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.

www.xedohoang.com
http://www.xedohoang.com

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.

My Life Is a Sitcom (I)

My life is a sitcom.

Last weekend, the women staff of InterVarsity Bruin Christian Fellowship was privileged enough to indulge in a getaway at a beach house in Port Hueneme. Jess’s coworker so graciously lent us her humble abode by the sea for us to unwind, get refreshed, and bond. I believe we accomplished all of that except not through the most expected of ways. Allow me to explain.

Us six women had just finished a wonderful feast of sweet potato fries, salad, corn, crescent rolls, and grilled Mahi-Mahi and was gathered around ready to head out for a moonlight stroll with a possible stop at the Dairy Queen. After some conversation, we decided to clean up before going on such a walk and praise the Lord we did.

Ingrid headed to the kitchen first and proceeded to ask, in the most kind and calm manner, “Guys, is there supposed to be a fire outside? Wait, there shouldn’t be right?”

I and some of the others rushed to the kitchen to the double doors that led to the patio. They were a bright orange and it looked like I was on the set of Backdraft. And I thought to myself, “Shit. I was the one who barbecued.”

FML.
FML.

You see, I would not do it justice in sharing such a story over my blog. The story’s beauty comes from a group effort, told from multiple perspectives and that, in its fullest effect, is where I have moments where I pause and ask myself, “Where are the cameras?”

Yes, this used to be a broom. I was wielding this firey object and whacking the flames unsuccessfully.
Yes, this used to be a broom. I was wielding this firey object and whacking the flames unsuccessfully.

But I’ll at least say that by the grace of God, the house was barely even charred. The stupid move came in me deciding to be resourceful, a both useful and destructive characteristic of my Asian culture, when I put back some warm charcoal into its original bag. I’ll leave you with that.

So go ahead, when you see any of us women, ask us “How’d you manage to not burn the house down that weekend in Port Hueneme?” We’ll probably chuckle, pause for a couple of seconds to gather ourselves, and start with “Amy put some Mahi-Mahi on the barbecue grill for dinner that night…”

What was once a broom now hangs on our balcony door. It's very special to us.
What was once a broom now hangs on our balcony door. It's very special to us.

Oy.

Happy Birthday Lisa. I hope Disneyland was fun today, and the cardboard cutout of Edward Cullen in our room is still creeping me out a little.

This is Amy Hu signing off for August 7, 2009.

I <3 San Francisco

San Francisco. I love everything about the city (well maybe except for its vehicular system).

I was born there, raised there for a while, and even peed on the street once. Yeah, we were at the laundromat with no restrooms and I was four with a bladder that didn’t accommodate my body to not leak out liquid for 5 hours. Well, can anyone? Apparently my Aunt Son Fei could. Unless she pulled a fast one on me and the people around us. Or a slow and painfully disturbing one…hm…I, along with many others, prefer the timely option.

I was able to go back to San Francisco last Saturday and visit the old neighborhood in North Beach. Tammy, Mel, Janice and I got to show Jenny around San Francisco considering she had never been up to the northern regions of the Golden State before. We hit up the Golden Gate Bridge, Little Italy, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. I was hoping to fit in Chinatown and Union Square, but the hours zoomed by and not enough was left for us. It was extremely fun to be with wonderful company and enjoy the cool, crisp air of the Bay.

One day, I’ll probably live in San Francisco. That’s always been a long dream of mine to move there. But for now, I’ve fallen in love with Los Angeles. San Francisco will hold a special place in my heart. It’ll be extra special every time I trek up north.

This is Amy Hu signing off for July 26th, 2009.

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