Fei hosts Jing, Henry & me

Fei, Sze Yao, and I were chatting in Fei’s room. We saw Huat Chye through the window. He came in from São Paulo, where he’d been visiting an aunt, Saturday night.  Sze Yao told us to call him but we hid and had Sze Yao call him instead.

Huat Chye asked him what he was doing there in Kimball and Sze Yao joked that he’d been split from his draw group and housed in Kimball; but Huat Chye correctly surmised that it was Fei’s room and she came to the window to wave to him.  Her window has a good view for people watching; it overlooks one of the main paths entering Manzanita Park.

Huat Chye talked to his drawmate about getting a room key for one of their other drawmates, who won’t be coming in until late, then went about his moving-in business.

I was typing up some stuff for work around 6 o’clock and Fei came in with Jing and a freshman from Shanghai (he calls himself Henry). They were going to go visit his place and then get dinner, Fei’s treat, and asked if I’d like to join.

We went to Ujamaa, where Henry lives, and saw his room. Fei likes the dorm better now it’s been remodeled–brighter.  Henry’s room is not as large as the ones in Kimball (or any other dorm I’ve been in) but he and his roommate have a sink in a closet-like enclosure.  Afterward we biked to KFC.

We saw Colin, my and Fei’s former drawmate, along the way, and Fei stopped to talk to him and to Huat Chye, whom we saw walking back to Kimball with a freshman who graduated from his high school in Brazil.

We had dinner at KFC and then biked back to Kimball. Henry came in hoping to meet Jia, but she was not there. Also, we could not reach the other freshman from Shanghai, whom we thought she might have been with.

Ben Longoria, our neighbor from Lantana last spring and now in Kimball, stopped by and was telling us how he served as an escort for the queen and princess of Bhutan (the princess is now a SLE freshman).

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Jia hosts hometown newcomers

Did some work at Carnegie in the morning; my boss came in with her daughter for the last time before taking off on vacation.  I had got something for the girl’s birthday, which will pass before they return, so I had my boss drive me back to Kimball and ran upstairs (where Jia was sitting on her bed, after beginning to move in) grabbed the gift and gave it to my boss, before going back upstairs and reading in my room…

Ting Ting came to visit; at the same time Jia came in with her Fei came in, freshly arrived from Shanghai.  Some new students from Shanghai, two people who had gone to Jia’s high school, one of whom will live in our dorm this year, visited. Then they and Jia and Ting Ting went out together.  Fei went to pick her bike up from outside Jia and Ting Ting’s summer residence.

When she returned, I looked at some pictures of hers, and later agreed to accompany her on a trip to Fry’s to get speakers for her discman.  While we were preparing to do so, Jia got back, having had dinner at Jade Fountain with the new students from Shanghai and Ting Ting.

Fei and I stopped at KFC to have dinner before continuing to Fry’s; we got to that store too late, it closed at 9 and by the time we’d got there it was about 9:30.  We walked back; saw some people we know in Castaño through their open window, with visitors.

When we got back to Kimball, we did some walking around the dorm.

A Meeting of Friends and a Musical in the City

In the morning I went to Carnegie briefly, and then went to the bio library to study only to fall asleep and consequently miss the first couple minutes of lecture. After bio lecture I stuck around that corner of campus got a little studying done in the bio library and then went to bio lab. This ended earlier than it sometimes does so I went to the post office afterward, found a ticket telling me a care package had arrived and got in line to wait to pick it up. Coincidentally, my bio lab partner soon got in line behind me, waiting to purchase some money order.

The line was not that long, but it was as usual kind of slow. I guess it was way too slow for the guy behind my lab partner, because he turned to her and offered to pay her to send a package for him, because he had to get to class. She looked surprised, but did not refuse. He filled out an overnight-mailing form and took of, leaving her with a twenty that would exceed the price of sending by about $5. She said that she would never be in such a rush as to pay someone; she’d just be late. I think I would do the same, and the thought crossed my mind that there was some nefarious item in the guy’s package that would be trouble for anyone who handled it.

But that did not turn out to be the case. After picking up my package, I went to Braun to practice organ for a bit, then stopped at Meyer to pick up some books on my way to Lantana.

I had arranged for a girl from my growth group bible study to meet Jia. The girl, called Jane Zhang, was interested in such a meeting because she is originally from Shanghai and Jia is an international student from Shanghai, of course. So when I got to Lantana I collected Jia from the cluster and we waited for her in our room. She also brought along another girl originally from Shanghai named Ling. Ling already knew Jia from a CS class they’d had together. Fei was also there. When Jane and Ling showed up, Jane talked to Jia in Shanghaiinese (a dialect of Chinese that is spoken in Shanghai). Earlier I had asked Jia to call Jane because I knew she liked to speak Shanghaiinese and thought she might not be comfortable doing so in the presence of someone who only spoke English. This turned out not to be the case, actually.

Ling noted Jane’s fondness of “practicing her Chinese” but she herself spoke only English through most if not all of the meeting; she is like Fei in this tendency to speak English and in the fact she later mentioned (on prompting from Fei) that she does not remember much of Shanghai from her childhood. I think Fei liked her better for that.

Conversation proceeded through dinner. We surprised Jane I think by mentioning that we drew last year with two people who graduated from the same high school as her in San Francisco. Conversation proceeded on various topics, but we had to break off around 6:30, the time that Nicola was to arrive back from a guitar lesson and take Jia, Fei and I to San Francisco to see the musical “Rent,” and Ling had to head off to a class. Jane moved to another table with people she had known previously.

On the way to her room Fei expressed her feeling of guilt because she’d invited Huat Chye to come in our car and then told him no. Jia agreed with her that she had been bad. In the car we moved on to other topics: namely discussing draw preferences. Jia was considering row houses near the dorm of a guy she knows and Fei was all for Manzanita, where some other people she likes will be living next year. Nicola and I did not voice opinions.

The area in which the theatre is located is kind of ghetto-ish. Nicola found a parking space in a lot a couple of blocks from the theatre. When we got out, a dirty and disheveled man approached us, exposing a red arm. He told us that he had crashed his bike and broken that arm and wanted something from us…Nicola refused for us and we hurried away. His red arm and story of being hurt were just a story to make us more willing to give him money…

As we walked up the street to the theatre Fei was considering her shoes, asking us if we thought they were the right size. Jia commented that they were too big; another dirty and disheveled man hanging out in front of a store commented that they were nice shoes and that he could take them off of Fei. We hurried on.

When we got to the theatre we briefly considered and rejected the idea of returning to the car and moving it closer.

The musical itself was entertaining; I think the best part was the music. Nicola said later that it was the best she’s seen.

After the show was over, we saw Huat Chye hanging around waiting for the party that drove him up there to gather themselves: Jia hesitated at first to approach him but then got up the nerve or whatever and invited him to join us, an invitation which he readily accepted.

Surprisingly, walking back to the car (perhaps because we were in swarms of other theatre-goers) was less of a hassle than walking from the car to the theatre. Fei had an idea to go restaurant, but we had difficulty finding an appropriate place that was open. We parked once to look at a place (which turned out to be closed) and were again approached for money…anyway, we decided to just head back. Huat Chye was particularly conversant with Jia on the way back (the three of us were in the back seat). Subjects of discussion included unemployment in Shanghai, the occupations of their respective parents, the appearance of his younger sister and the “Palm” billboard that features a naked woman.

When we got back we had the idea to go to Late Night; Huat Chye declined because he had a paper to write for a Chinese politics class he’s taking. We were surprised because he had earlier said he had no pressing work (while we were driving around “the city”); figure he had just been being polite. Anyway, the four of us went to Late Night. We met some people we knew, including a couple of guys from Castaño who are going to be living in an unfavorably distant dorm next year because they entered the disability draw and did not have a good enough number to be housed in the favorable dorm that specializes to some extent to disabilities. After this, back to Lantana and soon to bed!