I recently returned from a trip to Canada and China. I left the San Francisco Bay Area on Oct 14th and came back from Beijing on the 29th.
My old friend Bernard lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He and I went to secondary school together in Hong Kong. We were the best of huckleberry friends. We would sit at the desks that were the farthest from the teacher’s and quietly planned our after-school activities in the corner. Extra curricula such as bowling and movies worked out great. Our school grades did not come out as well.
I haven’t seen Bernard and his beautiful and lettered wife Mu Hua 慕 華 for 35 years. (By the way, Bernard is ethnic Chinese who has a western name and Mu Hua is Caucasian who has a Chinese name. Honest — I did not make this up.) About a year ago a mutual friend Ken found me over the internet and told me about Bernard’s whereabouts. So I got all excited and telephoned him like an abandoned lover.
Bernard invited me to visit him in Canada. I was going to take shelter at his home while he drove me around Vancouver for a week. Then an idea hit us. Instead of having him cook this guinea pig three experimental meals a day, we would join a tour to China and catch up with the gossips of who’s-sleeping-with-whom-over-the last-four-decades on the trip.
That’s what we did. I flew to Vancouver to meet up with Bernard and Ken. Somehow Ken was able to convince an old teacher, Ms. Cissy to join us for lunch. Ms. Cissy was our room teacher in Form I (7th grade) back in Hong Kong. She was and still is one of the most attractive women I’ve ever seen. There were forty boys in the class. Thirty of us were in love with her. (The remaining ten did not like girls.)
Separately I met another classmate Charles, whom I haven’t seen for forty-one years, and his lovely wife Christine. Another alum, Simon, just flew in from Hong Kong that day and he took time from a busy schedule to join us too. I always liked Charles and Ken as childhood friends. I liked them even better after they paid for the sumptuous lobster dinner that night.
*** My trip continues next week ***
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