guys.)

Salesman: I’m not selling them. Give me back the toothbrushes.

(Daxian and Heizi grow impatient. Malu speaks.)

Malu: One toothbrush is 16 yuan?

(The salesman looks at Malu thinking he can speak sensibly to him.)

Salesman: (Toward Daxian and Heizi) Perhaps you two didn’t get my meaning. (He rushes over to Malu’s side) I am the advertising representative from Huichen Company. We are currently conducting a customer appreciation campaign. We give you two free toothbrushes; you buy one toothbrush, which makes three toothbrushes for a total of 16 yuan . . .

Malu: Wait a minute. Didn’t you just say that one was 16 yuan?

Salesman: And we give you two for free.

Malu: We only want the free ones. We don’t want the one’s that cost money. Are you stupid, or just retarded?

Salesman: Brother, I made a mistake. Look, it’s not easy for me to do business. If you really want them, you give me 16 yuan and you take all three.

Malu: Hold on, hold on. I just want to ask, how much is one toothbrush?

Salesman: Sixteen.

Malu: And three?

Salesman: Sixteen.

Malu: Do you think I’m an idiot? I only want one? Do you understand that or not? Can you count or not? ONE. Not THREE. How much? Careful what you say. I’m running out of patience.

Salesman: If you want one I can just give you one, OK?

Malu: Not OK. Why would you give me one for free? I don’t even know who you are? Didn’t you insist on coming in here? Didn’t you insist on selling toothbrushes? I’ll buy one, but first I want to know how much one is?

Salesman: We are conducting a customer appreciation…

Malu: Don’t start with that again! I just want to know how much one is!

(The salesman bursts out crying)

Salesman: Brother, I’ve made a mistake. I’ve got 80 year-old parents at home.

Malu: What are you crying about! It was you who wanted to come in here and sell toothbrushes. I just want to know how much one is.

Daxian: Forget about it.

Malu: No. Wasn’t it you, who just today clearly said, “Don’t think just do?”

Salesman: I made a mistake.

Malu: What mistake? What mistake did you make?

Salesman: I’ll give you all the toothbrushes. Just let me go.

Malu: You want to go. It’s not that easy!

Salesman: I made a mistake. I’ll never come again.

Malu: Where did you make a mistake? You didn’t make a mistake! I just want to know how much for one toothbrush! One toothbrush!

Daxian and Heizi pretend to restrain to enervated Malu. The salesman’s face is drawn. He goes in front of the table and fishes out toothbrushes from his bag.

Daxian: Malu, forget about it!

Malu: No!

Daxian: Toothbrush! (calls toward the salesman) I’m talking to you. Sit down!

Daxian pushes Malu into a chair. The salesman sits down obediently.

Daxian: Heizi, deal the cards.

The four people sit in a circle. Heizi deals the cards.

Heizi: Take your cards, Toothbrush. (From now on they call the salesman Toothbrush)

Toothbrush: Brother, please!

Daxian: Taaaaake them!

Toothbrush: Ah . . . what are we playing?

Heizi: Pinochle.

Toothbrush: How much are we playing for?

Heizi: How much have you got?

Toothbrush: I don’t have any money, only toothbrushes.

Daxian: Fine, we’ll use toothbrushes. Take the cards!

Toothbrush gradually regains his composure.


The rhinoceros enclosure.

Malu: A ton and a half of hay. Food intake has dropped a little. Defecated five times. Colour: Blackish yellow, normal. Trotted around outside for four hours. Tula, are you unhappy? You’re like a poet, always unhappy. What have you got to worry about? You’re a black rhino. You’re not even on the endangered list. I really don’t know what’s going on in that big brain of yours. You don’t get along with the white rhino, and you don’t have a good relationship with the hippo. There are no oxpeckers to help you to eat the ticks. Don’t I give you a shower every day? You probably don’t even know about oxpeckers do you? You were too young when they took you from the wild. You’ve forgotten how terrifying the savannah can be. If I tell you about it, would it make you happy? The new rhino enclosure is almost finished. The zoo has set aside some money. They’re preparing to buy another rhino! Maybe it will be a pretty one, a sexy African female rhino! She won’t be like that white rhino Tana. It will be a real black rhino!

May 16, 1999: Tula. Two tons of hay, one kilo of apples. Exercised outdoors, came back at seven o’clock and went to bed.

May 17: Eight a.m. Went to work, wore a light purple skirt and jacket. Six p.m. Came home, looked very happy, bought a lot of food. Seven p.m. A man came to visit (he has the key), and stayed the whole night.

May 18: An early morning argument; the man left; M followed him downstairs, cried again, the third time that week…

May 19: Two tons of hay. Cleaned the animal’s tongue. Tula has a bit of diarrhea. The white rhino, Nicholas is in heat again. The female, Tana, isn’t the least bit excited.

Act IV

Night. Malu and Mingming are on the roof of their building

Mingming: I’m talking about LOVE! Where does that feeling come from? From the heart, the liver, the veins? Where does it emanate from, internally? Maybe on the day you felt it the moon was closer to the earth; the sun shone directly on the Tropic of Cancer; monsoon winds blew over your skin, lubricating it with damp sea air; a low pressure area forming in Mongolia made your heart beat faster. Or maybe it was only your own heart’s desire, your time of the month that brought on the disturbance; the newly changed light bulb in his apartment; the fresh smell of an orange he just ate that lingered on his fingers; the prickly feel of his stubble brushing up against your face. These kinds of things numb your nerves making you limp. That’s love . . .

Malu: Some rhinos live on the wild and vast savannah, some like to rest in dense forests. They also eat different kinds of food. Some like to eat grass, others like to eat leaves, some eat both grass and leaves. The name rhinoceros comes from Greek; it’s a tropical animal. There are five kinds of rhinos in the world: the black rhino, the white rhino, the Sumatran rhino, as well as the Indian and the Javan rhino, both of which are basically on the verge of extinction. Tula comes from the African savannah.

Mingming: Who’s Tula?

Malu: An African black rhino.

Mingming: You’re raising it?

Malu: Ya. A rhino’s eyesight is very bad. They can’t see somebody standing this far away from them clearly. (Holds his hand in front of his face at an arm’s length)

Mingming: Are you from the zoo?

Malu: Do you want to go see Tula?

Mingming: Go to the zoo? I haven’t been in such a long time! It’s quite strange. I’ve seen a rhino, but I’ve never met someone who raises them! They say that people who are patient with animals will definitely be patient with women. But why don’t you go do a normal job like drive a taxi, or be a repairman or something? Of course not everyone can be an artist like Chen Fei, but raising a rhino is rather strange.

Malu: I’ve got a career, one approved by the Ministry of Parks and Recreation.

Mingming: What I mean is that you’ll have a hard time changing jobs. If you don’t like that zoo, or don’t like that particular rhino, then what? In today’s society people say that if you don’t know English, computers or how to drive a car, it’s the same as if you don’t know anything at all.

Malu: Can you do those things?

Mingming: I know computers. I can type 110 words in one minute, the fastest in my company. I use English daily without any problems. And, I can also drive a car.

Malu: Can that guy do those things?

Mingming: Who? You mean Chen Fei? He’s an artist. He guides people’s thoughts, so of course he should be treated differently. It’s a pity you can’t do those things. Since you can’t, you’re finished!

(She unwraps a stick of chewing gum and pops it in her mouth.)

Malu: When I graduated from middle school I took a test to become an airline pilot. I could’ve worn a leather jacket, goggles and been on the cover of the newspaper. I was qualified in all categories except eyesight. I should be a pilot, a rhino should be an eagle. We shouldn’t depend on our sense of smell to live, but most animals do, like zebras and elephants that live on Africa’s savannah. Humans can’t smell more than one hundred different scents, but we can smell if there’s something good to eat nearby. (He pauses) It’s lemon.

Mingming: (She chews her gum) What?

Malu: Lemon?

Mingming: Ya. It’s lemon-flavoured. Do you want some?

Malu shakes his head.

Malu: When I first started at the zoo, they said they’d never seen a zookeeper who wore glasses. After that I never wore them again. A rhino is really big. Even if you don’t wear glasses you can still see it.

Mingming: Yesterday I was speaking with Chen Fei. I told him, “They all said that I was too nice to you, that we don’t fit together.” Can you guess what he said? You’ll never think of it. He said, “That’s good. I just don’t fit. If I fit together with you it would appear that you’re also not so good.” Have you ever met such a person before? He said that I’m a schemer, being good to him in order to take possession of him. He said that I was a conspirator, the embodiment of the power of the system, and, that our relationship was like the weak struggling against the attempts of the strong to moralize them.

Malu: The majority of a wild rabbit’s time is spent chasing female rabbits as best they can, but a jackal only falls in love once. Jackals stay together with their mate for life, each guarding and looking after the other.

Mingming: What’s the point?

Malu: That’s what I heard in zoology class.

Mingming: But I’ve heard people say that jackals eat dead people. (She blows a bubble and bites it)

Malu: That’s just people’s bias. Jackals . . . (He turns his head to see that Mingming has already left. Malu picks up Mingming’s gum from the ground and pops it into his mouth and chews.)

Malu: Street flavoured Mingming.

(Malu sings)

I lie quietly on the bed
My days are hung up in the dresser
I lie quietly on the bed
My nights are left on the wall
I lie quietly on the bed
My childhood hides beneath it
I lie quietly on the bed
Your warmth lingers on the seat
The cup holds water, holds longing
The curtains roll up the wind, roll up aspiration
Every step tramples my heart
Transforms me into a leaf suspended in the wind
Trembling in the air, shivering with cold.
I want to use all my patience and enthusiasm
I want to use all the light of an entire lifetime
Thinking of you, waiting for you, my love.

Act V

Love Training Center

Love Trainer: Yesterday we spoke about how to tell the difference between the person you love and a beautiful woman you see in the crowd. Today our curriculum involves training on how to express yourself; the pouring out of one’s heart, which is very important in love. A person’s ability to express himself has become today’s most important basic life skill. If you absolutely love someone but can only express that you like them, it’s the same thing as only liking someone but expressing that you absolutely love them. All of our well-known writers and musicians have beautiful voices and sincere feelings, and are masters of expression. I have already made a list of classic books and songs in order to help everybody. Remember, there are three secrets to success when pouring out your heart. First, you must choose the one right mood in which to do it. If you can shift back and forth between several moods to achieve the consent of your affection, then you’ll be playing at an advanced level. Second, the pouring out of your heart must be authentic; this will greatly affect the emotional reaction of the person you are pouring your heart out to. Thirdly, you must choose the right setting. The wrong setting can cause the best pouring out of your heart to change into an act of idiocy. (Puts on music) Mozart’s music is very good for pouring out one’s heart; it can be a good stimulant. Now, which student is willing to give it a try?

Student A: I lost my love, lost it on the side of a busy street, lost it in the years of an hour glass, on the endless shelves of the supermarket, in the comings and goings of taxis, in the middle of looking for success, in the comings and goings of different men’s faces. I already lost my love . . . . . .

Student B: Time for a nunnery!

Student C: I don’t know why I can’t just open my mouth. I can’t explain myself clearly because I use evasive words. You’ve also never asked me. Your calmness makes me feel like I have no self-esteem. The only excuse I have is that I am too young.

Student D: Since we gained consciousness, we knew that at some point in our lives we’d all face the possibility of feeling the pain of losing a loved one, whether because of death or the end of a relationship. What interests me is how people will use any kind of measure to resist this kind of loss . . . . . Does this make it worth living? What kind of answer can make us temporarily forget that this world is just bullshit?

Student E: I might not be as good to you as others are, but I can be good to you for longer than the others can.

Malu: I don’t have any parents, any friends, any family, any career; nobody needs me. My life is zero, an empty space. You may spend all your money to buy lots of women to sleep with and have many one-night stands, but in the end you’re still alone; nobody will hug you close; your body has no connection to other people. I thought I wanted to age this way one year after the next . . . until one day I saw you. I thought you and I were equally lonely. I suddenly thought I found a purpose — I could make you happy. She’s really someone that will make you do anything for her . . . . . .

Act VI

Mingming’s House

Mingming is crying. She does not stop to wipe the tears or snot from her face. Malu sits silently beside her. Mingming pays no attention to him, she’s immersed in her tears.

Mingming: How long do I still have to obey him? I really don’t know what I wouldn’t do for him! He’s hateful! It would be best if I didn’t love him! In my eyes there’s love, but on my forehead I wear the mark of a slave. Wherever he goes I’ve got to follow! Can you imagine this? So long as I’m with him I’m satisfied. It’s crazy! How can I no longer love him? Hmm? (Malu wants to open his mouth, but Mingming pays no attention to him) I can’t bear to go on like this! But if I didn’t love him, what meaning would life have? In all my life I’ve never seen such a man. How many resolutions have I made to leave him? But as soon as I see him, I lose my resolve. I’m done for…

(Mingming cries. Malu doesn’t know whether to stay or leave. He stands up. Mingming wipes her tears. She looks at him.)

Mingming: What did you come here for?

Malu: Are you feeling better?

Mingming: What’s wrong with me? Did you also come to give me flowers? Perfume? Chocolate? You haven’t got anything so why did you come?

Malu: . . . I’m leaving…

Mingming: What’s the matter? Can’t your self-esteem take it? You want to go, but you don’t want to. You hesitate, which means you still haven’t understood our situation clearly. (Malu turns around to leave.)

Mingming: Ha! You give up so easily!

Malu: If this is what makes you happy, then I don’t have a problem with it.

Mingming: What can I possibly have to make me happy; misfortune certainly doesn’t make others happy. Sorry, I’m becoming more and more venal: my temper is growing worse and worse. Don’t be mad with me.

Malu: I’m not angry. I just want to make you happy!

Mingming: Happy? Maybe I can be happy tomorrow. Maybe the sun won’t rise tomorrow. Will I be happy? Maybe the earth will stop turning. Will I be happy? Maybe not.

Malu: Don’t torment yourself!

Mingming: I’m not. (She cries) The only thing is: I can’t live without him! Everyday I implore him not to leave me. He does love me. I’m like a sorceress. I even secretly cut a lock of his hair and burned it, along with his picture, burned it to ash and drank it down. I don’t know if it had any affect. What good points does he have? I want to know.

Malu: Leave him.

Mingming: Impossible!

Malu: Try again.

Mingming: It’s impossible!

Malu: Don’t go back to him.

Mingming: I won’t succeed.

Malu: If you go back to him again it can only mean that you love to torture yourself!

Mingming: Don’t make me scream.

Malu: Listen to me. Don’t go back to him again! It’s not good for you.

Mingming: I’m not . . . I’m not listening to you. I have to go back to him. So long as he can continue to let me love him, so long as he does not leave me, so long as I can continue to endure whatever he does to make me suffer, that’s how I’ll suffer. He may deceive me, may disparage me, may insult me, may leave me hanging in mid-air, may even make me his slave, so long as he has the capability to let me love him. Why are you looking at me? Has your love grown weak in front of me? Does it mean nothing? Has it vanished into thin air? Have you thought about what love is? Did you think it was all romantic dinners and flowers? Coward. Go find another woman, but don’t mention “love.” Shhh.…


Toothbrush: Pay me! I bought each of you a one hundred Yuan “Big Clock” lottery ticket. I don’t want the full prize money if anyone wins. I only want half.

Heizi: Giving you one percent would depend on my having a conscience. You can count on me not to cough it up.

Toothbrush: One percent of five million is only fifty thousand!

Daxian: You ran an errand and you think that each of your two dog’s legs is worth 25 grand?

Toothbrush: Malu, pay me!

Malu: I didn’t tell you to buy me one.

Toothbrush: Collective action!

Malu: I don’t want one. It violates my principles.

Toothbrush: You still have principles?

Malu: Of course I do. Not everyone is like you, just doing whatever feels right.

Toothbrush: But that is my principle.

Malu: In any case, I don’t want one. I’m not fated to have good fortune. I also don’t want to put any money into that lucky bastard’s pocket.

Toothbrush: How do you know that you’re not that lucky bastard?

Malu: Me? Me? Me, a guy who looks like this? Take a look at yourselves in the mirror. Do you see your nose and those eyes? Do you look like a winner?

Heizi: That’s right! What Malu said makes sense. Give me my money back!

Toothbrush: No way!

Daxian: You might not be lucky, but does that mean that the three of us aren’t lucky either? We already agreed, regardless of who wins, he has to give some to everybody. Understand? Malu, pay up! (Malu grudgingly gives Toothbrush 100 Yuan)

Daxian: Take your lottery ticket! Is that the same chewing gum that she was chewing in her mouth all those weeks ago? Why haven’t I seen you chew a new piece? What’s made you so pathetic? If we win that money then everybody can do what they want to do! Tell me, what would you do?

Heizi: Eat.

Daxian: Anything else?

Heizi: Rest, then eat again.

Toothbrush: I’d tell Xiao Ping to pack her bags and I’d find another girl!

Daxian: After you win, the girls will stare at you like flies do rotten meat.

Malu: (Looks at the lottery ticket in his hand) I’d buy an African female rhinoceros for Tula, then I’d leave this place.

Daxian: Leave? Where would you go?

Malu: I don’t know.

Daxian: I don’t think you’ve got anywhere to go to.

Heizi: Is Xiao Ping pregnant?

Toothbrush: Nonsense.

Heizi: I saw her throwing up in the restaurant that time.

Toothbrush: That because you sat down in front of her right after she’d finished eating — looking at you also makes me want to vomit.

Heizi: I do what?

Toothbrush: It’s not possible that she’s pregnant. In these twenty-odd years I’ve never been able to finish inside.

Malu: Why not?

Toothbrush: It started with a fear of knocking her up. After that I just became used to it. Now, I can’t change even if I try. I always hurriedly suppress it on the inside, but on the outside I always appear happy.

Daxian: With that kind of attitude, sooner or later, humanity will come to an end. Do you think God designs that kind of exercise for your pleasure? The pleasures are meant to encourage you to continue your line of descendants; the more pleasure, the greater the number of one’s descendants. Nowadays, all anyone wants to do is seek pleasure; they don’t want to take any responsibilities.

Heizi: Malu, did you have a look at that book “100 Courtship Skills — A Love Training Manual?”

Toothbrush: Give me a look. “Request a song for her on the radio. Send her flowers on Valentine’s Day, her birthday, or on any ordinary day.” It’s too cliche! Malu, what are you doing looking at this stuff for? If you wanted to know how to woo a girl so badly why didn’t you come to me?

Daxian: Let me see. What’s the meaning of this part you ticked?

Malu: Give it to me.

Daxian: You’ve already ticked some items, “Write her some love poems or copy a love poem to give her.” You can’t be serious about following these, can you?

Heizi: For sure you’ve already written her a poem!

Toothbrush: You’ve definitely written one for her!

Daxian: It definitely went like this . . . . . .

The group of them:

I am a strong black rhino,
My skin is an inch thick,
My favourite place is the bog,
My toy is a foot long.

I am a sexy rhino,
My horn is used as an aphrodisiac,
My large breasts are known far and wide,
Our love is like the story of Zeus and Leda,
I’ve prepared fresh mud for you,
Fresh flowers to sleep with.

Heizi: All that for a woman that smells like a photocopier.

Malu: You pretty female beast, you really like it don’t you? You want to shout, to shake heaven and earth don’t you? Shout! Make an effort to shout! You’re a tramp. Although you’ve got clean hay to lie in, you only want your stinking bog, don’t you? Well if you like filthy mud then I’ll give you filthy mud! If you like being despicable, we can be despicable together. Open your mouth!


The rhinoceros enclosure

Malu: Tula, I’ve got some bad news for you. The management didn’t buy a female black rhinos. They want to buy a male white rhino so that they can have more white rhinos in the future. Maybe they thought you’re already too old, that you couldn’t possibly help add a little black rhino to the zoo. I feel sorry for you. You haven’t even had a chance to partake in the mating ritual. Only male rhinos that have gone through this ritual can be real rhinos. Only then can you have a woman who loves you. But you’ll never have such a chance.

Act IX

Malu provokes Chen Fei. A group of Chen Fei’s friends grab Malu and dump him in the mud. Malu slowly sinks into the mud.

Act X

Mingming: What’s with you?

Malu: I looked for him.

Mingming: Who?

Malu: That person you like.

Mingming: What did you do?

Malu: I told him to treat you well, or leave you.

Mingming: What did he say?

Malu: I wanted him to know how to treat you well.

Mingming: I’ll tell you how he’ll treat me. He will treat me even worse. Moreover, now he won’t leave me just to show us that he’s someone who will never change.

Malu: I’m going to look for him again.

Mingming: Do you dare? Do you want to get beaten up again?

Malu: They will get bored of beating someone up every day. There’ll come a moment when he’s alone; that’s when I’ll get him.

Mingming: Fine. Go. But don’t show yourself to me again. (Malu stands by the door) Fine. Sit down. Wipe your face. You’re bleeding. (She helps Malu straighten his hair)

Malu: All white things become as black as ink and feel inferior next to you. All ignorant birds and beasts are in extreme despair since they can’t speak your name . . . . . .

Mingming: What’s that?

Malu: A poem

Mingming: A poem? Which poem?

Malu: One I wrote for you.

Mingming: You write poems? (Smiles)

Malu: Maybe it’s only good enough to carve into a rhino’s hide, but I wrote it.

Mingming: Very lovely. Is there more?

Malu: All white things become as black as ink and feel inferior next to you. All ignorant birds and beasts are in extreme despair since they can’t speak your name . . . . . I haven’t finished writing it yet.

Act XI

Malu’s House

Mingming: Get up! Get up lazybones. I have something good to eat!

Malu: What’s going on Mingming? Cake?

Mingming: For you.

Malu: Cake at midnight? Why?

Mingming: No reason. Do you want some?

Malu: If you want me to eat it I’ll eat it.

Mingming: That’s a good boy. Is it good? I ordered it when I got off work. It’s got fresh cream and fruit.

Malu: (nods) Whose birthday is it? Isn’t yours in October?

Mingming: It’s yours!

Malu: I was born in the winter.

Mingming: (Gently) What a fool. You even forget your own birthday.

Malu: Fine. Whatever day you say my birthday is on, that’s when it is.

Mingming: Mmm, I’ve also got this!

Malu: What?

Mingming: A gift!

Malu: For me?

Mingming: Mmm. Open it.

(Malu opens the wrapping paper and removes a wallet)

Mingming: (Coyly) Do you like it?

Malu: I like it.

Mingming: Really?

Malu: Really.

Mingming: Then why don’t you give me a kiss?

(Malu doesn’t believe her. He looks at Mingming. She approaches him.)

Mingming: I ran to every store. I wanted to give you something you could use every day, something that you’d look at frequently, something that each time you looked at, each time you pulled out, would make you think of me.

Malu: Mingming.

Mingming: I waited for you for a long time. I started looking for you from the window at dusk. The sound of each footstep danced upon my nerves, turning me into a leaf in the wind, trembling in the air, shivering with cold. I thought you’d come and eat dinner with me, or that you’d come after dinner; and even if you didn’t come after dinner, you would come after going out to drink with your friends at the pub, shooting the bull, flirting with some girl . . . I waited, waited and waited, I knew that you’d come for sure…

Malu: I know I’m having a dream, but it doesn’t matter if it’s real or not, or if I wake up from the dream; so long as you’re here, I don’t care.

Mingming: Promise me that you won’t leave me, and that you won’t let me leave you.

Malu: I won’t leave you, and I won’t let you leave me.

Mingming: Nobody believes in promises anymore. A promise, giving flowers, taking someone out for dinner, there’s no difference; it’s just a way to express one’s feelings.

Malu: I’m different from them. I’ll show you how I’m different from them. Just wait and see.

Mingming: (sings)
Smile at me, like we’re meeting for the first time,
Speak to me, even if your vows change tomorrow,
Enjoy me, on this life we have no hold
Miss me, in that year you began to feel old.

Mingming and Malu make love

Mingming with Malu:
All light rays surge toward me,
I breathe up all the oxygen,
All objects have lost their weight,
I’ve already walked to the end of each road.
At this time a person cannot speak,
The best thing to do is be silent
At this time a person cannot speak,
The best thing to do is sigh
At this time a person cannot speak,
The best thing to do is cry
At this time a person cannot speak,
The best thing to do is fly
All scenery becomes indistinct,
All arms turn into wings,
All memories are replaced,
I’ve already walked to the end of each road.
My shadow runs, I’m unable to move,
You’re smiling at me from the end of all roads.
My shadow runs, I’m unable to move,
You’re smiling at me from the end of all roads . . . . . .


Daxian is telling a story to Heizi and Toothbrush.

Daxian: There was this young man who was plagued by terrible nightmares that left him in extreme physical pain.

Heizi: When? When did this happen?

Toothbrush: Who cares! All stories start like this.

Daxian: He feared sleep; feared that in his dreams a large demon would capture him. He sought all kinds of medical advice. He ran into a prophet and told him about his pain. The prophet told him that the dream is another reality, and that if he shouts, “I’m having a dream!” at the most critical moment, the nightmare will end. The young man returned home, making a point to remember the prophet’s advice. The curtain of night slowly descended and the young man fell asleep. Suddenly, in his dream the demon charged him with a broadsword. The young man was terrified and tried to hide when suddenly he remembered the prophet’s words. And, just as he was about to be captured by the demon and run through with the sword, he shouted, “I am having a dream!” And he awoke. Surprisingly, lying next to him was the demon’s sword. Better yet, it was completely inlaid with jewels. From that point on the young man began to like having his nightmares. He would grab treasures from the dream and then recite the incantation to awaken. He sold the treasures and life gradually became good for him. One day he dreamed that the demon came looking for him. The demon asked the young man not to take anymore things from the dream since he’d taken almost all the treasures from the dream palace. The big demon guaranteed him that if he complied with the request, he’d let him enjoy fond dreams. The young man agreed, and from that night onward he had a wonderful dream each night. They were so wonderful that he became unwilling to wake up, until the only thing he wanted to do each day was sleep and have beautiful dreams. One day, in the dream garden, he saw an outstandingly beautiful woman, and couldn’t help falling in love with her. He remembered the incantation, took a hold of the woman and shouted, “I’m having a dream!” He waited to wake up. The woman sat at his side looking at him adoringly. From that day on the young man never dreamed again. He didn’t have nightmares and he didn’t have wonderful dreams. The dream kingdom had expelled him.


Malu: Everything is finished. All the pain ended in that flash. A woman can make you think that the entire world has filled up with sunlight. You can run, you can jump, you can even finish inside her an uncountable amount of times! I was even allowed to fly!

Mingming: What are you doing here making such a racket this early?

Malu: Mingming, were you awakened by the noise? Get up you lazybones. I’ll buy you breakfast.

Mingming: You’re truly nuts! (Mingming turns round to leave. Malu sweeps her off her feet and spins around with her in his arms.)

Malu: Hey sleepy head, you little koala, you little fox. You still want to sleep, still want to sleep……

Mingming: What are you doing? Let go of me!

(Malu isn’t listening. Mingming struggles with all her might. She raises her hand and suddenly slaps Malu. Malu lets go of Mingming in surprise.)

Mingming: Are you crazy?

Malu: What’s the matter? Why aren’t you happy?

Mingming: Don’t bother me. I want to sleep.

Malu: (Stopping Mingming) Mingming, what happened?

Mingming: You’re still asking? From now on please restrain yourself, otherwise you will embarrass us all.

Malu: What did you say?

Mingming: What else do you want me to say? We are neighbours. You usually look after me. I am very grateful. But that’s all. Don’t do anything to embarrass us again.

Malu: Mingming . . . . . .

Mingming: I don’t know good from bad. Nobody cares about my good intentions. Talking about this so early is too ridiculous! I want to sleep.

Malu: Weren’t you the one with me last night? Yesterday, didn’t you play the temptress? How is it possible that this pair of eyes, this forehead, these two happy lips, that spoke so many sweet words and honeyed phrases next to my ear, that have been kissed by me so many times . . .

Mingming: What nonsense are you talking about? Don’t drag me down into your dirty dreams!

Malu: Am I having a dream? Impossible. The warmth of you body still lingers between my fingers. Your fragrance still envelopes me…..

Mingming: I’ve got nothing I can possibly say. (She wants to leave)

Malu: Won’t you admit it? You want to let me believe that all this never happened, that all that happened was only a dream? !

Mingming: What do you want to make me believe? Do you want me to share this crazy fantasy with you?

Malu: Crazy fantasy? What’s this? (lifts the cake with wedges missing) What is this? !

Mingming: Was it your birthday?

Malu: Do you want to drive me crazy? ! You want to see me drop off the deep end? Fine. Where’s the wallet? The wallet? Where did the wallet go?

(Mingming wants to leave. Malu holds her).

Mingming: Let go of me. What do you want to do? !

Malu: What do I want to do? I told you that I’m not the same as the others. I always keep my word. I will never leave you. I also won’t let you leave me!

Mingming: Help!

(Daxian, Toothbrush and Heizi rush onto the stage and pull Mingming away from Malu.)

Daxian: Malu! What’s with you? Calm yourself!

(Malu lets out a cry as he’s dragged away by the group.)


Malu sits without making a sound, extremely puzzled and in despair.

Daxian: Are you nuts? Even if you wanted to rape her you have to wait until night to do it. What a shame. The fact that the police hasn’t caught you yet means you’re lucky.

Toothbrush: Leave him alone. He’s in heat. He’s the same as Tula on the African savannah. He had no idea what he was doing.

Heizi: All for a woman who smells like a photocopier.

Daxian: The root of all these problems stems from valuing one woman above another one. In this information age with so many possible choices, the word “commitment” can basically be thought of as a kind of mental disease. Forget her.

(The three exit.)

Malu: Forget her? Forget her and I won’t have to suffer anymore. Forget her and I won’t feel any more pain. Forget her. Forget her. Forget the things you don’t have. Forget the things that others have. Forget the things you’ve lost and the things you’ll never have. Forget hate. Forget humiliation. Forget love Forget it all like the rhinoceros forgets the savannah; like the waterfowl forgets the lake; like a person in hell forgets heaven; like an amputee forgets that he once ran like mad; like the fallen leaf forgets the wind; like Tula forgets female rhinos. Forgetting is the only thing regular people can do. But I’ve made up my mind. I’ll never forget her.

Act XV

Mingming: His eyes have the expression of a doe; his tenderness is that of some tame animal. From his eyes I can see that this tenderness goes against his will. It appears that he’s realized this himself and is ashamed, so he displays roughness, like a little beast snarling at the sky, putting on a defiant air.

Malu starts to sing. “Glass Woman”

You never knew that,
You are my longed for cloudless day,
My sudden rainstorm.
You never knew that,
You are my long endured hunger,
The air upon which I depend.
You never knew, my darling,
Maybe you will never know……
You are different, unique, soft, clean like the sky.
You are my warm glove, my ice-cold beer.
You carry the fragrance of a shirt laundered in the sun, a never-ending dream.
You are chaste, naive, like glass,
Nothing can dirty you,
Nothing can change you.
My love, my love, my love,
Maybe you will never know . . . .

Mingming: How should I say it? I love you extremely. “Extremely.” ” Love.” These words, once said, are so empty, they are unconvincing. Today, when I got up I thought desperately of how to find something that would prove that I love you, something that nobody would question. But there’s nothing, nothing . . . I thought about that evening on the roof. You were sleeping like a child, breathing very lightly, very peacefully. I was admiring you, shamelessly looking at you, and drew near to you. I greedily drew each of your breaths into my lungs. That was summer. Outside it was very peaceful, like we were the only two people in the world. I grew euphoric from your breaths. In my heart I thought that we were one. A person can live on carbon dioxide as long as there is love.


(Malu’s house, night)

Malu: One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four sheep . . . . . . I’m always waiting, always trying to fall asleep, just like that young man with the nightmare. How do we know that our daily life isn’t being dreamt from another bed in another world? If you could only stand before me once more; if I could only hold you in my arms once more, I would rather sleep forever than be awake. Sleep . . . . . . Seven sheep, eight sheep, nine sheep . . . . . .

(Mingming appears in front of Malu’s bed.)

Malu: You’ve come. This really must be a dream. Fine with me.

(Malu suddenly grabs hold of Mingming and shouts)

Malu: I am having a dream! I am having a dream!

Mingming: What are you doing?

Malu: You’re here? Don’t leave me, never leave me! Never!


Daxian: Nothing but a tall tale, just like Casanova. Is Malu the only one in the world with urges? So what, the rest of us just have to satisfy ourselves?

Heizi: Every evening he goes to attend a computer class.

Toothbrush: And English classes.

Heizi: On Sundays he goes to driving school.

Toothbrush: Everyday he carries his briefcase to work.

Heizi: He wrote a proposal to the zoo director for a computer to help him monitor the rhinos.

Daxian: With an appended version in English.

Toothbrush: He probably wears a suit when he gives the rhino a bath!

Daxian: He also composes poems.

Heizi: He also plays the piano.

Toothbrush: Chews gum.

Daxian: Sings serenades.

Heizi: Always changes his socks.

Toothbrush: Takes a daily bath.

The Crowd: It’s completely insane!

Toothbrush: We must help him or he’s done for.

Heizi: I’ve encouraged him to relax, but he said he’s never lived like this before. He told me to take it easy. He said that eventually I would also meet a woman whose beauty would kill me. That worried me, because I’m afraid that no one will ever want to kill me for as long as I live.

Daxian: This is our good fortune. Don’t be influenced by Malu’s misleading comments. Love is like a comedy, sports, pop music — they’re all pretty much the same: to make people happy and relaxed.

(Hong Hong and Lily enter.)

Hong Hong and Lily: Hi. We’re Hong Hong and Lily.

Daxian: Who are you?

Hong Hong: What would a love story have to say if it were all happy and relaxing from the beginning to the end? What would be interesting about a soap opera then? And then, what would we have to do each evening?

Lily: In brief: You love him, he doesn’t love you. He loves you, you don’t love him. Two people who fall in love are doomed to separate.

Daxian: Do you two work for a television station?

Hong Hong and Lily: We’re Hong Hong and Lily.

Toothbrush: It’s what I’ve been looking for.

Daxian: What?

Toothbrush: Something to treat Malu’s sickness with.

Heizi: They’re too much! He’s not that sick.

Toothbrush: Pick one that suits Malu.

Heizi: Another one?

Toothbrush: It depends on which one Malu prefers. (Claps) Attention. Pay attention. Would the two candidates please prepare themselves, the performance is about to start. The plot of the soap opera is this: One character is called Malu. He’s a young man who has fallen in love with his beautiful neighbour, a young secretary.

Hong Hong: Name?

Toothbrush: Malu.

Lily: We mean the secretary’s name.

Toothbrush: Who cares what she’s called?

Heizi: Mingming, her name is Mingming.

Toothbrush: (Shoots Heizi a look) Malu has fallen in love with Mingming, but Mingming doesn’t love him.

Hong Hong: She loves another person, but that person does not love her.

Heizi: How did you know?

Lily: All soap operas are like that.

Toothbrush: Malu is in a lot of pain. It nearly drives him crazy. The question in front of us is how should Malu’s character plot develop?

(Hong Hong and Lily simultaneously buzz in to answer.)

Hong Hong: He meets a good girl who always cares for him . . . . . .

Lily: . . . . . . Helps him. Warm up his frozen heart again. . . . . . .

Hong Hong: It’s a rainy day. The girl goes to deliver Malu some food. She slips and falls on the road, injuring her leg . . . . . .

Lily: It’s a snowy day. Malu is knocked down by a truck as he rushes into the street to save a young child…

Hong Hong: The girl drags herself on her injured leg to Malu. Malu is moved by the girl covered in mud. He grasps her hand . . . . . . .

Lily: Malu remains unconscious in the hospital. He mutters Mingming’s name. We wait for him to open his eyes. He slowly raises his eyelids and finds another girl beside him… …

Hong Hong: This is where another emotional plot twist begins. At this moment there’s an unexpected event. . . . . . .

Lily: The girl has been watching over him for three days without resting her eyes. Malu’s heart is filled by another kind of love, but there are many setbacks before their love is fulfilled . . . . . .

Daxian: You’re both masters.

Heizi: Could we hear one first, then the other?

Toothbrush: What are we judging on? They’re equally matched.

Daxian: The decision is really tough.

Heizi: I thought that the story where Malu rescues the child and is knocked down by the truck wasn’t described well.

Lily: What do you mean it wasn’t described well? Close-up of a honking truck. Cut to the panic-stricken face of a child. Cut to Malu pushing the child out of the frame followed by a sharp braking sound. Cut to a close-up of the truck driver and pan down to Malu lying in the street.

Daxian: The only thing we don’t know is if Malu is willing to get hit by a truck.

Toothbrush: I also think that the girl with the injured leg doesn’t really need to fall down and hurt herself. She can just spread some Mercurochrome on her leg to make it look bloody. What do you think?

Heizi: You know, that Hong Hong, she suits Malu. Lily suits me.

Toothbrush: Good. Now the judges hand out the marks: Number one receives 99.75 points. Number two receives zero. Number one wins.

(Lily cries and runs off stage.)

Heizi: Lily!

Hong Hong: The young man runs off stage with Lily, grabs her hand and says, “Don’t cry. I know you’re the best.” Lily suddenly falls into the young man’s arms.

Heizi: Really? !

(Hong Hong nods. Heizi pursues Lily off stage.)

Hong Hong: The young man strokes Lily’s hair and says gently, “Don’t cry, silly child . . . ”

Toothbrush: Stop already.

(Hong Hong pays no attention to him, and continues)

Hong Hong: “Let me handle all the problems in the future, so long as we’re together . . .”

Daxian: Cut! Roll credits and sponsors. That’s a wrap.

(Hong Hong stops, moves off from the square.)

Toothbrush: No way. I don’t believe Malu’s life can be more exciting than a soap opera.


Malu: I said that if I can’t force myself to be calm, to temper my worship of you, then I couldn’t see you again. Now I can do it. Before, I didn’t think that a person’s desires could change the colour of the sky, the shape of an object or, cause a dream to be tangible. But now I know it’s because my desires weren’t strong enough. Mingming, please never be mad with me again, maybe I’m just a natural born lunatic.

Mingming: Is it raining outside?

Malu: Doesn’t look like it yet.

Mingming: Still not?

Malu: But everyone on the street is carrying umbrellas.

Mingming: They never look at the sky. They just listen for the chance of rain on the news. How stuffy it’s become. The thunder’s been rolling for so long and still no rain! This kind of weather always gives me cravings; I can never settle down. Life always returns to the way it was. Each day my physical strength is sapped from merely walking from this end of the room to the other end. I’m starting to have difficulty sleeping well. I’m full of desire from head to foot. It’s not because I have feelings for a man, but because I desire one. Because of this desire I don’t know if I’m coming or going, and I can’t sleep. It’s terrible! I already can’t bear to be alone or pass one tranquil night after another. My body is in turmoil. That patch of lawn has been wet from the 31st until today, a total of seven days. It’s too terrible.

Malu: Are you sick? How many days have you not gone to work?

Mingming: It doesn’t matter. I’ll see it through. My manager is quite partial to me. Talk to me a bit. How is your Tula?

Malu: Not too good. Doesn’t want to move and is eating less than before. Some people are very easily frightened when you approach them. Maybe it’s old, but it’s only 20 years old, it’s only a middle-aged rhinoceros.

Mingming: Maybe it’s lovesickness.

Malu: Maybe I gave it to him.

(Mingming smiles.)

Mingming: This . . . I want to give you this. (Puts the wallet from that night into Malu’s hand. Malu looks at it in disbelief, puts it up to his nose and sniffs.) That day was Chen Fei’s birthday. I waited long into the night for him to come but he never came. At that point I gave everything to you: The cake, the present and my passion.

Malu: You’re saying I wasn’t dreaming?

Mingming: Just believe you were dreaming, all those things don’t belong to you anyway.

Malu: Then what about yesterday? Yesterday evening?

Mingming: What about yesterday evening?

Malu: You came to me? Or did you not?

Mingming: What are you talking about?

Malu: Damn. You’ve messed me up! How can you do that? !

Mingming: Are you referring to that night?

Malu: Right.

Mingming: You didn’t like it?

Malu: No! I really don’t know if it’s you who is crazy or if it’s me.

Mingming: It’s not important. It’s all finished now.

Malu: What’s finished is you and that guy. Now we can begin.

Mingming: There is no “we.” Afterward there’s only “me.”

Malu: I won’t leave you, and I won’t let you leave me.

Mingming: Don’t try to compete with me in speaking sweet nothings.

Malu: Wait and see, just wait and see.


Malu has cleaned himself up and is dressed nicely. Heizi and Daxian stand beside him.

Malu: All white things become as black as ink and feel inferior next to you. All ignorant birds and beasts are in extreme despair since they can’t speak your name . . . . .

Heizi: How long are you going to repeat those two lines?

Daxian: He just finished writing them. He hasn’t figured out what comes next so all he can do is mumble them over and over again.

Heizi: How boring. Listening to it makes my ears itch. (Pulls out a match and picks at his ear) Don’t touch me! Move away from me a bit.

Daxian: Don’t worry. I won’t touch you.

Heizi: Then move away from me a bit, you make me nervous.

Malu: (Finally comes up with the next line) At each intersection the police change the light to green in order to let you pass through…

Daxian: (Taps Heizi with his arm) Hey, that’s not bad.

Heizi: (Shouts) Oww! I told you not to touch me!

Daxian: I forgot.

Heizi: You forgot! I’m going to be deaf! Don’t touch me again!

Daxian: Won’t happen.

(Heizi doesn’t trust him and moves off a ways. Toothbrush runs in madly.)

Toothbrush: Another one’s gone crazy, another one. Daxian, do you know what happened. Heizi! (Heizi stands with his back toward the others, picking his ear. Toothbrush smacks him on the back. Heizi cries out painfully. Toothbrush pays him no attention) Malu! Do you know? Do you know?

Daxian: Who’s gone crazy? You?

Toothbrush: Hong Hong.

Heizi: (Covers his ears and comes over. From now on he always picks at his ear as if he can’t hear. In a loud voice.) Who?

Toothbrush: Quiet!

Heizi: What did you say?

Toothbrush: Quiet down! Early this morning Hong Hong came to find me and poured out her heart — she’s fallen in love with Malu! The whole morning I was selling eyebrow tweezers and wherever I went she followed me, I nearly plucked her eyebrows clean off . . . . . . (Imitating Hong Hong) “Tell me again, tell me again! Tell me how impressive Malu’s eyebrows are, how attractive his teeth are, how sexy his leg hair is” . . . Malu’s sickness hasn’t been cured, and now she’s gone crazy too.

Daxian: That’s to say Malu isn’t only sick, but also contagious. (Smiles)

Heizi: What’s so funny? If I have to listen to him sing that song again I’m going to go crazy myself. I’m leaving.

(From outside the gate Hong Hong calls out, ” Malu, it’s me, Hong Hong.”)

Toothbrush: Forget it. The lunatic is here. I’m gone.

Daxian: I’m also out of here.

(The group exits. Enter Hong Hong. She acts out the scene of delivering food to Malu on a rainy day and injuring her leg as she slips and falls onto the road.)

Malu: Why did you come here again? !

Hong Hong: Our story still hasn’t come to its end.

Malu: Didn’t I already tell you that I’m not interested in your story! This nonsense of delivering food in the rain and slipping, this injuring your leg . . .

Hong Hong: If you don’t like it we can change it to another kind of story! No matter what this story is better than the one where you save the child and get hit by the truck, isn’t it?

Malu: Why do I have to get hit by a truck?

Hong Hong: That’s just one possibility, in life, anything can happen.

Malu: You’re saying that anything can happen in a soap opera.

Hong Hong: What’s more, maybe you’ll wake up tomorrow morning and find that you love me the most.

Malu: You’re joking.

Hong Hong: The audience won’t like you if you don’t change your lovers. Or you’ll become more miserable when you realize that the secretary you love has no sense of honour, looks up to the rich but down upon the poor, lives above her means, ends up having an affair with her boss; that’s when you’ll learn from the painful experience that Hong Hong is as pure as the driven snow . . . . . .

Malu: Nonsense!

Hong Hong: How is it nonsense?

Malu: Spare me the suffering of your vulgar soap operas! Don’t you ever dare slander Mingming with that pack of lies again.

Hong Hong: How did I slander her? Just a moment ago when I came up here I saw her getting out of some guy’s Mercedes with my own eyes. In her hand she was holding a big gift. He looked like he was older than her big brother, but younger than her father. She told me herself that he was her boss.

Malu: She spoke to you?

Hong Hong: I only care about how the plot develops, so naturally I asked her a few questions. She admitted that they were lovers, and added that he has a wife.

Malu: Life can really imitate a soap opera.

Hong Hong: Life always imitates soap operas. If you don’t believe me you can go ask her yourself. She’s become so used to it she doesn’t even try to hide it. She just takes it for granted.

Malu: I’m not the kind of person that can just go and ask her. Perhaps before I’d have gotten so mad that I’d have gone crazy. But now . . . is this real? Or is this still one of your soap operas? It’s all the same to me. It won’t make me change my mind even slightly.” I won’t leave you, and I won’t let you leave me.” Wait until I know what makes you happy, then you’ll be mine forever. I’m just missing a little bit. You’ll wait for me for sure.


Hong Hong: Hong Hong, you’re luck’s run out. You’ve failed. To think, me, Hong Hong, who struggled in the entertainment business for decades; who nobody could come close to in one — bitchiness, two — charm, or three — purity, has suddenly found herself falling for someone who cares for a black rhinoceros. I never thought I’d see the day. Stop, stop, stop . . . I’m off!

Act XX

Many people are standing in a row. The photographer is adjusting his camera in preparation. Toothbrush, Daxian, Malu and everyone are all well-dressed. Heizi, wearing a black tuxedo, stands in the middle. The bride’s place is vacant.

Toothbrush: I agree — marriage is the only way to put hair on his chest. From this point of view it seems like marriage has at least one redeeming point.

Malu: Some people reach the end of their mission in life quicker than others.

Toothbrush: I thought fulfilling one’s mission well was more important than fulfilling it quickly. Heizi is too impatient. He can’t wait for the pie to cool and cut a slice, he’s got to wolf it down in one gulp . . .(The gathering looks at him. Toothbrush realizes that he’s said something wrong) That’s great!

Heizi: Lily says that we should marry quickly, that our marriage will cross the centuries, and our child will be born in the new century.

Daxian: A rabbit runs home, a ship returns to port, now China has lost another rake.

Malu: Very good.

Love Counsellor: Society has rid itself of another destabilizing factor.

Daxian: Very good.

Director: This is what’s called “turning ideas into reality.” It’s the only negative point about those who believe in experiencing things firsthand.

Heizi: Why isn’t Lily out here yet?

Director: According to most women, the wedding ceremony is a guaranteed opportunity for her to play the leading role, so naturally she’s going to make everyone wait a little while.

Heizi: In a little while they’ll announce the winner of the “Big Clock” lottery ticket!

Toothbrush: You think you can get both a pretty wife and a load of cash?

Heizi: It’s called “double happiness!”

Toothbrush: The saying is: “lucky in love, unlucky at cards?”

(Hong Hong, in a bridesmaid’s dress, runs onto the scene.)

Hong Hong: She’s coming. She’s coming. The bride is coming.

(The gathering stands and separates to let Lily through. She wears a cutting-edge wedding dress.)

Gathering: Truly beautiful!

Lily: I can’t find my earring! Has anyone seen my earring?

Photographer: Gather ’round, gather ’round. You didn’t have them when you were born. Let’s take the picture.

Lily: I’m missing an earring. It’s a diamond earring!

Heizi: Let’s take the pictures first.

Lily: What did I just say? My earring is missing. If I haven’t got my earring how can I take a picture?!

Love Counsellor: This is what I was just talking about — the bride and groom’s first quarrel. Look at them. They’re fighting over who will wear the pants in the family.

(Hong Hong is constantly trying to stand beside Malu. Malu shuns her.)

Heizi: I was wrong. I’ll take you to buy a new one in just a bit.

(Heizi and Lily return to the group.)

Photographer: Good, good. Everyone pay attention. Look here! Look a bit happier!

The gathering stands gazing at the photographer while he smiles exaggeratedly. The music starts. The gathering begins to sing in chorus.

This is an age of too many things
This is an age of too much emotion
This is an age of too much knowledge
This is an age of too much information
This is an age of intellect and reason
This is an age of sincerity and pragmatism

We have too many tasks to do
We have too many things to learn
We have too many voices to listen to
We have too many desires to fulfill

Love is a candle, giving you light,
Snuffed out with one gust of wind.
Love is a bird in flight, decorating the scene
Gone with a change in weather.
Love is a freshly blooming flower, thrilling with its scent,
Withered after May.
Love is a rainbow, a multitude of splendid colours,
A twinkling hoax, evaporated by the first rays of the sun.
Love is so wonderful, but delicate to the touch.
Love is so wonderful, but delicate to the touch.

As soon as the flash goes off everyone’s face lights up and they rush over to the side of the stage.

Director: Now we greet the arrival of the new century. We’ve successfully finished building the world’s largest clock. It stands rock-solid, indestructible, a manifestation of humanity’s wisdom and strength. The lottery tickets issued in its name have already brought in five million Yuan. A miracle will occur today. A miracle will occur at this moment. How many hundreds of millions of pairs of eyes are gazing at us right now, gazing at this spot, watching this miracle drawing closer and closer? Upon whose head will the worldly prize fall? Who will be the new century’s lucky one? !

Resident A: If I win the money I will build the “Century of Hope” school in my hometown.

Resident B: If I win the money, I’ll use all of it to build up a relationship between the new century and extraterrestrials.

Resident C: I’ll contribute my meager strength toward fighting air pollution.

Resident D: I’ll use it all to completely repay a debt.

Resident E: Buy diamond earrings!

Resident F: Go abroad.

Resident G: Buy a house.

Resident H: Buy a pile of Viagra.

(Drum roll.)

Director: The miracle, we are about to receive the miracle.

(On the screen numbers begin to flash, finally stopping on a number. Malu jumps out from the crowd. He walks slowly up to the raised platform. The crowd all raise their heads and look on dully.)

Malu: One has to believe in miracles. (Raises the lottery ticket in his hand. The crowd cheers. Malu’s friends holler wildly.)

Heizi: It’s Malu! It’s Malu!

Lily: What a great day!

Daxian: I’m in the process of computing the probabilities!

Hong Hong: I love you!

Toothbrush: The saying is: “lucky at cards, unlucky in love!”

Heizi: I also want to be unlucky in love!

Director: Lucky guy, what’s your name?

Malu: Malu.

Director: Congratulations.

Malu: Thanks.

Director: After careful examination it is without a doubt that Malu’s lottery ticket is indeed the winner. Here’s five million Yuan in cash!

(Malu receives a box. The crowd cheers.)

Director: May I ask you what your plans are for the money?

Malu: Honestly speaking, the money isn’t of much use to me . . . . . .

Heizi: Give it to me!

Malu: A total of one tenth. I promise to give my best friends a portion . . .

(Heizi, Toothbrush, and Daxian cheer.)

Malu: . . . . . . For Tula the rhinoceros I’ll buy an African female rhinos so he can have a companion.

Director: That’s certainly an imaginative idea. Any others?

(Malu doesn’t reply. Suddenly he picks up the money and dashes off.)

Crowd: Where’s he going? Where’s he off to?

Director: Follow him. Get the camera on him.

Daxian and the rest: Malu! Wait!

Hong Hong: My shoe, my shoe fell off!

Lily: Who stepped on my skirt!

Crowd: Where is he going?

A: He’s going to hide the money!

B: He’s trying to avoid a debt?

C: He’s trying to avoid lending it out!

Director: (Runs and talks at the same time) He’s already run across five avenues, leaving the crowd behind him. Judging from the way he jogs, from his posture and his physical strength, some experts suspect that he is a champion marathon runner. We are diligently collecting background material on Malu. Malu has now turned down an alley and arrived in front of a building. He’s going upstairs . . . . .

Malu: Mingming, open the door. It’s me Malu! Mingming!

Director: (Excitedly) He’s knocking on a door. He’s calling a person’s name! (The crowd pursues him, panting.)

Malu: Mingming, can you hear me? It’s me, Malu, open the door! I told myself that if I can make you happy, then I won’t ever have to leave you, and that I wouldn’t let you leave me. I’ve been preparing for a very long time. I’ve studied the computer, English; I even finished a training course on love. Now I finally have enough money. Mingming, the money is useless, but if it can make you happy then it does have a use. It’s all yours!

(The crowd cheers.)

Director: Who is Mingming? Who is Mingming? Quick, get me background material!

Malu: What are you all cheering about? Why are you cheering? My heart’s cheering so much it’s about to burst, but I dare say that we are not cheering the same thing! Believe me, heaven favours the brave and the strong, those full of affection for another. If you love something, desire something, believe me, just go love it, just go desire it, so long as your desire is strong enough you are invincible! Mingming, I want to give you happiness! A happiness like no one has ever known!

(Mingming appears in the window.)

Mingming: I don’t want it.

Director: What did she say? What did she say? I can’t hear clearly.

Mingming: You’re rich; the others are also rich. Why should I want your money when I don’t even want to give you the things you want from me?

Malu: No, I don’t want anything from you. I must give you something. I must give you happiness.

Mingming: Thanks, but you go and use it for yourself.

Malu: What? What are you saying?

Mingming: I said I don’t want it — your money or your happiness.

Malu: Why?

Mingming: You’d better go use the money to do things that make you happy.

Malu: The only thing that makes me happy is you!

Mingming: Then I really don’t want it.

Malu: Why? Didn’t you tell me that you didn’t need money, that you didn’t like money, that you could get money by being someone else’s mistress? Why is my money any different from theirs?

Mingming: I don’t want your money. Can you force me to take it? I’m willing to be a whore in order to get money, but it’s got nothing to do with you. I can’t bear the pure look on your face. I don’t love you. I don’t want to hear you pour out your heart out into my ears every day. I don’t want it because I don’t want you to have this power over me. Do you understand?

(Mingming walks away from the window.)

Malu: Then what use is it to me?

Daxian: Don’t listen to her! If some people are so naturally despicable, that they turn the good intentions of someone into shit, then the best thing you can do is to treat them like shit.

Toothbrush: Right! She’s worthless. Even if she swears she loves you, you should never believe her. What an attitude!

Malu: All the smells have vanished. The scent of lemon chewing gum, the scent of photocopier on her body, the smell of the leather wallet. My nose can’t smell a thing. I’m starting to doubt myself, starting to doubt the love I have for her, starting to doubt everything. . . What is there to show me I’m still me? What is there to show me I’m still alive? This isn’t a question of whether to love or not, but a kind of contest. Not a contest between her and myself, but a contest between everything and me. That I never had anything isn’t important, but now that I realize I’ve lost. I have to tuck my tail between my legs and obey. I will always compromise with life, become just another normal person in your eyes, only take those things which life gives easily. To struggle for happiness in the shadows is meaningless. I’d rather do nothing.

Heizi: Fool.

Malu: (Toward Mingming’s room behind the window) Mingming, I know, that for me this is a lot of money and that to others it’s mere change. But they can’t compare to me in one thing: I could give it all up for you; they can’t.

(Malu finishes his speech and gently lays down the box of money. Exits. The crowd watches him dumbfounded, then suddenly surround the box.)


The rhinoceros enclosure.

Malu: All the other rhinos have gone. Don’t you feel lonely here? The new rhinoceros enclosure is pretty good, spacious, bright, well ventilated. Tana, the white rhino has settled in down there. There’s a newly purchased male rhino that is very gentle and young. He spends every day curiously looking the place over, making careful advances toward Tana. Don’t you want to go have a look? All you have to do is go nicely into that cage full of apples and bananas; they’ll close the door and take you over there. Why do you always go up to the cage and turn away, not willing to go in? They’ve already been waiting for a whole month. I can tell that they’re starting to lose their patience. The director said that if you are still unwilling to go into the cage by tomorrow, he’s going to get the tranquillizer gun. Look, this gun here! Do you want people to treat you like this? Poor Tula. I know you don’t get along with anyone, just like me and Daxian, Toothbrush and the others. We only stayed together out of boredom. But now they’re convinced that I’m a lunatic and don’t even give me the time of day. You should be more like the other rhinos and bow to your destiny, then you won’t be depressed. How hard is it to obey destiny? I think most people just naturally do that. So long as others do it you should just do the same and it’ll all be fine. That’s why we’re not welcomed by others. We should probably use the tranquillizer gun. I also thought about giving up many times, but when I thought about it, my body began to ache all over. Once I realized that this pain would never leave me, once I realized that my eyes would become lifeless because of it, I got scared. Loving her was the best thing I’ve ever done.

(Mingming enters.)

Malu: Mingming.

Mingming: I’m leaving. I came to say goodbye.

Malu: You’re leaving?

Mingming: Heaven favours the brave, the strong, those who are full of affection for someone.

Malu: You’re going to go look for that guy?

Mingming: I also thought about giving up many times, but when I thought about it, my body began to ache all over. Once I realized that this pain would never leave me, once I realized that the expression in my eyes would become lifeless because of it, I got scared. Loving him was the best thing that I’ve ever done.

Malu: What are you saying?

Mingming: I just heard you say that a moment ago.

Malu: Then you understand?

Mingming: I understood the whole thing.

Malu: You still want to leave?

Mingming: I’m leaving.

Malu: Then you didn’t understand. I won’t leave you, and I won’t let you leave me! (Malu suddenly lunges at Mingming. He grabs some rope to tie her up. Mingming struggles with all her might.)

Malu: I told you that I’m the kind of person who always keeps my word. That night it was you who pleaded with me to never leave you, and not let you leave me, so you should’ve realized earlier that you can’t escape me. I’ll chase you to the ends of the earth! Don’t struggle. Struggling is useless. We are doomed to die together!

Mingming: You’re a lunatic. Let go of me. Do you still not understand? I don’t want to be with you! Help! Somebody help me!

(Malu stops her from struggling and strikes her hard on the neck. Mingming passes out and collapses into his chest.)


Mingming is blindfolded and tied to a chair. Malu, is sitting beside her.

Malu: Dusk is the worst time for my vision. My eye wanders to the busy street. All I see are pretty girls. The buildings and streets are shifting in and out of focus; it’s like being in a movie:

You’re standing on the corner of the stairs. There’s a strange, fragrant scent. It’s a little warm. It smells strange. It’s only when it brushes against your body that you notice that you’re crying. That’s when it all started.

How can I possibly make you understand that I love you this much? Silently bear it and swallow my tears? Shout it at the top of my lungs until I’m hoarse and collapse from exhaustion? Curse myself bitterly before the mirror? Rush into your office and knock you to the floor? Go to university, get a PhD and become an author? Give myself up for lost and be pitied by others from now on? Check into a mental hospital and love you until I actually have a breakdown? Get lovesick? Or should I set myself on fire beneath your window? Mingming, tell me what I should do. You’re smart, clever, quick-witted and silver-tongued, foolish beyond compare. My love, my Mingming . . .

(Malu takes off Mingming’s blindfold. Tula cries out directly in front of Mingming.)

Mingming: What are you doing? Go away! Get rid of this rhinoceros!

Malu: This is Tula, my best and also my last companion. Mingming, I want to give you everything, but I don’t have a thing in the world. I want to give it all up for you, but I’ve got nothing to give up. Money, status, glory; without these kinds of things my little bit of self-respect means nothing. If this were the Middle Ages, I could go be a knight and write your name in each city that I conquered. If this were the desert, I would drain my last drop of blood to moisten your parched lips. If I were an astronomer, there’s be a star named Mingming. If I were a poet, all sounds would sing for you. If I were a judge, I’d be guided by your likes and dislikes. If I were a priest, there would be no better heaven than you. If I were a sentry, each character of your name would be my password. If I were a deposed emperor, I’d ignore the sneers of the people to see you one last time. If I were a killer who killed without remorse, they would beg you to control me. But I’m nothing, just an average person. What can an ordinary person like me do for you?

(Malu suddenly pulls out a knife and plunges it into Tula! Blood wells up and spurts forth. Tula lets out a terrified howl. A violent rage fills Malu. Mingming screams and shouts at the top of her lungs.)

Malu: Don’t be afraid, Tula, I want to take you away, up above the pond, up above the glen, across the mountains and the forest, across the clouds and the sea, across the other side of the sun, across those gossamer clouds, across the boundless limits of the starry universe and place you above life itself. In front of you is the vast African savannah. The setting sun hangs from the giraffe’s prolonged neck. A myriad of life glows with the approach of the rainy season.

(Malu lifts the gun and kills Tula. Tula’s giant body slumps and slowly falls over. Mingming watches in panicked silence as Malu takes a knife and moves toward Tula. Taking the knife, he plunges it in and pulls out Tula’s bloody heart.)

Malu: These are the last things I can give you, Tula’s heart, and me. Can you accept them? Mingming, my dear, gentle, sweet . . .

(Mingming’s face is full of tears. She cannot speak.)

Malu: All white things become as black as ink and feel inferior next to you. All ignorant birds and beasts are in extreme despair since they can’t speak your name. At each intersection the police change the light to green in order to let you pass through.

All perfectly aligned compasses point out your position to me.
You’re the wind that leaves no trace
You’re the wind that brushes over my body
You’re the wind that never reveals a thing
You’re the wind that’s everywhere
I love you so much Mingming.

(Malu grasps Mingming.)

Mingming: You finished writing your poem. It’s beautiful, what a shame.

(A searchlight suddenly shines in. A siren wails. Many people rush into the rhinoceros enclosure. They look upon the scene dumbfounded, not actually daring to approach.)

Police: Malu, release the hostage immediately. Raise your hands in the air and surrender. We’ve got you surrounded!

Heizi and the others: Malu!

(Malu all is aloof to what is happening around him. He hugs Mingming Mingming sits motionless; her eyes stare off into the distance. She suddenly starts to sing.)

Smile at me, like when we met for the first time
Speak to me, even if your vows change tomorrow
Hold me tight, on this night that’s so cold
Think of me, in that year you began to feel old

The years that will pass will pass,
In the end it will only be me by your side.
The years that will pass will pass,
In the end it will only be me by your side.

Smile at me, like when we met for the first time
Speak to me, even if your vows change tomorrow
Hold me tight, on this night that’s so cold
Think of me, in that year you began to feel old.

Mingming and Malu:
You were different, unique, soft, clean like the sky.
You were my warm glove, my ice-cold beer.
You carried the fragrance of a shirt laundered in the sun; you were a never-ending dream.
You were chaste, naive, like glass.
You were chaste, naive, nothing could dirty you.
You were chaste, naive, nothing could change you,
Sunlight passed through you and changed its direction
My love, my love, my love, my love.



[*] Based on the script in Hupo, Lian’ai zhong de xiniu (琥珀,戀愛中的犀牛) (Beijing: Xinxing, 2008).