Wednesday, June 28, 2006

勉強になりました

After a week of settling in, I packed up and moved again. This time, to a place much farther from the center of the city, and it'll take me a while to go anywhere I want to. But it's ok. I've gone through worse in life; one of the times too happened in Tokyo. Something about this city - I love it yet it seems to always leave me bitter-sweet memories.

今日すごく勉強になりました。It's not rare to feel betrayed by someone you've truly trusted and come to consider a close, intimate one. But when it happens, it sucks to the bone. I don't think any word could ever explain how terrible that feels like, but anyone who's been through it knows exactly what I'm talking about. 無奈, lost, angry, feeling hurt, extremely hurt. Tears flow like a broken water pipe, but there's absolutely nothing you can do. One can only learn to let go and allow for time to heal everything.

When my friend told me last night about some of the most bizarre things involved the most unreasonable customers at the pool hall he used to work at, I listened through it and the first thing that I told him was - でも、すごく勉強になったんじゃないの? Then we both laughed. Sometimes, that's the only attitude one could take, and to continue to hope for the better.

I've left home since the age of 18. I've lived a life of habitual relocation on average every 8-9 months. Sometimes every 2 months if it's over the summer. When I first arrived at Wellesley, I was assigned to room with a racist roommate that eventually I had to leave after the first month. Then the transfer, then the decision to go to Japan. Two days ago as I was sorting through email messages from the past and re-reading some of the long email I wrote to dear friends across the world during my summer internship time in Tokyo, I was shocked to see how tough of an internship I really had. For the first 2-3 weeks, almost every first paragraph of my mail started with things like "work is killing me," "my boss is the most demanding and tough to deal with," or "I'm just trying to keep my head above water." It was tough, but I learned so much. When I went back to Kyoto for Gion Festival, my host mom was amazed by how much I'd suddenly grown and matured within just a few weeks. So that move to Tokyo was a big one, a milestone. Then back to Penn, just trying to figure out what to do next until I finally decided to go to China and teach for a year.

Who would've guessed that SARS would force our school to close down within half-a-day notice. After an emergency meeting with the admin. staff, all my students were sent home on the next available train. Within 2 days the whole building was emptied, and there were only the three of us foreign teachers plus the cleaning ladies and security guards left. We also lived right across a military hospital where they set up a special "fever" department right outside the hospital, just a few meters from our dorm. Within a week, I moved out of Beijing, taking two suitcases to Shanghai and starting an executive assistant job at a start-up company.

In hindsight, that job also taught me a lot, though during the whole time I felt unfairly treated upon a double standard. While all other foreign employees were out there sun bathing or playing with kids in the swimming pool, I was indoor typing some bilingual proposals that I knew were bound to never be realized. Towards the end of the summer, I realized that I can't go on working on something that doesn't really match with my own academic interests; I moved out again, this time into a traditional Shanghainese neighborhood. I did like the spacious studio tucked in this quiet neighborhood built in the 70's, except that the broken toilet and giant cockroach visits in the middle of shower time wearied me out. Within 2 weeks, I moved again, this time, finally settling into a nice one bedroom that became temporary home for the next 9 months.

When I came to Boston, I thought this would at last be the city to call home. Even to today I still don't know if it was reverse-cultural shock or some permanent character change in me that made it hard for me to fall for the city. The decision to study at Cambridge didn't come till middle of August, and I had less than 2 weeks to find a place to live when all dorms had been filled. It was a peaceful rooming situation, but a school year later I moved again.

This time, my roommie and I really spent time decorating the place. I think we did the best we could to make a traditional school-housing interior as homey as possible. Alas, my roommie was in her last year in the program and I had no choice to move out. My next temporary residence will be in a beautifully decorated and furnished apartment near school. I can't be more grateful for having found such a beautiful place for such a reasonable price. But I also wonder what it's going to be like living alone.

And now, as if forever haunted by an unbroken curse, I relocated again after just merely 7 days after arriving in the city. This time, it only took me 2 hours to find a new place to live. 東京之大,總還有我容身之處。只是受了傷的心一時不知該何去何從。

Thanks for the friends who never turn their backs on me whenever the lowest point in life hits. Thanks for their patience and willingness to listen and to talk, regardless of distance and time difference. I know the drill. I just need some time.

今回もすごく勉強になりました。

梅ちゃん at 2:01:00 AM

4comments

4 Comments

at 6/28/06, 10:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what kind of pain that you are suffering from or why, all I want to say is that you should consider such a thing is simply inevitable. I am old enough to tell you that I have come across such things many times. There are kind, considerate and essnetially good men or women, but there are also men and women of different kind. Human emotions are as such that sometimes we cannot control or manage to a point that will make ourselves and others happy. But what is the most important thing is that we cannot betray or purposely hurt others. As long as we have done the right thing and have not failed in maintaing an honest relationship with others, then the pain will not be so unbearable. What you need is to lick your wound by living fruitfully and patiently. And I hoope your faith is still there to help you out. Pray a lot and ask for mercy and comfort from the above.

Eagerly waiting for you to come home soon.
ym

 
at 6/28/06, 11:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope i can catch you online when are time zones are in sync, so we can catch up. otherwise, expect another email from me not too long from now. i hope moving and all hasn't been too hard. may the lord be with you.

jc

 
at 7/10/06, 12:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

aditi and i will be welcoming you back home in august. take care, a.

 
at 7/10/06, 11:01 AM Blogger Chat Noir said...

Hope things are getting better with you recently....remember that your friends are always on your side and you're not alone!!

 

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