Once Upon A Time in China Part 1 – The Crying Boy

bya Gabrielle at 8:32 PM

During my year and three day stint in China, there were a lot of things that happened that I never got around to blogging about. So, I want to take this time to go a little retro and return to those memories before they leave me forever. Some may be long and drawn out affairs, while others may just be a few lines. I don’t know how many memories I will be able to muster up, so this project may only last a week or so. Hopefully, once I start writing, more and more memories will return to me. They may be more meaningful to me, but perhaps you’ll be able to enjoy them, too. Well, without further adieu, let’s jump head first into a random memory. This one is a bit funny, crazy and perhaps a bit sad, depending on how you look at it.

On no particular day in Fuyang, Phil and I started down our 118 stairs, 20 of which were between our bedroom and the front door, to venture out for the day. We were down about one and half stories, when a little Chinese boy ,about the age of five, ran into us on his way up. He stopped dead in his tracks, took one look at us, and turned back the way he’d come at about four or five times the speed. Before we could blink, he was gone. Phil and I looked at each other to make sure we weren’t wearing scary Halloween masks, and then continued our descent. We were laughing. Neither one of us had ever had such an encounter before.

A few stories down, we ran into a young Chinese woman with a rather confused look on her face. It turned out that she could speak English, a little at least, and was on her way to our apartment to visit our roommate, Michael. She said that her son had just ran past her. She called to him a few times, but there was no reply. We said goodbye and down the stairs we went.

When we got to the base of the staircase we didn’t see the boy. It was as though he had just disappeared. After a moment or so of looking around, Phil took a look to the right of the stairs and spotted him. The boy was white, tears were streaming down his face and he was clutching a dirty, rusty pipe as though someone had just opened a hatch into outer space and if he let go, he’d be sucked out.

“Oh, it’s okay,” I said. “I’m sorry.” We both took a step closer to him. We were only trying to comfort and show him that there was nothing to be afraid of, but apparently, it didn’t work. The boy started wailing and more tears poured from his eyes. We got down in a crouch, thinking that if we were down at his level it may help. It didn’t. He wailed and cried some more, clutching even tighter to the pipe. A few moments later his mother appeared and tried to get him to come with her. He wouldn’t budge. Finally, we figured that we weren’t helping and decided to back off. Still in view of us, he refused to let go of his pipe. His mother continued to try and coax him back up the stairs, but he just wouldn’t move. We apologized and decided to get going. We felt very bad, but a part of our souls just couldn’t stop laughing as we turned the corner and went on with our day.

I of course didn’t have a camera at the time, but the boy looked something like this.
“Get away from me, White Devils!”

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I Don’t Need No Job . . .

bya Gabrielle at 11:28 AM

I’ve got a sugar daddy!

If I had the software, I would so replace this guy’s face with Phil’s. Heh.

This sugar daddy isn’t the kind that will buy me a Mustang at a moments notice or a string of bling if I sniffle and fake a tear, but the kind that will be able to afford a trip to the big dollar theater for two instead of the shady, gang infested $1.50 one, at least until I get a job. 

As of last Thursday, Phil is no longer unemployed.  The Department of Revenue gave him a call and offered him the job that he was hoping for and he took it, of course.  He was so excited that he took me and his brother out for dinner.  I know, we thought it should have been the other way around, too, but he wouldn’t listen when we protested.  He went a little crazy with his new found wealth and bought himself a full rack of ribs.  I imagine that I would have done something similar if I had just landed a job with the State.  You can’t beat the benefits that they offer you.

On a good note, I have another job interview this coming Tuesday with a different department at USC.  It is in the employment office and I would be a human resource specialist.  It’s not much better than being an administrative assistant, but it’s a job, and it will pay my bills.   That is all that matters at this point, I guess.  I feel like I am a server drought, a job drought.  Perhaps, I should go outside and dance or something, like some people do when it hasn’t rained in awhile.  Maybe that will bring some luck my way.  And some rain. We haven’t had that in good long while either.

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I’m Famous!(Long Overdue)

bya Gabrielle at 1:43 AM

Well, not really, but I can now say that my face graces a website, a few million brochures, a hand full of billboards, and even a few posters. The best part is that none of them are porn related at all!

These pictures are a bit old, but they were a part of a post I started and never finished while I was in China. I thought you guys might get a laugh out of them. In Xiamen, we couldn’t go far without seeing our face somewhere. I kept waiting for a stalker to appear, but the only thing that came close was a random taxi driver that knew exactly where we lived without saying a word.  It totally freaked me out.

If you want to see the website, you can click here.  There is an English version, but the last time I checked, there wasn’t any riveting reading or anything.

A picture of the article that was in the newspaper the day after our pot luck dinner. I made Beanie Weenies, and everyone seemed to enjoy them. One attendee even asked for the recipe, so that she could try making it herself.  I’m in that crowd of people somewhere.  Can you see me?  Oh, instead of taking their food back to a table, all the students and their friends stood around the table the entire time.  It was rather comical, really.

These are two of the brochures that the school would hand out to prospective students.
The small yellow one advertised summer school courses.
The bigger blue one advertised all of the courses offered at the school.

The school purchased several bus stop billboard spaces and slapped our pretty faces on them.  Sometimes we’d be standing there and one of the local people would look at the billboard and then us and then back to the billboard.  They then would point and smile and sometimes laugh.

Same bus stop billboard, but without Phil or myself standing in front of it.

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Cillan Goat Berry Pie

bya Gabrielle at 8:08 PM

As a little girl, I had your typical girl dreams.  I wanted to be a princess, a magical enchantress, and super fabulous hero with a secret identity – all of which were inspired by She-ra, quite possibly my favorite cartoon of all time.   Who am I kidding – it is.  She-ra may not have been your typical wand wielding wizard, but she could talk to animals, heal the dying, and her sword could do all sorts of neat sparkly stuff.  I mean, her sword could freaking turn her horse into a unicorn with wings!  That’s pretty magical if you ask me.  I haven’t exactly abandoned these dreams.  I’m still hoping that something really amazing will happen and one day I’ll wake up, own a kingdom, be able to cast fireballs from my finger tips, and be known and loved by millions as, I don’t know, Babe-a-realla!

Until that day comes though, there are a few other dreams I’d like to tackle.  They are a bit more reasonable and sorta reside in the realm of possibilities . . . at least two of the three do, anyway.  Hey, as Meatloaf says, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”

My dream is to own a farm, but not just any farm.

On this farm, Cillian Murphy will be my farm boy – Princess Bride style.
“Farm boy, will you fetch me that . . . pitcher?”
“As you wish.”

I will have a herd of billy goats.  They will mow my grass.  And Cillian will milk them.
“Milk that goat for me, farm boy.”
“As you wish.”

And on this farm, I will have acres and acres of berries.
All sorts of berries.
Blackberries.  Raspberries.  Blueberries.
I’ll bake pies and Cillian will sell them to all the local folk – all the while saying,
“As you wish.”

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bya Gabrielle at 9:34 PM

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” One of the grey haired men sitting in front of me asked.

“I knew you were going to ask that question,”  I replied with a giggle.  “Well, I’ve always wanted to answer that question by saying I see myself herding sheep in Ireland.”

The above statement is not from a story that I’ve written or a joke that I received in my email.  It is part of the dialogue that occurred during the interview I had this morning with two men from the department of English Programs for Internationals at the University of South Carolina.  Gee, that was a mouthful.  No, I was not trying to sabotage the first interview that I’ve had since I got back from China.  I was simply trying to show my personality.  Thankfully, both men sitting in front of me realized it was a joke and laughed right a long with me.

The grey haired man chuckled.  “Hey, that’s not such a bad thing.”  For a brief moment, I think he tried picturing what it would be like to herd sheep in Ireland.  He had that look in his eye.

So, yeah, I finally landed an interview this morning after applying for something like 50 jobs.  It could be more than that, but I’ve lost count of how many I’ve applied for since I’ve been home.  The only reason that I got this interview is because I called them up twice asking about the status of my application. If I hadn’t of done that, I don’t think I ever would have heard from them. I know that you are supposed to show interest by calling, but Phil hasn’t really called anyone after applying for his jobs and he’s had 4 four interviews.  I guess people just don’t find my resume interesting enough or something.  Although, I have no idea how I could make my resume any more interesting than it is now.  I mean, I went from managing One Eared Cow Glass, to reading meters for Bermex, Inc., to teaching English to Chinese students in China.  If my boss at a Taste of the South hadn’t been such a jerk and I had stayed there longer than a month, I could have added pecan packer to that crazy list.  And if it hadn’t happened so long ago, I could have included dog washer, too.  How could someone not notice my resume!?  ; )

So, hopefully, in the next 7 – 10 business days, someone will give me a call and say, “Congratulations, you are the lucky winner in this edition of Russian Resume Roulette! When can you start?!”

I guess I can have hope.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

And my toes.

As well as my eyes.

And every hair on my head.

God, I am such a sick, sad, desperate soul.

I may be desperate, but I’m not quite this desperate . . . yet.  ; )

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Happy Birthday To Me

bya Gabrielle at 7:38 PM

It’s my birthday today.
I’m 26.
I’m jobless.
Can you imagine what my wish will be when I blow out my candles on my cake?

There are few candles missing on my jpeg cake.

Today is also Cookie Monster’s birthday.
I don’t know how old he is.
My old Sesame Street calendar only tells me the date – not the year.
I imagine that he is a wee bit older than myself.
For the record, he is my favorite Sesame Street character and
I know he could beat up that little red twerp, Elmo, with his hands tied behind his back.

The coolest blue dude in the entire universe.

And for those of you who did not know – today is also the Day of the Dead(Día de los Muertos).  I guess if you can’t be born on Halloween, this is the next best day.  If you want to read more about this holiday click here.  I’d like to go down to Mexico and participate one year.  I think it would be a very interesting experience to say the least.

Day of the Dead Cat

For my birthday, I am going to veg at Phil’s parent’s lake house, where I will fish(catch and release – I know, what’s the point?) and watch She-ra until I believe that I am He-man’s twin sister and start screaming “For the honor of Greyskull!”.  She-ra was awesome.  One of these days I’m going to buy a wig and prance around town as She-ra for Halloween.

How many girls out there wanted to be She-ra when they grew up?
I know at least one.

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