Emblem of my time here

I was dealing with one of those Chinese librarians that only Chinese can communicate with. Plain declarative sentences uttered twice or thrice, nothing allegorical, nothing idiomatic. And that’s in both directions.

She looks at my card in her hand, then starts pulling it back toward her, then stops herself, as if reminding herself she isn’t in a place where a central committee decides for you. “Would you like a new card?” she asks.

“No, I would not like a new card,” I say with alarm. (Then I have to say it again.) “It’s a prized possession.” It is. But someone thinks it has to be replaced. The Toronto Public Library in a nutshell.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES OF METROPOLITAN TORONTO North York Public Library card under Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Very’

And this, ladies and gentlemen, ends our journey here.