Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Friday, May 13, 2005

Hillary has been bugging me and bugging me to fly on Air China. Hillary just graduated from Beihang, and has started her new job as a flight attendant. One might wonder why a graduate from one of the key universities in China would want to be a flight attendant. But Hillary is an English major. She just graduated from one of the top engineering schools in China, but she herself is not an engineering student. Even though working as a flight attendant is not the kind of job that generally requires a college degree, it is actually a fantastic career opportunity for someone like her.

Anyway, I have been e-mailing her my flight information every time I fly Air China, but so far, she has not been able to get on the flight. She was disappointed, so this time, I called her cell phone as soon as the office gave me the ticket. She called me yesterday to say that she got the flight, but she was so excited she couldn't talk. Today when I boarded the plane, I was kinda hoping she would bump me up to first class. Instead, she moved me to the back so that she could keep my coffee refilled. That's OK. It was a beautiful flight. Bright and sunny riding right above the clouds. The 737 is a small bird, and a little crowded, but the flight was very smooth.

And then there were the pictures. Always the pictures. I remember last summer, when I was in Dali, there was this guy with a little sheepcart who carried an umbrella, and would put it in front of the sheepcart every time I tried to take a picture. I'm guessing now, but I imagine the reason was because he wanted money. But he didn't say that. He just blocked my view with his umbrella every time I tried to take a picture. If he were smart, he would have put up a sign--"Five Yuan for a Picture," or something like that. He probably would have gotten some foreigners to pay up. Still, it doesn't seem fair that I should have to pay money to take a picture of something just because it is strange or unusual. People take pictures of me all the time, and I don't get a kuai for it. I'm thinking of putting a sign on myself and going into business. Five RMB for a picture. Problem is, if a young lady comes up to me and tells me that she wants a picture taken with me because I am handsome, that's worth ten kuai right there. So I would be giving back more than I got, and pretty soon I'd be broke. Better just leave things the way they are. Smile, pose, say "Thank-you." Smile, pose, say "Thank-you." Smile, pose, say "Thank-you." Everybody wants to be good-looking, but I can tell you from experience, it ain't all a bowl of cherries.

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