A woman in Shanghai accidentally stepped on another woman’s foot at a train station. The wrongdoer, a Ms. Chen, apologized profusely, but the victim would not let the matter drop. She had bought her pair of shoes just two days ago, the young woman said. Her shoes were nothing fancy, but she just could not accept the fact that her two-day-old new shoes were already trampled on. She demanded for compensation.
Unable to resolve their difference, the two women called police for intervention. At the police station, the woman who had misstepped agreed to pay for the shoes with depreciation figured in, on the condition that she should get the shoes. The injured party agreed to the deal. She had purchased her shoes for ¥360 ($60); a discount price of ¥280 was tendered and accepted. Taking advantage of China’s superfast online payment system, the said amount of money was instantly transferred from one phone to another.
Quite relieved that a serious dispute had been settled, Ms. Chen walked out of the police station with a pair of shoes in her hand, which she speedily dropped into a dumpster.
The other woman, now mostly free of the psychological shock resultant from her new shoes being stepped on, left the police station with no shoes on her feet.
There is a well-known Chinese saying – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” For the young woman in this story, the first step must begin with a pair of sacrosanct shoes.