Thursday, October 16, 2003

I really miss China lately. The people, the food, the smell, the noise. It's really funny that sometimes the smell seems to have the strongest memory of all senses. At certain season, certain temperature, certain pressure in the air, the smell around me would trigger a wave of memories that hits me so hard, for a moment I forget where I am. A little conversation, a little laughs, some walking and people's faces... I would suddenly remember a lot of detail things I didn't know I have memory of. And that makes me sad, makes me want to go back to China.

I am going back to China with Steve next May. We are planning to visit Shanghai, XiAn, Yellow Mountain, HungZhou and of course Wuhan. I really miss walking around East Lake. Last time I didn't have chance to do that because of my incredible busy schedule. This time, no matter what, I am doing it.

I miss watching moon rise on East Lake, the line of golden water where the moon shines its path. The shadow of hills at horizon. Lovers' whisper near by, their faces layer a beautiful glow cast by the moon. Time is still. Nothing is too sharp, nothing is too busy. And the smell of water, the sound of gentle waves, rushing into my memory.

Yes, my first kiss happened by East Lake. He was a handsome boy; we were both 16 years old. And he was a very good kisser. Coming from Beijing, he was a much mature teenage than me. I was very nervous, had no idea what to expect. We were sitting side by side, holding hands. He gently pulled me closer to him, put his mouth on mine. I felt dizzy, and very embarrassed. Since I was sitting a little to far for a comfortable kissing position, I wanted to tell him to stop, so I can sit closer. But I was too shy to do so.

Then I heard my brother’s voice: “What are you doing?”

It will sound strange to many Americans, dating before college was strictly forbidden when I grow up in China. So when I didn’t come home at certain hour, my father would order my brother to go out and search for me. Knowing bank of East Lake was lovers’ paradise, my brother had no problem finding me.

My face was burning, my breath was short. I was angry and embarrassed at same time, but I kept my smile. I stood up quickly, couldn’t look at my brother’s face. My date was still sitting, shocked to see my smile. I left him without saying a word. My brother and I walked home, without talking to each other. Then just before we reached home, we started laughing, we laughed so hard that tears came out of eyes. How absurd is this whole event. I asked him: “Are you going to tell father?” He said: “No.” I am not sure if I ever told him that’s my first kiss though.

I often start my sentence by "when I first came to America" when I want to tell a story. That story often represents my culture shocks, my struggle to fit in. I think every Chinese comes to America go through very similar experience. Being the prince and princess of the family in China, it’s very hard to image how much hard labor work we have to do to make a living in America when first come to America. Almost every Chinese I talked to have waited in Chinese restaurants, and they all said that was the hardest and most humiliating job they ever had in their live. It was very strange to realize that the nice comfortable world of China and harsh cold world of America are both reality. Of course many Chinese no longer see America is harsh and cold anymore after they make better living, but I think the will the carry on at hard times, not to escape back to the familiar world of comfort is admirable quality presented by all these Chinese. And I am proud of myself for making it through.

Yes, I want to go back to China, where I had my first kiss, where I have most wonderful friends and family. The level of intimacy I shared with my friends in China is a lot more than I ever experienced here in American. Although I think it’s more of age issue than culture issue. Because I don’t think I can have same kind of intimacy with any of my old friends anymore.

It’s just a memory now. And I can’t make a memory into reality.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Lost in Translation, what a beautiful movie. I like it a lot! I have to disagree with my friend Leontine who claims that:” There is not nearly as much sexual tension as you might think. In fact, there is almost none.” I felt very strong sexual tension between the two characters. The fact they didn’t do anything about it made it even stronger. When they finally kissed at the end of the movie, a kiss that is more sexual than many lovemaking scenes I have seen in the movies.

I didn’t realize that the director of the movie is the girl in GodFather 3. I thought she was really pretty in that movie. She certainly has as much talent as her father.

Watching this movie makes me wanting to go back to China so bad.

By the way, Steve and I are going back to China next May. We are going to ShangHai, then go to climb Yellow Mountain, then we will go to XiAn to see the Terracotta Soldiers, then we are going back to Wuhan for few days. And then, we will fly back t ShangHai, take a train to go to SuZhuo, then back to ShangHai, back to U.S.A. with my parents. Quite a trip!!

I can’t wait.

Sorry that I haven’t wrote for a long time. I had a deadline to meet for a huge project at work; there is no time for me to do anything but to do the work for months! I have maybe one day of rest, and then a new huge project will start very, very soon. I don’t like it.

I had Lasik surgery two weeks ago. It didn’t go very well, since they under-corrected my right eye. And I can’t go back to surgery to get it corrected until three months later. So for three months, I will have to deal with uneven vision. It sucks!

Although it’s kind of nice that I don’t need contact lens anymore.

Friday, July 25, 2003

How China has changed! I was shocked when I saw the discussions of transsexuals in Chinese web sites. There was a guy who became a woman years ago, she wrote a book talking about her experience. The book is selling very well in China, and she even got calls from men want to be with her. Then, there is a Korean guy who became "the hottest and most beautiful transsexual in Asia", she has become a very hot singer and actress. See web site here for her photos. Chinese people are admiring her beauty knowing she used to be a man.

I am very, very happy about these changes of China. If China can be tolerant of gay and transsexuals, shouldn't conservatives in America be more ashamed of themselves? Ten years ago, homosexuality is considered disease in China, even I was a firm believer that gay people are mentally and physically ill back then. Ten years is relatively short time for this culture to change its attitude towards anything. I think gays in China should consider themselves lucky. Although I don't know if I will ever see gay marriage in China, since there is no religious issues there, you never know, it could happen someday.

Talked with my parents another day, they knew nothing about Hong Kong people marching on the streets, although they knew there is some trouble there. None of the Chinese news sites even mentioned the protests. Well, I can't ask too much. It seems like those political issues are the slowest to change. No surprise there.

After a scary incident and a trip to ER, I am feeling a lot better today. Thanks to all of you who are concerned about me. I am still waiting for more test results, hopefully there is no bad news coming my way.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

"Sex and City" is back!! New season, new love, same old charm. I don't remember exactly when I started to watch the show, but I am totally hooked. I was very lucky to see the very first episode, since then, I have been PVR two episodes that are aired every Friday night which are old season shows, then watch the new episode on Sunday night. It's interesting to watch the show this way since I know what happened before and what's happening right now.

The thing touches me most about the show is the friendship between the girls. They are always, always there for each other. They can whine to each other, yell at each other, fight hard with each other, but still, they always end up making up and stay the best friends. I have to say I am jealous about that.

I remember when I was in college back in China, 8 of us girls shared one tiny dorm room. We had such a good time together! We went shopping together (I don't think I have ever shopped alone without friends in China); we danced and sung together; we went to class and sit together; we would create poems together before we fall in sleep, we went to bathroom together and fought rats in our room nights after nights... Once a while we would have a picnic in the park, with our boyfriends. Boyfriends changed from time to time, but we 8 girls were always together. We even gave our dorm room a name: Red Sailboat. How I miss all that!

I have left all my friends and family in China. I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful job and house, but I don't have close friends anymore. And I don't know how to make new friends at this country. I think the best time to make friends is when we are all innocent, when we have no worries in the world. There is no hidden agendas, no judgmental, no jobs or so things to complicate relationship. I have passed that period, so are people I have contact with. Most people I hung out with are from my work, and I only like few of them, none of them I can whole heartily call friend. There are few friends that not from my work, but I rarely have chance to see them or even talk to them.

Anyway, I like the show and once showed it to Steve's sister, Sue. Sue lives in Toronto. Her best friend is a lesbian (Sue is not), and the best friend's friends are all from gay community. The show we saw together happen to deal with homosexuality. Carrie went to a gay party and kissed a girl for the first time. Carrie was very uncomfortable about it and she left the party early. Sue was really unhappy about this, she said that if Carrie is a sex columnist in New York, she shouldn't feel this way. In Sue's world, there is no gender, no race. Sue dated a guy for months, she told us his name, his job, his everything months before she mentioned that he is an Indian. She simply didn't think that's a big deal, there is no reason to even mentions it. One of Sue's girlfriends is dating a Chinese man, but the Chinese man was once a woman. That really shocked me. I can't believe this brave Chinese girl manage to pull that off with first generation immigrate Chinese family. I really like Canada!

Monday, June 23, 2003

I can't believe it, I am quoted by my friend Leontine in her blog!! I am so thrilled! She likes my little section about business travel. I hope she has a good time with London fish, and I hope her parents are doing OK coping with AZ fire.

I got my Harry Potter book this weekend. I was one of a million people pre-ordered the book through Amazon months ago. I was a little surprised at myself of how excited I was when I finally hold it in my hands. When I sat down on a comfortable chair in my loft opened the first page, I was delighted with the long, complicated sentences. J. K. Rowling has the talent to write progressively as Harry growing up. The opening of the first book is very, very different from this one. The first book she wrote for 11 years old child, now, she writes for 15 years old teenage. The structure of the sentence along with the hero's character got more complex. Harry is angrier and darker than before, just like what teenage starts feel on their 15th birthdays.

Steve and I saw The Hulk this weekend also. Ang Lee has said that he saw the Hulk as Greek Tragic hero, not just a normal comic character. Well, he certainly has done a good job creating a great story about father and son, father and daughter. Since Ang Lee tried very hard to explore the deeper relationship issues between the characters in this movie, they have fuller personality than other action movies. However, I didn't enjoy the action part of the movie. Maybe it's because I don't like the giant angry green man, I don't care about him as much. His super power startled me a bit; how can he jump/fly for such a long distance? How come the missiles got bounced back? My friend Scott thinks that the movie dragged too long before he turned green. I told him that the "dragging" part was my favor part, I can see so much Ang Lee's sensitive and elegant story telling skill in it. Once he turned green, I lost interest.

Also, I have realized the disadvantage of director playing important character in a movie. In two most recently movies I have seen, "Together" by Chen KaiGe, "The Hulk" by Ang Lee, both of them acted a important part in the movies.

In "Together", Chen KaiGe plays a cold, greedy music professor. I was so distracted by the fact that that's Chen KaiGe, and I was extra critical with his acting, I didn't enjoy the movie as much after he appeared. In "The Hulk", Ang Lee is the motion capture actor behind the hulk. Since he is a short middle age Chinese guy, I think somehow it made the hulk's movement less natural. Maybe they should have a bulky guy play the part.

Friday, June 20, 2003

When I first met them, they are only six weeks old, tiny little things. The pet store is having a two-for-one sale, so we got both of them. The girl in the store told us that they came from Mongolia, I instantly felt close to them.

Steve had been taking care of animals growing up, I on the another hand, never have. When I was little, most Chinese were struggling to feed their family. People were so hungry that they would eat anything, pets were a very remote and distant idea for them.

Gerbils are ideal for us since I am very allergic to cats and dogs, and Gerbils are easy to take care of.

They are from two different species, one has white fur and pink eyes, and another has brown fur and dark eyes. The girl in pet store told us that they had been grow up together since they were born, so they got along very well. Sure enough, look at them cleaning each other, cuddle together while sleeping... wait a minute, what are they doing?! Hey, guess what? Our two boys are more than just friends; they are gay lovers! So we named them Mike and Allen.

Mike is the brown one. He is always happy, love to explore new things. He is on the wheel a lot, and runs faster than Allen. Allen loves to eat, slower to except new things than Mike. When they are fighting to get on the wheel, Allen always gives up first. But if food is involved, Allen never gives up. Allen loves to nap, Mike loves to watch our big screen TV.

I enjoyed them a lot in the beginning. I spoiled them so much that not only I fed them grape everyday, I would peel the skin off for them. Then I got lazy, didn't peel the skin off anymore. Mike got on my hand, sniffed a bit, immediately found out that it's same thing I fed them only had skin on, and he took it. Allen sniffed and sniffed, wondering where was the delicious thing I gave them everyday, then jump off my hand with disappointment. It took me days to convince him to take the grape. Funny thing was, he still refused to eat the skin, only ate the meat. Months later, he finally started to eat the whole thing.

Months passed, they have grown to adult size. Mike got sick once (I think he was sick because he was not active for several days), when he got well, he doesn't take food from my hand anymore. But Allen still has passion in food, when I feed them, he would rush over and bites on the grape as hard as he can. However, sometimes he doesn't aim very well, bites on my finger in stead, even made me bleed once.

I think I did an OK job taking care of them, maybe spoiled them a little too much. They really, really hate being taking out of cage, scared of outside world. I am a little worried that if I have kids, they will be the same way.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

For the first time ever, I will be a business traveler. My company is sending me to Rochester, NY for business next week. Don't know why, but I am excited about it. I guess the fact that some people are so eager to work with me, and they are willing to pay for my travel, somehow proves my importance. I am like a little fish, swimming around at a little corner in a little corporate tank for years, finally have a chance to visit another tank. Even though the fish will be the same no matter which tank you visit, but still, something is happening in my dull corporate life, right?

At lunchtime today, one of my co-worker admits that she starts to have doubts about war on Iraq. She dislikes Bush as much as I do, but she supported the war and we fought almost everyday before the war started. I have to say I am happy about this. I am the only person in my circle that opposes the war, opposes anti-French sentiment. After fighting with everybody for a while, I was frustrated and gave up fighting with them. Now, I finally have somebody to talk about how Bush screwed up the whole world at work again. And having her on your side is a very good thing. Because when she believes in something, she will go to extreme to prove you wrong. I don't mind she rip Bush supporters in pieces :)

I hope that more and more Americans will realize how much we have been lied to. This lie is far more costly than Clinton's little lie about his sex scandal. The sex scandal didn't cost American soldiers' lives, Iraq people's lives; didn't cost and continue to cost billions of billions dollars on a fictitious (I learn this word from Michael Moore) reason and hope. If Clinton was impeached for his lie, shouldn't Bush be sent to jail for his lie? The whole world have become far more unsafe, unhappy place since he became president. The economy is still in deep shit, people around the world hate us more than ever, middle east still has no hope for peace, North Korean is confused why after the nice lady Albright's visit, America acts like it doesn't exist. Still the hawks in the administration wants go after Syria and Iran, still millions of American think Bush is one of the best president ever, still Democrats can't pull themselves together…

I am just going to do my part. I will continue to talk to people at my lunch table. Hopefully with her help, I can make people in my circle realize these things.

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