My first trip to China was last August; rather than Kai coming home after his first rotation, I got to come visit him instead. Moving here was not even a thought at this point, and my knowledge of China was pretty limited.
I especially didn’t know any Chinese; Mandarin, Shanghainese or otherwise.
Kai assured me that a simple hello or thank you would get you a long way. I conquered ni hao with ease, making me think this Chinese thing was going to be rong yi (easy). But no sooner had I convinced myself I was a natural linguist, I was very much struggling with xie xie (thank you). C-eh? See-E? Sy-ee? She-eh?
Out of the blue, Kai asked: “What is your friend’s name that we did the $5 Walmart challenge* with in Lincoln?”
“That’s Chey! You know that!” I said, thinking Kai might have early onset Alzheimers.
“What is his name again?”
“CHEY!” Great, Alzheimer’s and deafness.
“Yep, that’s how you say thank you in Chinese.”
“Now put it all together.”
I’ve known Chey for almost 15 years. I met him when I was an exchange student in Nebraska. We were the best of friends for my second and final semester there. We’ve stayed in touch over the years, with some years being a little more barren on the communications front than others. But one thing is always certain when we do speak: conversation is never forced or insincere.
Not long after I hit the publish button on my previous post, an email from Chey turned up:
“I don’t know if this would be what you want from your posts being gone, but I have all of ’em on my iPad like [the last post before Shantasia died] below. If you want them, let me know and I can email them to you.”
Ok, so I might have played down just how ok I was when I found out all of my posts were gone. Truthfully, I was a wee bit sad. So imagine just how freakin’ excited I was that Chey could magically access them all via Google Reader. Can’t imagine? Here’s a hint: I just about wet myself!
So Chey, I really only have one thing to say for emailing me and letting me know copies of my posts could be retrieved: Chey chey!
And, a big ‘chey chey’ to my friend Jen back in Bris Vegas, who also offered to send me the posts she could access on Google Reader. I gave her the promise of red wine when I visit in December and she said she would happily do it for no wine. Thanks Jen – you’re a star. Also, check out her blog: Paddington Pantry – she is one cool cookie.
*Please don’t ask me what the $5 Walmart Challenge is.