Yesterday, John and I had dinner with Anqian and his two friends Catherine and Mike. I’m connected to Anqian through Luiza, my good friend whom I met at FMF (where she volunteers!). Anqian was born in SH and stayed through high school. Afterwards, he moved to the US for college and graduate school. Now he works for Deloitte & Touche Tomatshu doing consulting/auditing. He hates SH. He told us that everyday when he leaves his apartment, he mutters to himself, “I hate Shanghai, I hate it so much. I have to leave.” Of course, it all makes sense, considering his dream is to be in Latin America, more specifically Lima, Peru. He was totally bummed out upon discovering that 1) John and I are not Latino 2) neither of us speak any Spanish. Anyway, he seems to have a really bad attitude about SH, but we can sort of relate. We too wanted to get out of our element… Every now and then, big change is good. Speaking of change, I received an email from my friend Roz the other day… she used to be the IT director at FMF. Last August, she sold her car, subletted her apartment, and took off to Australia and southeast Asia for four months. In her own words:
Much as it might just look like a big vacation, this trip was a big leap of faith for me. I quit my job, sold my car, sublet my apartment, and accepted the possibility of depleting 4 years of hard-earned savings. The big payoff? A renewed realization that world is a big, beautiful place filled with interesting people and hair-raising adventures. Here’s what this trip taught me: Take a chance; get outside of your comfort zone because that’s where you grow the most; and growing (though not always comfortable) makes you feel alive.
Roz is so on the money. Back to Anqian… such a funny guy. He wants to leave SH so badly, he’s refused to purchase any furniture or household essentials. He insists on having one 1 plate, 1 set of chopsticks, 1 bowl, and one cup. I wish him luck on his Peru endeavor.
My cousin Jia-Ying in Taiwan gave birth last week to her first child: a daughter. A cute little baby… I saw her via MSN Messenger. (MSN messenger is crazy popular here. Getting the MSN email goes hand in hand with passing out business cards.) No name selected yet, but I’m giving Jia-Ying my list of English favorites. At all costs, we have to avoid ridiculous names like Kitty Meo or Fish Yu (yeah, no joke: those are real names). We’re still looking for a Chinese name for John. He wants something super easy so I suggested Wang Da Zhong, the main character in all my Chinese school textbooks.