Bo and Cheng are friends in the Guangzhou district of China. Bo is half American and a freelance IT consultant. Their neighborhood is subject to visa raids on occasion:
Footsteps sounded and the front door burst open, spilling in a handful of Guangzhou police who immediately leveled their guns at Bo. He froze, hands up. The head constable strode in and surveyed the party’s remains, then approached him. She held out her hand.
“Visa,” she said in English.
Bo’d seen the trio countless times before on raids, yet they always acted as if he had just washed up on shore in a rowboat from Madagascar. Bo held up his index finger. “One moment. Just woke up and it’s not something I keep on me while I’m sleeping.” He headed for the bedroom, followed by two of the police. Cheng was stretched out on the bed, dead to the world.
“Who’s that?” one of the constables said.
“Cheng. Doesn’t live here. Native, though,” Bo said.
The constable grunted. She knew who it was, Bo thought. He drew the visa from his nightstand and handed it over. The constable inspected it and gave it back, apparently satisfied. The two policemen withdrew. Bo tossed the visa back into the nightstand and followed them out.
Bo called after them. “Call ahead next time and I’ll have some sago tarts.”
The head constable threw him a stare that chilled his skin. Then left. Bo breathed relief, suddenly envying Cheng, who’d slept through the entire ordeal.