Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Then and Now 59 - Three Musketeers

Then and Now 59 - The Three Musketeers
Time: Mid-2007, single and at my apartment.

At the main station, I was having lunch and waiting to meet up with a friend, Andi. I got a call on my cell after a few minutes, and she let me know that she had brought along two of her friends to come meet me so we could have a long walk, and a kind of mobile English-localspeak language cafe. I said sure, and soon enough, all three of them had shown up.

Andi was an energetic girl, clearly the leader of the three girl band, and we spent a lot of time talking in both languages over the next few hours. Her friend Apple was very, very untrained in English, and every time I tried to talk to her in either language, she would give short answers then go back to talking to Andi, so she was basically off my radar for the whole trip.

The last girl, Piper, was my favorite of the three. She was really nice, thin and cute, had great skill in both languages, and loved to smile. She was also really shy, so I had to approach her several times to get to know her better.

After we had introduced ourselves and talked for a while, we all went out to the train to go to the enormous building that I had been to in Then and Now 7, which wasn't terribly far away. We got out of the train and took a walk around a movie district, trying to find a place with a flick we wanted to catch, but none of us found anything interesting (actually, I saw a couple of guy movies I wanted to see, but I decided not to bore the ladies with them). After that, Andi took us to a furniture shop to look around a bit, but there wasn't much more there besides some couches and toilets. While inside, the three taught me how to say "scary" and "scared."

As we walked outside, I saw that it was starting to get dark, so it was about time for us to go to the building and look around. I took the opportunity to let Andi and Alicia talk to one another, and tried to work my magic on Piper in the meantime, and though she smiled a lot through our jokes and sharing experiences from our lives in this country, I still wasn't sure if she was starting to like me or not, or just being polite.

Soon enough, we were at the top of the building and looking out on the world. Unlike the time I came with Andrew, I only got to see the night view, but I still had an excellent time up there. I looked out at the spot where there were thousands of cars traveling up a wide road and shadowed buildings blinking with red aircraft lights behind them, and I got that rush of euphoria once more: I was seeing something most other people wouldn't, and the world had so much to explore and have fun with. I took some pictures of us four up there and talked some more about my travel plans and their schooling, and finally, we headed back down.

Outside, we walked with a huge rush of people going into and out of the building, and we ducked onto a slightly smaller street to find our way back to the train station to get home. We walked past the tall fences and the protective overhangs of several construction sites, all looking out onto the busy streets.

A minute or two later, we passed by two foreigners walking with a few locals, what seemed to be a tour group headed towards the building we had just come out of. As they passed by, I said hello to them and gave them a cute half-smile. One of them ignored me and looked straight ahead, and the other looked at me for a split second before jerking his head ninety degrees to the side to pretend to look at something (the "foreigner fakeout"). I scoffed and shook my head as I passed by, then went back to talking to Piper.

At the station, we all said goodbye and I went back to my apartment. I got on my laptop there and emailed Andi, asking if she could pass me Piper's email, and she did. It was a complete loser move to ask so indirectly, and it probably explained why Piper and I only emailed once or twice before she stopped, then she slipped my mind. Andi and I talked for a while, but after my email went down with the host it was located on, I lost contact with her, too.

But I didn't feel bad: I was still good friends with several beautiful girls like May, Nell and Yvonne, I had dozens of platonic friends to treat to a fun night on the town (whose information was stored on my computer or phone), and there were people emailing me every day to get to know me, so there were always new friends to make, and new experiences and prospects on the horizon.

At least, before I got married.

As for today...

I woke up at 9:00.
I played video games.
My wife and son woke up, so I turned off the game.
I watched TV.
I played video games with my son.
I prepared teaching lessons.
I played video games.
I went to work.
I taught students.
I came home.
I cleaned up the floor and table.
I folded and put away dry clothes.
I did the dishes.
I surfed the net.
I played video games with my son.
I slept.

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