Christmas came late to China!
When I woke up this morning I opened my window to see giant clumps of snow clinging to the tree branches. I was so taken by surprise that I imagined I was back at home waking up on Christmas day.
I haven’t seen so much snow, the wet and heavy type, throughout my whole time being here. In December there was only now and then a light dusting, so the change of scenery is quiet something.
There is also the little incident that happened yesterday that when put together make me feel that indeed Christmas did come to me and my roommate.
Yesterday I came home from class just in time to run into my roommate headed out. She hurriedly motioned me to follow her, and having nothing else better to do, I did. I asked her, with as simple questions as I could, where we were going and I couldn’t make heads or tails of the answer. She tried a bit to use Chinese, but eventually fell back into Mongolian. It was a bit cold outside so I just rubbed my hands together trying to keep warm.
After walking halfway through campus she stopped suddenly at a building and motioned me to follow her in. The lady at the front desk looked questioningly at us and all I could was give a puzzled look back. Often mistaken for Chinese herself, my roommate unknowingly causes a lot of disruption and then I have to smooth it over, the best I can, in broken sentences. Luckily we didn’t go too far because right around the corner was a giant black duffle bag that was obviously meant for us. She then told me “我的朋友回国了给我们很多东!” Turns out her friend had returned home and had left us all of her kitchen supplies. This was great news other then the fact that there were only two of us and one giant bag. We awkwardly carried it out of the building and onto the sidewalk.
This is when my misery began.
For some indescribable reason my roommate decided to take the longest way possible to our dorm. Not only that she refused to walk in a straight line, and instead was constantly pulling us into scooters, bikes, and other inanimate objects. I several times had to put down the bag and ask her what in the world she was doing. Patiently she would stare at me, with her big dark eyes, and when I was finished pick up the bag and do the exact same thing over again.
This was one of those times when I really wished she could understand English. Usually the language barrier isn’t a big deal for us, I just imagine she is saying and thinking all sort of nice things about me, but for today it was a hassle. Not only that, but we didn’t run into a single person I knew well enough to guilt them into sharing the burden (I really don’t see the purpose in making these friendships when they don’t come with guarantee clauses of mandatory help).
By the time we got to the dorm my hands were numb and I could only turn left.
Once in the privacy of our room, we opened up the duffle bag and equally divided the contents in half. I was bestowed with new utensils, silverware and a kettle. Combined we have enough supplies to create a small dinner and that’s not including food storage. Over all it was worth the trek and I was very happy to get new kitchen supplies. Next time though, it wouldn’t hurt to have another set of hands and perhaps a translator.
2013 年 3月20日