French & Global and International Studies major
Beijing Language and Culture University
Beijing, China, Academic Year 2016-2017
Okay! So! I had my first formal date today!
Actually, it was this evening. It gets dark practically at 3 now. But anyway, I seem to recall one of the prompts being something about ‘how you maintain a long distance relationship with your boyfriend.’ Since I don’t have a boyfriend, and just met a guy, I take that as an excuse to babble.
So I met this guy and he’s from Nepal, and he’s one of my roommate’s classmates. I actually met him three weeks ago. We met at a pretty weird dive and ended up talking through a great deal of noise for a while; then we hung out in a park, and long story short, I got mad at him for not being my love lorn Highschool crush and stopped talking to him after that.
My new love life in a nut shell: not talking to people because they aren’t my friends from Highschool.
Well, other long story short (and a lot of coffee in the meantime), I forgave him for that and apologized for a jerk ass text I sent him about his religion. Then I invited him out to dinner. We met in the same park and went to the restaurant I go to whenever I eat diner late, which has a name…Maratong, is how my roommate says it, probably spelled wrong…and he got something off the menu, which I have never done, because I always get hot pot there.
He was very mature about the text and my apology—he is about 23 or 25, I don’t remember; he told me last time we saw each other. He doesn’t look that though. Aside from some slight facial hair, he looks about my age.
During that last meeting we went on this really long, semi-surreal walk around the Campus perimeter and then out a bit into the city; it was this weird hike at night and we talked about a great many things which I have written down in other places, and will not write down here. But one of the things that he told me was his religion; he is a Hindu…but not a very serious Hindu. So when I got upset, I made a comment on this, and it was uncalled for. I was surprised by how little he was upset by it—both at the time and later, now, when I decided to apologize. It didn’t seem to faze him at all. If he got upset, it must have been alone in his room.
So anyway, his name is Gejandra Totally…I don’t know how to spell his last name, but that’s exactly what it sounds like: totally. But when you say it you tap your tongue more, and make it sound silly because you didn’t grow up speaking Nepalese. And he’s from Nepal, which just so happens to be the home of Mt. Everest. Nepalese people have dark, Indian-like skin. They look like people from India, basically, and to my ears, their accents sound similar. But the Nepalese accent is missing something from it that makes the Indian accent unique…I knew a lot of so called ‘Brown kids’ in highschool. I’m trying to remember their voices and compare them with my new friend’s voice…I wouldn’t know how to describe the difference. Hm. Anyway he comes from one of the dry regions there, and the food is apparently so uniformly spicy that ‘sweet’ is a new flavor to him.
Literally, we had rice and chicken with a fried egg on the side and some random cooked carrots and cabbage. Typical Chinese fare; awesome, savory meat, but no flavor to the vegetables. And he’s getting excited about Sichuan food, and telling me everything but the fried egg on his plate is too sweet. I gave him my egg and didn’t finish my rice; I’ve not been eating like I should, and I’d already had a large lunch, and plus I was nervous, so my stomach was giving me cramps from eating so much.
And in conclusion, I’m hoping we might study together sometime. That’s pretty much the paramount ideal of my hopes and dreams—a friend who can also make a good study partner. And if it moves beyond that…like if we don’t fall into the friend zone by accident, and repeat what happened with my lovelorn highschool crush…then that would be entirely more of a reward from the Universe than my bad karma and I deserve.
I just realized I should be more shocked and awed that I’m dating outside my own culture.
I’m not, really. I mean, it’s cool and all, but my friends have been from other cultures ever since I was put into ATYP. I was always friends with the Brown kids and the Asians. To the point where I must have started thinking I was too cool for ordinary white kids, and started having an attitude problem.
That’s what started this whole language learning thing…and it hasn’t impressed anyone yet. But for some reason I still stick to it, laboring under the delusion that one day I might find a suitable job. Hell. It was really just to make friends all along. Stupid of me to forget that.
Well, I apologize if this has been all over the place, but at least it’s been pretty short. I came home after we said our goodbyes and parted ways for the evening in kind of a haze, and then sat down at my desk and finally started the vocabulary wall of sticky-note flash cards I’ve been meaning to create since three days ago. Which proves that friends are the only real fuel for living.
That’s my message, to all you other cringing, crawling loners who may or may not also be reading. I can’t imagine anyone else reading this blog except people who’d identify with me.
Get off your ass and away from your computer and go make a friend. Just one. Then make friends out of their friends. Convert all of humanity into undying loyal love slaves. Easy as cake.