Though still sick, I felt the need to practice the foot juggling today. While I was laying in the floor of my tiny New York kitchen, feet in the air, balancing the umbrella, my thoughts drifted back to China. I was thinking about how the girls there juggled the umbrella in their nylons and how gross it felt. Then I thought about Qiong–my only friend in Shijiazhuang. She took me bra shopping and clothes shopping and food shopping, took me to the bath house, fed me donkey meat sandwiches, and tried to teach me to make dumplings.
I never got the hang of it:

My poor attempt at making jiaoza

My poor attempt at making jiaoza

So while I was remembering her and thinking about how many things I’ve gone through since I was in China 3 years ago, the phone rang. It was a New York number. It was Qiong.

Since her English is not so great, and my Mandarin is non-existent, I really didn’t understand what she was saying other than she will be staying in New York for awhile. I don’t why, I don’t know where she is, and I don’t know if she even knew that I was living here (I have a San Francisco cell phone number.) But one thing I do know is that I am now expected to return the hospitality she extended to me when I was in China. First, though, I will have to suffer through her telling me that I am much fatter than the last time she saw me, as well as maybe uglier and older. On top of that, I will most likely invite her to see me foot juggle somewhere and she will wonder why I’m so bad compared to Chinese girls. Out loud. Because Chinese people don’t have a filter about these things. To them, they are just stating what is obvious to everybody and one shouldn’t take offense. I am psyching myself out to take it. I’m also trying to figure out where she is and how to get her to meet her in my favorite place–Coney Island. Life is weird.



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3 responses to “Qiong!

  1. jone

    this negative self talk needs to stop. really.
    you are not old, fat or ugly!

  2. Jessica

    Ah, the beauty of having filter-less friends of different cultures.

    I was told I was “too fat for birthday cake!” at the birthday party of my Chinese friend’s niece. Truth be known, I kind of AM too fat for birthday cake.

    I ate some anyway and it was fabulous.

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