This has got to be my favourite shot of this kid so far. That dreamy look in his eyes, those hands of a pianist. I just feel so warm and fuzzy when I look at it.
I was speaking to the boy on Skype today about this and that, and then he mentioned his upcoming move to Taizhung before he leaves for Montreal:
[6:03:31 AM] Justin (安健): after all the searching and emails and texts, there were only 2 landlords who were able to get their stuff together and meet
[6:04:11 AM] Linda: ah
Justin (安健): everything except electricity comes to 6550 NT per month
Justin (安健): i have a responsible desk
Justin (安健): i'm on the top floor - 13th floor
Justin (安健): the view is great (no balcony, though i think i might have rooftop access
Justin (安健): it's a place for a student to live
Justin (安健): 20 minute walk from the university, much quicker by scooter (i can park my scooter at this place easily)
Justin (安健): and i'm near everything
Justin (安健): yes, there were some places that were nicer (in pictures), but more expensive
Justin (安健): there may have been a better deal out there somewhere, but this time it's been difficult to get in touch with landlords
Justin (安健): i'm not getting ripped off, and the place won't drive me to depression
Linda : well, all of that sounds good.
Linda: when I was at college, my dorm room was let's say about 8 feet or so wide, by about 15 or so long. i had shared showers and a communal kitchen. it was clean, and it had everything i needed. i had a sink in my room and a bar fridge. my clothes were able to fit in all of the spaces I had. I was happy there.
Linda : and. there were insane parties.
Linda : which i *coughnevercough* took part in when a magnum of CC was involved.
Justin (安健): this area is awesome
Justin (安健): the area around fengjia is loaded with clothing stores, stationery stores, tea stores, a night market, and university students
Justin (安健): i predict i'll be having a much better time living here and studying than living in taipei and working
I smiled when he said 'responsible desk' because when I had been looking for an apartment for him last September, I had to Google translate from Chinese, and *every* apartment was described as having a 'responsible desk' and I told him so and we joked about it. It did my heart good to know he remembered that I was amused about that.
You may note that he said a whole lot, and I didn't say much up there; I was making tea - we wander around the house doing stuff because we talk for hours and hours.
Then I say:
Linda : i am so joyous for you, you have no idea
Linda : i'm just busting with pride too, you are just so exceptional, and i have told you that before, but i will never stop telling you. everyone here in my family, and your dad's too, is so proud of you.
Justin (安健): for what? For what
he says! So I says to him, I sez:
Linda : for winning the scholarship, for branching out to the extent that at age 23, you moved across the world without fear, all alone. that you went out of your comfort zone and taught children. that you are excellent at everything you decide to do. everything you do, you give it your all.
Justin (安健): i'm not excellent at teaching
Linda: yes, you are. you stuck the year out with exceedingly tough kids, where most people would have quit or had a nervous breakdown. really Justin, you are exceptional.
Justin (安健): i survived it, yes, but i don't think i'm very good at teaching
Linda: oh, pshaw with you
Justin (安健): anyway, i have to go meet some friends, (language exchange partners) i'll be on a bit later (they have to go home early, not surprisingly)
My god the modesty of this kid.
Anyway, then the phone rings and my sister, who knew I had just been talking to the boy said, 'Did you hear about the earthquake in Taiwan? And the reason she didn't tell me earlier is that she knew I hadn't spoken to Justin since the quake hit. Because I would have LOST. MY. MIND.
So yeah, they had a magnitude 6.6 on the ... whatever day that was this week. People died, people were injured, people are missing.
And now I sit here thinking about him over there another year. In a place chock full o' earthquakes and typhoons.
I get him back on July 4th for eight weeks. Hooray! Happy Independence Day to you, indeed. Watch for a flood of tears at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport at 9:16 pm.