Oooh turns out karma is real…
Uncle Huang woke up, and looked at me. He recognized me, and said: “Thank you, maiden. Without you, I really don’t know what would have happened to me.
After waking up from the surgery, his Northern accent was unrefined, but I could see his body was still very stiff.
I asked: “Uncle, why don’t you know how to speak French and you even came to Paris?”
“Oh.” He first took a deep breath, “Give your brother some cigarettes.”
“Don’t joke around. This is a hospital. They don’t even let me smoke and you still want to smoke?”
“Fxxk, I say, foreign devils are wicked.”
My heart said, it was even foreign devils that saved you, and you say things like this. Crude person.
“What do you need? Should I go find the embassy or your company? Is there anyone taking care of you?”
“There’s no need. It won’t be of use even if you find someone. I can’t believe these people. Oh you aren’t from here?”
“I am an exchange student. I am going to return to China. Originally, I was also living in this hospital. When I was discharged, you were dragged in, and I came over to help. My airplane ticket is already booked. I have to go.” I said. I had procrastinated for so long. I still needed to get my diploma from the school.
“Why do you not have any compassion?”
“How do you want me to sympathize with you.”
Lao Huang* laughed: “I was just kidding. I was afraid I wouldn’t have time to thank you.”
- *Lao meaning Old is often attached before a surname when someone is speaking colloquially towards another person. This can go the same way for Xiao which means Little. So if the person is older than you you use Lao. If the person is younger than you, you use Xiao. Yup quick Chinese lesson right here!
“There is no need.” I thought about it, “I can find you some special care in China. There are many middle aged women who can work and speak French.”
“Then I guess I can only trouble you. Find me a clean, dexterous, good looking one. I don’t care about money.” He was really picky.
“I’ll do my best.”
I took the subway to the Italian Plaza near the Chinese area. Here were a lot of Chinese people who came to work. The job board was tacked to a small Chinese wooden board. I helped Lao Huang find an auntie who used to work as a nurse. I thought of Lao Huang’s few words that revealed his temperament and this one was about 40 years old, quite like his age.
Lao Huang’s nose pipes glared at me: “Didn’t I ask you to find me one that looked good?”
“That’s enough. Where do you think this is? Finding one that can work and speak French is already good. All right, I’m leaving. I am returning to China the day after tomorrow. Goodbye to you.”
“Oh miss, I still have things to ask you.”
“You are returning to China for……”
“I graduated, I am returning to the country find work.” I said.
“What work do you want to find?”
“I am learning interpretation, what about professional interpretation.”
“I’ll help you. After I recover I will also return. I’ll give you my personal card, and go to Shanghai to find me. I can help you arrange a job.”
I thought about it. I hadn’t replied yet when Lao Huang said: “You don’t believe it? Do you know what I do?”
This person was coarse to a certain extent. How could he be still working at Michelin as a technical consultant? I don’t know what you are doing? I only know you have half a liver, diabetes. Your blood type is AB.
“What are you thinking about? You open the number for the salary. You saved my life, what does this count as? Furthermore, you know how many graduates want to go to Shanghai companies.”
It sounded pretty good, and was another path anyways. I said: “All right, you can leave the communication method to me. I will also give you my Chinese phone number and contact method.”
Lao Huang gave me his hard. Underneath there was even a stack of notes. I took it, wow, there were so many.
He looked at me: “You keep the money. If I can’t contact you or contact Dr. Cheng, maybe I would be gone.” This person could pretend to be so small; he was already 50 and was still so brotherly like to me.
I held the euros that he had given me. I had really tried my best, my heart estimated.
“Oh, the National Foreign Language Institute? No wonder.”
I said bye to Lao Huang and finally left the hospital. There were still two days before I was going to return to China. This way, it would end my exchange student life in France. I thought about it. I was still very grateful towards Lao Huang. I thought before I leave, I should still take the opportunity to do something good, otherwise, this happy life from before, would really have ended from the moment Zu Zu left.
I walked towards Versailles, Fontainebleau. Before leaving, I only bought a large bouquet of fresh flowers to see Zu Zu. I said, in the future, I will still skateboard. In the future I will still come to see you. I will not, forget you.
Returning to China was an eastern flight, against time. When my feet stepped onto Chinese soil, I calculated the time difference. Unknowingly, my life had been shortened by a day.
By exiting and entering again had completely changed the world.
There were many Capital Airport visitors. I saw the faces of compatriots who spoke in the most familiar language. Some people said farewell to each other, some people reunited, laughter, tears, and emotionless faces. These things had been repeated throughout the years. The airport was a small world.
I first called my house’s neighbors and told auntie to my parents I was safe. Then I returned to school to report.
It was Sunday, there was no one in the education wing. I carried my luggage to the bedroom, and passed by the athletics field. I saw it was very noisy. Some classmates were playing basketball, and the cheerleading team loudly applauded.
I was also very tired, and put my things down. I wanted to rest a while, and watch the competition. I hadn’t even squatted when someone said behind me: “It is prohibited to urinate.”
My temper ah, I whipped around forcing the arm behind me to stop: “Who are you talking about? Who are you talking about, Bo Bo? I haven’t seen you for a year, your skin tightened right?”
She threw me aside. Oh I had not met up with this girl’s kungfu for a year. She said: “You still have the cheek to say it, you didn’t even tell us when you were returning, the whole world thought you had disappeared.”
The two of us called and scuffled together. Xiao Dan suddenly appeared and used Crayon Shin-chan’s voice to say: “Who let out the animals? And is creating havoc here?”
- It’s too hard to explain how Crayon Shin-chan speaks… so here’s the Chinese: “四随把动物都放了粗来？在仄里胡闹？”; and an analogy for how he speaks in English… Have you guys ever heard someone say Thursday like Thuhsday or Friday like Fwyday (Fuh-why-day) where someone brutally obliterates the “r” sound. Lol. Just kidding. That’s pretty much how Crayon Shin-chan speaks.
I got her over to participate in the war. Finally we were all tired. We stopped and laughed haha.
Xiao Dan said: “Us three flowers have gathered together again.”
I said: “Three flowers, is that crude or what? It’s the three musketeers.”
Bo Bo said: “You’re the one who’s crude. It’s obviously three big mountains.”
We were about to graduate. Work issues were basically settled. Xiao Dan had found a job at a travel agency as the head. Bo Bo had tested into the French airline translation services. Her salary was enviable. Our classmates all found pretty great jobs. They asked me, this person who had always come early but later came late. I said I didn’t know. Everyons aid, Qiao Fei leaned so well, and she even came back from abroad. Finding a job is definitely not a big problem. But, right now there are too many graduates and exchange student graduates. People are overstaffed so you have to grab opportunities. After July, the school’s relationship with us will become a knot, and our files will return to our hometowns. If you want to go to a bigger city then, it’ll be complicated.
At the time they were holding a welcoming reception meal for me while saying some things over the table. When I heard it, my heart was also pretty anxious. Every moment, every thing they spoke about; we were going to graduate just like that. In the future, the future issues of our livelihoods shone ahead.
“What job do you want to find?” A guy from my class asked, “We can help you keep our eyes open.”
“I am not clear about it either. I may go to Shanghai to take a look. Maybe there will be job opportunities there, but I still want to be a professional interpreter.”
“Oh, being a professional interpreter is pretty sick, but,” A classmate said, “Finding jobs now, a lot of us are all finding specific businesses. French is only a supplement or spare knowledge.”
“And there are some people that don’t even need it.” Another one said, she found a good job in Guangzhou for a pharmaceutical brand agent, and followed with a French ‘bye bye’, “Hi, four years of education is just a foundation. Knowing these people, understanding how to speak and do things is already very good. In the future, you won’t necessarily be doing things for the big bucks.”
“Right, drink wine, drink wine.”
Everyone agreed and raised their glasses.
I drank a lot, happy and sad. Our classmates’ relationships were very good. I had returned now. Everyone was about to dissipate.
In the era of university, the sky was blue, the time passed slowly.
But I could not turn my head around to look at it all.
That night I dreamed, I had forgotten all the plots (against me), and would not stop saying, Good bye, good bye, good bye, until I woke up on the morning of the second day.