I went out quite early, to work on dull and thought-consuming
lessons, and was happy to meet a student who had recently come back from a business trip to Malaysia.
She is a young Chinese businesswoman, most slender
and elegant and modest. There are many students like this, successful yet so responsible towards their spouses and children,
and quite busy in the city of Shenzhen.
I waited in the Garden City Mall, sipping my Starbucks
coffee, resolve to have a day of rest and fun, still having phone troubles from my new services, I had got a new
phone, however that only seemed to complicate matters, because the eager salesman had signed me up for a new monthly plan
I in no way wanted.
She arrived quickly, after I used a fellow Starbucks-addict's
Dressed in a silk forest-green A-line sheath, with tastefully
shaped yellow low-heeled sandals, Shelley looked wonderful.
"That's a wonderful fashion look," I said.
"So thin," she said, touching her waistline.
I found out she had been sick for a few days with some sort
of cold or flu, from all her exciting and hectic business travels. Just had to rest and sip a lot of Chinese medicinal
The better Chinese are endlessly thoughtful, and she drove
me to the ChinaMobile store where my monthly plan was cancelled, and I was allowed to keep the free cell phone that had seduced
me into the Free Deal. They kept the money for the free phone time I would not get.
This took the better part of an hour.
Aterwards we went to the adjacent Taizi Square in Shekou to
Mama's and I had a quiche Lorraine, with half of a Greek salad, and two large iced lemon teas.
The heat was so boiling hot, we moved languidly through the
afternoon. I taught the words at hand, the description of a hot summer day.
She flipped through the photos on her cell phone. They
were jubilant snapshots of her trip, with her husband happily waving his hands in each shot.
Then we drove to a large park, a new one, called Shenzhen Bay-o,
built to accommodate the recent sports festival. She called to her family a few times, to see if her little girl, who
is also my student, wanted to join us, but the heat kept us all moving too slowly.
We did not even walk, once we parked the car, and found
a cool blue-painted coffee and tea shop. She ordered flower tea, and it was a new type for me, with lavenders and roses
At first a little odd eating the lavender I used as a bath
perfume some years ago in Montreal, yet the water we kept adding weakened the purple floral buds, so it was a pleasant way
to escape the day outside.
Parents all over the world are saints to put their young
children in cars and bundle them off to parks on days like this. Because the children are the ones having the most fun.
Days where you move so slowly, not so interesting, and the
colourfulness of the day was in the lavender tea and the clothing of my friend and student.
We resolved to meet soon at her offices where she would have
a special Chinese tea service for me, after we had got caught up on our work.