Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Small World

So for the first 7 weeks that I have been in China I have not really met anyone.
Very few people speak much English and I don't speak any Chinese unfortunately.
I very much stick out in my community as I am not Asian. Today I am
riding the elevator in my building and there is an older Chinese lady in the elevator.
She asks me if I speak English. I say yes do you? She says yes. I ask
her how she learned it and she said she went to New York University in
the 1940s! I told her that I live in New York City.
We keep talking as we ride the elevator down and continue talking once we
get off. Her English is perfect. She tells me that her children live in Boston and I say I went to college there. She asked me where and I say MIT.
Small world... It turns out her husband got his PhD from MIT in 1950 in Chemical
Engineering! We talk about Cambridge and she tells me she taught Chinese at Harvard for a few years. She told me she and her husband moved back to China a few years ago as it is easier to be retired in China as you don't have to drive.
I gave her my business card and my china mobile number and tonight her
husband called me and we talked. He was a visiting researcher at
MIT while I did my undergraduate studies there! I am still amazed by this chance encounter.

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