Thursday, February 14, 2013

First Big Snow

The first snow was a heavy one. It was the first time in my whole life that I saw that much snow. The whole city looked so clean and white and I felt like I was in a dreamland. Someone gave us a ride to a store to buy my first boots. I never wore boots before. I brought a winter coat from China but I was not able to buy winter boots in my city because there weren’t any for sale in the south.
    The next day, Ding Hua and I went to the park to take some pictures. I was so excited walking in the deep snow and looking back over my footprints. We climbed up the adjacent small hill and looked down. The whole city was covered with snow. I ran up and down in the snow and forgot all of my problems for a whole day. After we walked back home, I felt like building a snowman. It was the first time for me to build a snowman. With Ding Hua’s help, since she was from northern China where there was more snow in the winter, we built a snowman and took a few pictures with the snowman.

The first heavy snow I had ever seen -- I was in a pure white wonderland   
     Everyone in the apartment house was a newcomer except one, Mrs. Zhang (张). She had been here for three years. Naturally, she had the most stuff and her room wasn’t big enough, so she had a big chest in the living room and a lot of stuff in the kitchen. She was much more “Americanized” than we were. On the weekends or sometimes in the evenings, we liked to sit around and watch television and talk about our personal lives. Mrs. Zhang told us for some reason she was paralyzed for about eight years in her childhood. Then she was able to walk again. She passed the national entry exams with very high scores that allowed her to go to the famous Tsinghua University (清华大学) of Architectural Design. Then she got married but she was unable to carry a child. In the end, she and her husband got divorced. She was pursuing her master’s degree in civil engineering here and working for an architectural company at the same time.
     Mrs. Wang (王) was of middle age, with two children. She came here as a visiting scholar for two years from
Nanjing University of Science & Technology (南京理工大学). It was a small world, she and my boyfriend Wang Lin in Japan happened to be neighbors in Nanjing (南京). She seemed to know more about his family than I did. She wished me good luck. She also lent me her sleeping bag when I started my fieldwork later.
     Ding Hua was married to a man she really hadn’t fallen in love with yet, but she knew he was a good man. Her former boyfriend, who she still loved, was a graduate student in the Midwest now; they met in college back in China. She suspected the end of their relationship because he fell in love with his English teacher. The teacher was married and had kids back at home in the U.S. She knew they wouldn’t consider any marriage because of their age difference. While she was in the U.S., she really wanted chances to meet him to see whether there was still something between them, to see whether he still cared about her.