A Gaokao Essay

At 2:22 in the early morning, I was walking on a strange street, holding hands with my girl, and feeling the sweat in her palm.

“Do you think my mum’ll get the police to drag us back? Is it really ok to not go to the entrance exams?” My girl asked me, wracked by nerves.

Women are such a drag, what else could I do but comfort her? I can’t be without her, a punk without a hook-up[1] wouldn’t be a real punk.

So I told her:” Don’t worry my darling, this place is really concealed, no one’ll find us, besides didn’t you steal 120 kuai[2] from your mum? We’ve got money, so don’t be scarred. What do real punks want with university when they’ve got Rock’n Roll! Never forget your love for Rock’n Roll!”

My girl grew quiet, I guess she was reassured by the boundless power of those words.

I hooked up with my girl during the second year of high school, back then I had just vowed to become a real punk. For a long time, I was practicing my punky speech, and agonizing over the whether or not the recorder was a rock’n roll instrument. Then I realized I had more important things to do – to find a girlfriend!

Back then nearly all the girls in class were into K-shit[3], I thought they were so stupid they could not be helped. Then, one day, I found a girl who likes Mayday, I said to her, Mayday is real Rock’n Roll! So she became my girlfriend.

Last week I told my girl, I didn’t want to do the entrance exams, with my grades, the only university I could get into was One-Man. My girl said that’s great, you’d get to see the Director Tong! Director Tong’s a cutie!

I said I’ve got more important things to do. I wanna be a real punk. I want to live a free life, on the street, fighting with the metal-heads, smashing beer bottles on their heads. I also want to get a whole leg of tattoos, you know, the ones that don’t come off in the shower. Are you with me?

Source material:

Gaokao essay from Shanghai provided by www.51test.net 21/6/2013, this English version first published on Xanga in July 2013.



[1] The actual colloquial term used is 炮友 (pao you), fuck buddy or friend with benefits

[2] 块 – colloquial Mandarin term for the RMB, like the British “quid”

[3] The actual colloquial term used is 棒子 (bang zi), a derogatory term meaning “Korean”. The term has various historical origins.

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