When I went to Jon and Kris' wedding, I was also invited to go to a party on an island with them tonight. Kris works for a large newspaper company and has a good position. I don't know what she really does for work, but I do know she covers the auto page which means if there is any event for cars, she needs to go cover it. Therefore, I think Kris goes to a lot of parties and events. Also she knows a lot of people because of that. "It's my good friend's ex-boyfriend’s party." She said to me. (Yes. Chinese people have very complicated human relations. "More friends you have, the easier the road gonna be" as Chinese people usually say.)
Since the party is about 40 minutes away from my parents' apartment, I asked my cousin to go with me. This cousin name is Baobao (nickname). He was the one who suppose to pick me up 2 nights ago. And he wanted to buy me dinner 'cause he messed up the date. And Kris invited me to join dinner with them as well. I called Baobao and he came to pick me up.
It was about 4:30 p.m and the dinner is not until 6 p.m. We decided to go to Baobao's apartment which I never been to. Baobao’s apartment is located at north side of the city, close to the 3rd ring. Most of the young people buy the new apartments outside of 2nd ring because it is more affordable. The apartment complex is very nice which includes guarded gate, community gardens, play ground, elevators and so on. Baobao’s apartment has a nice kitchen, huge living room, one master bedroom with bathroom, two other rooms which he uses one as guest room and another as office, another bathroom, a storage/laundry room and a big balcony. In his living room, there is a huge flat screen TV with some kind of Chinese system which not only allow you to watch TV channels but also an internet broadcasting station. I sat on his big soft sofa and suddenly felt sleepy. I was sure the jet lag hit me ‘cause I felt a headache as well. So I told Baobao that I need to take a nap. He went to the guest bedroom and actually changed the whole bed/pillows sheets for me even I told him that wasn’t necessary. Baobao is my favorite cousin out of total 6 of them. He is mature, street smart, caring and well behaved. He has a very close relationship with my mom since my mom always tried to take care of him after his parents got divorced more than 25 years ago. Maybe because of that, Baobao likes me more than other cousins too.
I slept about 30 minutes before getting up for dinner. We drove from north part of Chengdu city to almost the center of the city to meet Jon and Kris. The dinner was at a famous tourists street called “Kuan Zai Xiang Zi” which means wide and narrow alleyway. This alleyway is about 500 meter long (about 0.3 mile) and it has been in my city since the year 1718. Most of the buildings and alleyways are kept as how they were 300 years ago when the rest of city has been changed unrealizable. Of course the dinner is the famous hot-pot! Jon, kris, Jon’s stepmom, stepsister were already there and there was another Chinese girl who is Kris’ friend names Jia-jia. I was still in kind of jet lag and had no appetite at all. 20 minutes into the dinner, I felt so bad and thought that I couldn'’t make it to the party tonight. But the strangest thing happened about 15 minutes later. Out of nowhere, I suddenly felt awake. No more sleepy feeling and the headache was gone too. I felt good. It was so strange. But the day didn’t turn brighter after that. It actually became a hot mess.
After dinner, Jon and Kris needed to drop of Jon’s stepmom and stepsister to their hotel. Then, they have to go back to Kris' place to change outfit for the party. Since Kris’ friend Jia-jia knows where Kris lives, we decided to let her ride with us to Kris’ place. 3 of us arrived at Kris’ place and waited at a nearby Starbucks for them to get ready. It took them a while to do that (about a hour or more). Finally, they came and there is another car following them. Turn out, they had another group of friends who were coming with us. And Jia-jia decided to lead us to the party and she claimed she had been there once and know how to get there. So, we led two cars and hit the road.
Unfortunately, Jia-jia had no idea how to get to the party. She thought she knew, but she doesn’t. We got lost at southern part of the city, outside of 3rd ring. No one really been there before, and no one’s GPS could found the place. We were cycling the highway and local roads for more than 2 hours!!! Baobao was driving the car and Jia-jia was telling him where to go, so after a hour of wrong direction, Baobao was stressed out and so did I. Everyone else were in the same boat with us. We were all upset at Jia-jia who said so surly that she knows the way. Finally, at 11 p.m, our car found where the party at. But Kris and Jon just had enough with the mess and decided to go home. At that point, we saw many cars leaving from the party and knew its coming to the end. We decided to go home as well. So we dropped jia-jia off when she saw an empty taxi head to the city.
I already decided to stay over at Baobao’s place tongith since his wife isn’t home. Baobao and I drove back to his place and he took me to a night food restaurant for something to eat ‘cause he saw me almost ate nothing at dinner. At this point, it was almost 1 a.m, the night food which we call “Xiao Ye” restaurant was almost full. People in groups were just sitting outside in an empty plaza, eating, drinking beer and chatting. “This place is well known by its duck head.” Baobao said. OK, duck head isn’t too strange for me, but I haven’t had it for over 10 years. “4 duck heads!” Baobao said to the waitress while she gave us dishes wrapped by plastic and thin plastic gloves. The duck heads came. Well, not that good looking. I put on my gloves and started to eat. Not too bad of taste, but there was almost nothing to eat. Baobao had to show me where the good meat at. It was actually very relaxing sitting outside of an open filed during a middle summer night. There is no wind or wet air. We just sat there and chatting. Baobao was telling me about his job. He is a police officer.
When we finally went back to his place, it was over 2 a.m. But I was wide awake, thanks to the jet lag. And Baobao said he wasn’t sleepy either. So we sat in his living room with TV on and talked for almost 3 hours. It has been long time for me to knowing what happened in the family. Baobao told me a lot of things happened in the family in this past 16 years. Some good, mostly bad. The dramas. I was happy to know those things. I have heard some stories from my mom and dad before but they all had their own vision. Now, Baobao added the 3rd vision to it which made the stories more real and complete. Then, we talked about his marriage. I gave him some advice on relationships (not marriage ‘cause I am still new to this too), and hope those advices can help him make future decisions. I know sometimes it is hard to make the best decisions because of circumstances and with complicated Chinese human relations, it doesn’t make anything easier. I just hope Baobao can find a way to have the life that he wants.
We talked until 5 a.m and finally Baobao had to go to bed. That was when I also decided to go lay down. I must be tired because I did fall in sleep soon. 3rd day is done. 58 days to go.