As I mentioned in earlier blog posts, Ongbak and I were roommates at the dorm. However, this was kind of a misnomer since neither of us ever spent much time in our dorm room. The vast majority of the time (and this includes sleeping) we were at Arsenal’s apartment. Arsenal had an open door policy at his apartment so people would just drop by whenever they felt like it to listen to music, chat, or do whatever else caught their fancy at the time. At the end of December Arsenal moved out of his apartment and this month he moved back to Australia to start college. So once again, I thought it would be appropriate to share some anecdotes that never made it into the blog proper.
On Beijing winter…
Arsenal: Man, it’s really cold… What’s the weather like in D.C.?
Me: Huh? I dunno.
Arsenal: What!? How can you not know? You’re from there!
Me: I’m from Washington State, not Washington D.C.
Arsenal: No, you’re from D.C.
Me: …are you actually fighting me on this?
On people I’ve never met…
Arsenal: Ah yeah, he was a cool guy. You should have met him.
On drunken decisions…
Arsenal: OK, don’t ask me why I did this, I was drunk and it was completely stupid.
Arsenal: Anyways, my friend left her jacket at the club’s coat check, but she lost her number for it. I went back in and talked to the coat check lady but she didn’t help me at all.
Arsenal: So after she left I just snuck into the coat check to grab my friend’s jacket. Only, I couldn’t find it so I just grabbed a different jacket and ran outside to give it to her.
Arsenal: But after I gave it to her I thought, ‘that was really easy’. So I said “Wait here”, and ran back into to get some more jackets.
Arsenal: So there I was going through the jackets at the coat check like I was shopping or something and, of course, the lady comes back and finds me going through the jackets. When she saw me I just ran for it. I was acting so stupid…
On restaurants in China…
Arsenal: You can’t just cross a restaurant off your list because you had one bad experience. Most of the restaurants in China aren’t very clean, you just have to accept it.
On living in China…
Arsenal: There’s a lot of things about China you never come to understand or get used to. For some things you just have to write it off as ‘that’s China’. It’s kind of sad in a way.
On people I’ve never met 2…
Arsenal: You met him right?
Arsenal: Oh yeah, he left a little before you came. He was a cool guy, you should’ve met him.
On food poisoning…
Arsenal: Yeah, I got really bad food poisoning at the chuar place by my house. After that I couldn’t eat chuar for a couple of weeks, it just seemed so unappetizing.
Me: So where are we going to eat?
Arsenal: At the chuar place by my house.
On drunken decisions 2…
Arsenal: So I was coming out of this club and I see a Chinese guy sitting on the stairs with his buddies. And the guy sitting down looked really sad so I went to go give him a pat on the shoulder to say ‘everything’s gonna be alright’.
Arsenal: Unfortunately I was really uncoordinated at the time so what was supposed to be a ‘everything’s gonna be alright’ pat turned into a light slap on the face.
Arsenal: I didn’t really think too much about it though so I just kept going down the stairs. Then I noticed all of the Chinese guys chasing after me.
Arsenal: I turn around and throw a punch into one of the guys chasing me and then just booked it down the stairs and outside.
There are a lot more stories to share but some of them are ‘you had to be there’ ones and others are probably best not shared with the public.
Arsenal, best of luck in your university studies; and try not to get attacked by any drop bears.
-After Story: The Cycle Continues-
I was showing some new friends around campus who had come to study Mandarin this semester. Come dinner time we decide to go out and grab a bite to eat. After some consideration, I decide to take them to the restaurant that Arsenal and Ongbak took me to on my first night in China. There I happen to run into Rubix; I introduce him to my new friends and we sit around a talk for a bit.
Rubix: …but I can’t believe Arsenal is gone.
Me: Yeah, it feels a bit weird right?
Rubix: I’m gonna be honest man, when we said goodbye there were tears on this face. He was a really big part of my China experience.
Rubix: (turns to my new friends) Oh, you guys didn’t meet him right?
Me: Oh yeah, He left a little before you came. He was a cool guy, you should’ve met him.