I couldn’t take a plane, but could only take trains and buses, for my ID had been recorded in the police network as a Falun Gong practitioner who was under police surveillance and was forbidden to move freely.
October First –the CCP’s National Day– was coming soon at the time, so the CCP’s security was even tighter than usual.
When I obtained a northward train ticket at a railway station, it was already midnight. As I walked toward the waiting hall, I saw a large number of passengers queuing up at its entrance.
A bunch of policemen stood at the entrance, ordering every passenger to hand in his ID card, and then passing it to a policeman sitting at a desk at the entrance. On the desk, there was a computer.
The policeman entered every passenger’s ID card number into the computer and checked on it.
I thought to myself upon seeing the grim situation, “Stay cool! Quickly think what to do!”
I soon came up with an idea: when it was my turn, I would cover my stomach with my hands, looking painful, and scurry into the waiting hall gesturing to the policemen that I desperately needed to dash to the bathroom.
But when it was really my turn, the policeman who stood right facing me didn’t ask me to hand in my ID card, but just stared at me silently as if he had been enchanted.
This was too miraculous! I stood there staring at him for a few seconds, then came to my senses and calmly walked into the waiting hall under his nose.
I soon found that, inside the waiting hall, police were checking ID cards as well in every waiting lounge.
Police were double-checking in this railway station!
I hastened to walk into a toilet and thought what to do while washing my face.
A little while later, I stepped out the toilet, walked into a waiting lounge, took a seat, and pulled down my baseball cap to cover up a large part of my face, pretending I was dozing off.
In the following one and a half hours, I saw policemen frequently walking into the waiting lounge checking the passengers’ ID cards; a few times they had come to the seats right beside me, but they just checked other passengers’ instead of checking mine.
After several days of risky journey, I reached a coffee shop in downtown Beijing at a Sunday noon, wearing T-shirt, jeans, a baseball cap, a pair of big glasses, and carrying a backpack. I tentatively smiled at a Caucasian gentleman looking in his early forties.
He smiled back and asked me softly, “Are you Amelia?”