My first friend in Chengdu

Yuan Hui is the first friend that I've made in Chengdu. She is 23, works in finance, and has never traveled outside of China; in fact, with the exception of her hometown (Nanchong) and Chongqing, she has been to only one or two places in China. “I do not have any money,” she said; but, even so, she refused to allow me to pay for our meal.

I met Hui while trying unsuccessfully to find Tianfu Square, on foot; she recommended I take the bus, and not only did she escort me to the bus stop, she took the bus with me to Tianfu Square, where we then found a place to eat dinner.

Over dinner we talked about Chinese sports: badminton, tennis, ping pong, and diving (my favorite). She said that the Chinese diving team made her very proud. After dinner, while walking to the bus stop, I was able to use my limited Chinese to make her laugh, when I rejected the solicitation of an unlicensed scooter taxi.

Bù yào!

[I don't need.]

Yuan Hui in front of China’s largest Mao statute, in Tianfu Square; Chengdu, Sichuan province.

It always makes me smile to receive emails from my Chinese friends. So friendly.

Ordering dinner at Kang Chef’s Beef Noodle, in Chengdu.    

Yuan Hui introduced me to Ceylon milk tea with pearls; I love it.

Nearly all Chinese whom I’ve met prefer QQ to email. 

This is what was on the other side of the paper; I think Yuan Hui might be a math genius or something.