Retrace Every Wrong Move

[Easier To Run – Linkin Park]

Day 17 — Someone from your childhood

Dear Zhao Hui,

Isn’t it amazing I still remember your name! I even remember the fact that “Zhao” is actually written as “Chao” but is read as “Zhao” in your name and, oh, I’ve just proven how Asian I am.

Anyway, whether it’s from my childish wishful thinking or real memories, I remember that we were good friends when we were little. And when I say little, I meant we were good friends since Kindergarten. I didn’t actually have friends my age before Kindy, so in some sense you were my first friend ever (actually, to be honest, I vaguely remember there being another short girl being my friend before you but I don’t remember anything about her except that she’s short).

It’s strange writing to someone in a language that they don’t speak, in a letter they’ll never read.

I think when I was little, I worshiped you, because you were taller, smarter, and prettier. I think you’re also older than me – here in Australia I’m older among all my friends but in China I was the youngest, having just gotten into my year level. I remember that you actually had another friend with whom you were closer, either because you’re just better friends or because you’d known her for longer, that I can’t remember. That other friend went on to be the class captain in Grade 1, while I went on to be the kid that the teacher hated for no good reason other than the fact that I was smarter than she gave me credit for, and that I was lazy. So yeah, that made me look better.

My memories are only giving me negative thoughts at the moment, like I remember trying so hard to be your friend after we started primary school, but you’d already found the other cool big girls to play with and I was left with this really creepy guy who drooled a lot, and this other weird guy who bragged a lot about himself. I remember that once I was running back to class while grabbing the hand of that class captain I mentioned, but then I tripped and fell flat on my face, getting a huge cut on my nose.

I remember, near the end of my stay in China – I left in Grade 2 – that you’d once accidentally cut your eyebrow on a hair pin, and it bled a lot. And then after that you were trying to hide that cut, so you grew your hair long.

Actually, I think that part was just false memory. I think that happened to my cousin instead. I have no idea.

Anyway, that was a fun trip down memory lane.  I called you once in Yr 7 when I went back to China but we didn’t hit it off because of the language barrier – my Chinese was sucking at that point. But I don’t know, maybe I’ll try calling again the next time I go to China, granted you still live at home.

Take care,

徐如一

Sealed The Exits With Caution Tape

[Dear Vienna – Owl City]

Clearly I’m playing Owl City today haha. Okay, today I caught up with some primary school friends.

Sorry, I guess I’ll be dropping a lot of new names here.

I got on the train this morning at 10:26 (which is earlier than I’ve been waking lately) and saw Ula when she walked on. Got excited ‘cos it’s about 19 days ’til her wedding! Nice.

Ka- called me freaking because she apparently doesn’t take trains often, so she ran onto a carriage and thought, “Okay I’ll stay here and they’ll figure out how to find me.” I told her to go up the train, and when she was running up, she heard the announcement that the train was on Platform 2, so she freaked and ran into the wrong carriage again.

Okay, okay sorry I had to say it! Noob…

Cas got on at Mount Waverley, and it was really great to see those two again, because I haven’t seen Cas since Yr 10 (or thereabouts) and I haven’t seen Ka- since Gr 6.

Talk talk talk on train. Ka- had an awful cold. Then got off at Richmond, and waited for Yas. I made a bit more fun of Ka- regarding trains, and Cas said, “Oh come on, don’t call her a noob, especially when she doesn’t know what it means.”

We high fived.

Yas appeared (hadn’t seen her since Gr 6 pretty much, either) and we took the train to South Yarra. I didn’t get lost to Jam Factory this time! Got our tickets and sat down at Gloria Jean’s outside for some drinks. Some guy in there had PMS or something and demanded a refund for a drink they messed up, so we got 2 free drinks.

Chatted, caught up, laughed a lot (Yas laughs like an old bed-spring) and then went to see Sherlock Holmes.

Yas and Ka- were pretty noisy but it was funny because…well when you haven’t seen friends in a long time everything they do is weird but funny. I felt sleepy halfway through, and didn’t enjoy the movie as much as reviews would’ve suggested I do. Still pretty cool the way he fought, and deducted from observations.

Went back to Flinders and then went to Melb Central. Unfortunately we passed Photoplus where Ka- (a while girl, no less) insisted we get sticker photos. Of the 4 that were printed, I wasn’t in one of them because Cas stabbed my ribs and I jerked out of the shot. Lovely.

Cas had to leave at that point, so after getting some quick sushi she left. I took Yas and Ka- to Big W and got these babies:

Many thanks to Katherine for telling me they were on sale! Big W for 30 bucks. Not bad bass for it, too!

At that point we went back to Melb Central and decided to go home. Said bye to Yas and took the old ass train with Ka-. It was really hot! Just our luck to ride that bloody train too. Discussed TV shows on the way back (NCIS being a clear favorite. Go NCIS.) and then bid her farewell while I took the bus home.

Nina was meant to come but she…couldn’t. So I think another reunion is in sight! Very much looking forward to it.

Alex.

P.S. It was endearing that they tried so hard to call me Alex (I forgot and called myself by my other name), and apparently I never showed affection to them, so me hugging them was new. Huh.