I Made a New Old Friend

While riding back from San Jose to Rosemead with the usual Vietnamese bus company Xe Do Hoang, I didn’t think choosing to sit next to an elderly woman would gain me a new friend. In the million times I’ve ridden this bus, I have yet to ever make a friend. Well, I had a good conversation with a woman who called me “hefty” once.

One ticket from San Jose to Rosemead: $40. Making a new old friend?: Priceless.
One ticket from San Jose to Rosemead: $40. Making a new old friend?: Priceless.

**Side story: During my freshman year in high school, I was able to make conversation in Cantonese with a kind middle-aged woman. We got to talking about our families and what not, and it was nice to be able to share life on a 6 hour bus ride home. She then proceeded to ask me if my family was from Beijing, and I told her no. I asked her why she guessed that, and she told me that people from Beijing tend to be hefty. Thanks, friend.

Helen is her English name, and Hai is her Vietnamese name. Hai Pham. My roommate Miss Jessica Pham would appreciate that. She’s 68-years-old, with five children ranging from the ages of 22 to 49. Yes, a big gap but she’s satisfied nonetheless. I later found out her son, also 22-years-old, goes to UCLA for Dentistry, and that he also lives right in Westwood. In order to protect his identity, all I will say is that he also has only five letters in his first and last name together. Soul mate?

Hai kept pouring flattery over me as she told me repeatedly that I was a “sweet girl,” that she felt like she knew me for a long time, and that she “loved me.” She even gave me her fan and said for me to keep as a gift from her and also in remembrance every time I used it. I was a little surprised, but I accepted her gift gratefully. I guess I’m part of her, would you say, “fan” club. Hahahahahaha…no? Sorry. I definitely enjoyed her company and conversation more than anything. She reminds me of my Great Aunt May, with the same spunk and pretty good handle on the English language.

I was invited to go to her house some time whenever I was in the Santa Ana area, and she even gave me her contact info. Both home and cell number, and her home address. She told me delicious food was only a phone call away, as she promised me she made a mean North Vietnamese style fish. I was excited to take that offer up, and am seriously considering doing so.

I gave her my cell phone number, and that if she was ever in Westwood visiting her son, she should give me a call.


Hey, I’m not an ageist. 68 or 16, as Camera Obscura put it, “I need all the friends I can get.” So if you want to give it a try, get on the Xe Do Hoang yourself.

Did I just advertise a Vietnamese Bus Company as a new way of networking? Oh dear.

This is Amy Hu signing off for October 3rd, 2009.

Finally, an Interview: A Job Hunter’s Dream

I, Amy Hu, finally got a job interview. After sending out over twenty-five resumes, I succeeded in getting a response to come in. And I must say, the session went rather well.


I applied for a part-time office administration job as a helping hand to the Assistant Head of School, Ms. Joan Crawford (haha not the actress of course, or I would be working with a rotting corpse, though working with a zombie would be thrilling and she’d be a beautiful one) at Pacifica Christian High School, located right on Wilshire and 18th in Santa Monica.

This job was made for me. 20 hours a week, $15/hr, and a ten minute commute. The logistics is just a part of it–the school’s vision and mission is something I am definitely all for, and they’re heart for high school students is amazing. Joan told me how they even started the school, and it made me want this position even more. Eight educators all with prestigious teaching careers, giving up their stable and well-paying jobs in order to pursue what God was calling them to–to start this school five years ago. It wasn’t easy, but they trusted that this was what they were meant to do, and everything worked out in a miraculous way. Now with 160 students and many established  programs, they are an amazing and growing community.

Joan was interested in my journey to faith and my passions for media and video production. I couldn’t have asked for easier questions, and for her to actually want to hear who I was and what I did was really encouraging. This was definitely not your usual job interview. I was able to share passionately about these things, and she definitely was captivated. That’s always a good sign when someone like me tends to be the most verbose being you come across.

The only thing that threw me off was when she asked me what sort of challenges I come across in administration. I stumbled a little bit, and shared about how they way I organize things could use some work, but I always am grateful and open to people giving me better ideas to do so. I hope that was sufficient, it seemed so at the time.

She informed me there were a handful of applicants, and that I would hear back from her next week. So if you can, say a quick prayer for me. I’m going to need all I can get. And in the end, if I don’t get this job, I’ll wait for another 20 resumes. I want get out of the 12.2% unemployment club in California, so hey, gotta keep trying right?

This is Amy Hu signing off for October 2nd, 2009.

Everybody Loves Raymonds, Weddings, and Birthdays

Raymond's Wedding 015
Me, Dad, Vera, Mom, Denise, Aunt Nancy, Raymond, Uncle Ken

Congratulations to my cousin Raymond on becoming a wonderful new husband to his lovely wife, Denise, as of Saturday. The wedding ceremony was held outdoors at the lovely Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City by a beautiful lake. Despite the warm weather, noisy planes, and hotel clientele watching our gathering half-naked by the pool, it was a lovely evening. The open bar, dancing with my 7 year-old cousin, and red velvet cake definitely were some memorable highlights. The reception was held indoors and dinner was a fancy selection of fine American cuisine.

Raymond's Wedding 002
Big sister Vera on the left. Pre-disaster.

The funniest yet worst thing was that Vera decided to vomit on the way home. While I was at the wheel, she expressed how sick she felt and pulled down the window. I knew she was pretty drunk at the wedding considering her excessive amount of physical affection and decreasing number of blinks. When she stuck her head out the window, her puking skills allowed her to spread her half-digested-once-expensive-cuisine equally in the car and outside of it. As the mixture of food and stomach juices splattered across the window, my mother was puzzled as to why it was wet outside and convinced herself for approximately five seconds that it was raining. Her countenance soon fell at the moment of realization as the stench penetrated all our noses. It was a disaster to clean up. I nearly hurled myself in doing so.

I also got a haircut the day before I went to the wedding and I was so relieved to finally get one. I hadn’t cut my car in six months, and that was way overdue for my already unhealthy hair. I had attempted to get an appointment with my hair stylist last time I was back in the good ol’ San Ho, but that was a fail. He was completely booked. With much success this time, I had to lock in such a lovely rendezvous in Cupertino at the local Cali Hair.

Raymond the Hair Stylist
Look at this guy. Doin' his thang. That's not me, I'm the creepy one behind the camera phone.

Now hairstylist Raymond, not cousin Raymond, usually does a fabulous job with my hair. I’ve been going to him for 4 years now, and so we always manage to catch up and make good conversation every time he works his magic (get your head out of the gutter). The only thing is, his style is that of a very “Asian” style, basically. But the cut is good, and I just simply wet my hair and reshape it to the way I want when I come back home. Unfortunately this time, it seems this look never left me. He cut my bangs too short this time, and it’s a bit disastrous.

It's time.
It's time.

You might think, “Oh Amy, the drama queen you are. Your hair looks fine.” This may be true, but I had been in love with my long hair and was wary of cutting it. But it was getting way too long, as my bangs were not functioning as bangs anymore, but as an eye mask. So I had to.

A family favorite. http://www.satosushi.com

My mother’s birthday was uneventful as predicted, but we did get sushi from what we think is the best sushi restaurant in town–Sato Sushi. It’s my mother’s (and family’s) favorite Japanese restaurant, and we do love our raw fish and special rolls.

This is my favorite roll at this fine establishment.
This is my favorite roll at this fine establishment.

My dad managed to ruffle my feathers on my last night here and during my mother’s birthday dinner. He was late because he was too busy “fixing” their new duplex in Milpitas they recently bought as another source of income. (Hey, now’s the time to buy real estate in an economy like this. My parents plan on renting it out until they decide to move into it themselves. I’m skeptical.) Not only that, but he chugged my beer right as he sat down so I had no more to enjoy and then later proceeded to let me know that I had enough food when he asked us all to finish the rest of the food. Apparently his encouragement to “everyone” to not let the food go to waste did not include me. He had been commenting on my weight the entire week, and in the emotional state I’m in, I, Amy the block of silky tofu, broke. I’m used to those comments, but during this season in realizing the relationship between my brokenness and my family, I was not ready to take on anymore from them.

It was a tough week at home overall, but it had some good moments. There’s always a risk in doing anything in life, and the more you expect, the higher the chance of things not going your way. I don’t believe in expecting nothing to shy away from disappointment, but I do believe in at least hoping for it and moving on. Whether you hope for the best haircut, a chance of vomit-free drunkenness, or a nice family dinner without being put down, the desire for it is much better than expecting. That is a lesson I have learned all my life. But hey, it still sucks when it doesn’t happen right?

And of course, Happy 25th Birthday Jenny Elizabeth Varghese. Go rent that car and take youngin’s to D&B’s!

This is Amy Hu signing off for October 1st, 2009.

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