Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Good Bye China

Dear Family,

This email is my last entry to my Chinese story, for I am home now. The last email concluded with my hopes for a great final few days in China, and I was blessed to have a greatest final days therein. Yao's friend invited me to visit her and hang out with some of her roommate. I wondered if there would be boys hanging out with us, but Xue, the friend, has nine roommates. 
It feels odd to write about this because one of the roommates is on the list of people that I am sending this to. She wants to practice learning English, so she embraced our friendship. When she heard that I love to write, she asked to read some of my writing. Writing of her and all her roommates for her with her reading it is fun. :P
When I met Xue with her good friend, she was uncomfortable because she never spake to with an English speaker before. I don't know why Chinese people always say that their spoken English is poor. This was the first time that they spoke to an English speaker, so they should relax.
Ten teenage girls living in one room seemed insane to me. Xue and a couple of her friends took me for a walk, and they denied the drama, which I imagined that can be. All ten girls were studying the same thing, so I kind of felt like I was talking to multiples of the same person, especially if they lacked hobbies. I knew that I may get their QQ numbers, and I wanted to get to know them. I was lead to ask most of the girls what their interests were, which I found to be good to identify who each person was when I instant message them. 
The most interesting girl was very similar to me, loving to write. She has been working on writing a comic for six years! It is of a Romeo and Juliet story of China. The name of the story has the word butterfly in it, if you want to look it up. 
The majority of the girls lacked a passion to pursue interests, but a common interest is reading. Two of the coolest girls were more athletic, either practicing volleyball or dance. The date with the girls kind of felt like the bachelor show.
The next day was Friday, and I was hoping to hang out with the girl that I met the weekend before at the sauna place in RuGao. During the week, she asked me to give her an English name, so I can have a name to easily remember to call her with. I was hard to decide, but we found a good name. It is Shaundra, the name of a most awesome cousin of mine. We planned to meet at 6 in the evening, and I was thinking that it took two and a half hours to get there. I told her the day before that she needs to tell me the place to meet her, or I cannot come. She waited to the last minute to tell me where to meet her. She is only in the ninth grade, so it was just for fun. Shaundra said that she would bring some friends as well. :)
As I rushed over the RuGao, I asked Shaundra, if there is a late bus coming home, so I can be home that night. She answered that the latest bus left to Nantong at 5:40 pm, which would not be an option. I could have if I wanted of be lame, but I did not want to cancel the evening of "play," a word commonly used by Chinese to say hang out. 
God provided me a guardian angel to be safe. Before I even got on the bus, a girl began talking to me. Her name is Xue. She said that she was fifty years old, but I have seen college students that looked older than her. She was really cool, helping me find the place that I was going to met my friend, get into a hotel, and get back home in the morning of Saturday. 
It turned out that the bus ride only took an hour, so I was way early. I had another friend that I wanted to meet, but she was a teacher. It kind of annoying how the professional world in China works the people way too much. I have a friend that works, starting at 7 am and often comes home after eleven pm. The teacher friend is named Susan. Susan needed to participate in the administration of a mock University entry exam all that weekend. 
When Shaundra arrived, I had to rush back to the Wengfeng mall because I went on a walk. I was lead to a park, which I was seeking. I knew that there needed to be one nearby by, since a river flowed by the mall. 
She introduced me to four of her friends. I only got one of the QQ number of one of her friends, so I only remember the name of one of them especially since she wants to call herself Candy. After a walk through the mall, we made it to our destination, the arcade. When they saw my excitement for pool, they followed me in to play a game; even though, they had never played before. Candy got into it, and Shaundra was too tense. Seeing the enthusiasm of Candy made me realize that I was inaccurate because I was not hitting the balls hard enough. I was more accurate, and after of playing an hour we discovered our hour time limit was up. We did not even finish a game, but we were tied. We both had two balls to hit into before getting to the eight ball. We played more games and shopped before going to dinner at like ten o' clock. 
On the bus, coming back home from RuGao, Xue, my RuGao guardian, called me. She did a few times in my final days in China. She is my loving RuGao mother. She is a proud Chinese, saying that the RuGao and Chinese girls are more beautiful than California girls. I can't agree. The Chinese people are so family oriented and friendly that this bond was instant. A couple girl, sitting in the seats before me in the bus, spoke as if they wanted to talk with me, since I spoke English, so I approached them. They struggled as they all do, but we had good times. They wanted to hang out afterward, for they were going to the bookstore and to play at a park. I was down; however, their uncle was with them, and he lead them away with errands to rush to. 
When I got home, I still had things to do. Melissa took me out for lunch for the final time. We went to a famous soup place, where they boil the broth and have you place the food in the pot at the table. Eating out of the pot was odd, for all I had was serving spoon and chopsticks, but I managed.
The weekend was full of drama afterward, which I should not discuss.
On my last day in Nantong, I said good bye to the school, which I spent most of my time at. I hung out mostly at Melissa's class. I drew farewell cards for her class and the faculty. Playing with the kids a final day was nice. They are like 3-4 years old. 
During the week prior, a student wanted me to participate in the class, so she had me sit next to her in the class. We sang songs and did various activities. Melissa even gave me a sticker on my forehead, which is common in school, when students are good. I wore that proudly as the children do.
I was given my yellow sweater, which my Chinese sister at the schoo made. Mama Pongping paraded me around the school, boasting of the fruits thereof. It fits well, and it is beautiful.
Also during last week I noticed that every day of that week, the teachers would lead their students in fun dances to a variety of song for exercise. I was lead to join, and the children enjoyed my presence. I only danced one song though :( 
I participated in Mary's English class on my last day in Nantong too. It was a good fun class of hers; however, at the end She had her students say good bye. They were very disappointed that I had to leave. She instructed them to hug me individually; then, we took pictures. At the end of it all, all the kids gave a big group, hugging for a few minutes. We almost fell down on the flour. They said the dearest words of love, the ones they knew. 
On the flight home, I was bummed that I did not have my journal to write in one the way home, but flying from Beijing to San Francisco was fun. I was placed to sit next to two youth, heading for North Dakota and aviation school. At least all the employees of Air China go to the same university of these youth, so I had to test what they said and asked our flight attendant where she attended school. They all went to the same school. I felt part of the Chinese aviation family. I learned that yangyang, the flight attendant, only had to attend the university for one year before attending to the planes. I hope that they don't work her as much as the people in China. I asked for her QQ, but we were not lead to receive it, since she was so busy. I was told that the majority of flight attendants only work for ten years before they have to move on. Pilots work for thirty years.
This is my Chinese story. I still am trying to figure out how to speak Chinese. I download the international QQ to keep in touch. I began renren, the facebook of China, but I don't know how to connect with my friends. I love the Chinese people very much. I don't know when I will go to China again, but I will try to keep everything which I was given there with me especially the friendships.

Love

Alex

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