Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Arriving in Syracuse

In the car, it seemed like everyone else knew where he or she was going. One by one the driver dropped off everyone except me. He said where should I drop you off? I told him I did not have a place yet. Everyone else had already made arrangements in China before they came here. I didn’t have any money for a security deposit for an apartment until a few days before I left Beijing. So, my driver took me to the president of the Chinese Student Association’s house, but no one was there and no one knew when he was coming back. Just when we didn’t know what to do, I started to get very worried because it was getting dark. We saw a person walk towards us. It turned out that he was the president and he was from my home city Chengdu.
     He took me to 107 Dell Street where he had reserved a room for someone else but she wasn’t going to arrive until the next day so I stayed there. 

     The next day, Ding Hua came. She was from northeastern China and would be a visiting scholar for a year. She was about three years older than I was, tall and thin, with long braided hair, and she was married. I couldn’t find a place for myself yet when she arrived. I had a total of four hundred dollars per month for everything except tuition. I had to find a place for less than two hundred dollars. I had never paid rent before, the work place provided the housing and dining.  I worked four years after college (over 50 yuan/month), live/eat with my parents so I saved over 600 yuan which I gave it all to my parents.  Ding Hua had the same amount for her allowance. She said that she wouldn’t mind sharing the room with me. This way, we could all save money. I agreed at once. It couldn’t be worse than a college dorm where seven students all shared one room.