When you’ve lived through an iconic event of history your life is transformed.
Words:Bravery, disgust, disbelief, betrayal, horror.
Smells: Innocence, idealism, cordite.
Sounds: Crackle, loudspeakers, sirens, pop, Bang, shouting.
Colours: Green, white, blue, orange, red, bruised Purple.
Feelings: Numbness, silence, despair, anger, fear, dismay –Why?
Sights:The scorching heat, the pickets, the helicopter, the blank stares of bus loads of apprehensive People’s Liberation Army soldiers surrounded by Beijing’s irate mothers and fathers, the water tankers, the chuandan (pamphlets), the handwritten messages on the school noticeboard, real tears, fleeing, panic, emptiness, dry tears, bloated bodies. How many more?
Tastes: Dry, salty and bitter.
Time: Central Beijing – 3.45pm Saturday June 3, 1989, the first time I heard the traumatising sounds of teargas canisters exploding all around me…
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