Saturday, December 31, 2005
Back a few years ago, friends were quite eager to arrange blind dates for me. I was not really into it, but I was too shy to turn them down. Even though I didn't harbor great hopes, I would still try to show my best sides to those strangers whom my friends considered unbelievably eligible.
Blind dates are probably the most realistic and cruelest things in the whole world. It's totally about personal tastes and preferences. Even if I act like a humorous, generous, optimistic and considerate young lady, without the right looks for the guys, it will never work out between us. After trying blind dates for a few times, my self-confidence was shattered because those guys seemed to think they could've chosen someone better. So what was wrong?
Later I realized a major difference between me and them. They were experts at blind dates. Usually they would see tons of girls at the same time so eventually they had a lot to choose from. I, the idiot, went only for one at a time. Thus I was always subjected to the destiny of being chosen. I never go to choose.
My conclusion is, blind dates are not my cup of tea. I must be someone's flavor whether he's already there or not.
Friday, December 30, 2005
"Hey Pipi, where are you going?" Pipi left without saying a word and Loveman was really panicked.
"I figure I can't stay here anymore. I have my family and maybe..." She stopped as if she saw something in front of her eyes.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
"Late at night, I will take you on an adventure to visit the lake that belongs to me. It's my secret place in the forest and you are my one and only guest. If we remain quiet and look carefully, we'll get to join nature's mid-night party." Pipi and Loveman sat on the tree branch taking in the lovely view right in front of their eyes.
"Loveman, I want to thank you for everything. All this is too good to be true..." Then they sank into silence. With all the feelings that brought them together, no spoken words were needed.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
"Oh, I see...That means taking our time no matter where we are and try to enjoy life right? And can I give you a kiss while swimming?" Pipi flirted with Loveman.
"You are a fast learner!" Loveman was pleased with his intelligent student. "Normandy or France is more than a place. It is also a way of life. It looks like you've mastered the art of French life! Bravo!"
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
"Or we could simply spend a whole day in the kitchen cooking and dancing to the chansons played on the old and kind-of rusty radio. There is no music more charming than the clinking of glasses and plates and the chopping sounds of knives on the cutting boards. We won't even realize that hours have gone by because in this little space, we learn that even the trivialities of life can be enjoyable."
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
"On early summer mornings, before the sun officially shows up, thin layers of mist envelope the trees and the fields. Their half-transparent opaque color blends so perfectly with the greenness along the roads. I have the illusion that if stretch my hand out of the window, its color would change to a creamy one. But again, I have to be very sober and calm at the beginning of a day to enjoy this delicate beauty."
Friday, December 23, 2005
"I love to drive at the sunset time in summer. The sky is of a intoxicating rosy color before it turns to indigo. Clouds of all shapes drift slowly as if it would take them an eternity to go home when night is about to fall. In front of me and behind me are vast fields of wheat and it is Monet's painting comes alive. The beauty of summer is silent yet overwhelming if you feel it with your heart." Said Loveman.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
by Weichuen You 2004
"Pipi, animals are not so scary as you believe. You see, to appreciate the beauty of life, you'll just have to calm down. With a peaceful state of mind, you'll get to see the world from a totally different angle." Loveman explained patiently to Pipi.
"Really?" Pipi thought over his words and peeped at the furry cat that was one step away from her.
"If you fidget all the time, you won't know that a whole sky of stars are smiling at you. Normandy is a place with hidden miracles."
For Pipi, the world in front of her didn't seem so dark as a moment ago...Out of self-pride, she didn't want to admit to Loveman right away that she loved the twinkling stars, which she hadn't seen all her life in the big city. But she knew this place had its unique charm and she couldn't be blinded simply by some innocent animals...
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
"Oh Lord!I don't want this room anymore!" Pipi cried like crazy the moment she opened the window. Outside were herds and herds of cows. They were so close to her that she almost freaked out at the sight of them.
And of course, Loveman had gone, leaving Pipi with one of the most "beautiful" surprises in her life...
Friday, December 16, 2005
"Well, I am going to make it up to you by giving you the most charming room in hisotry!" Loveman presented to Pipi where she was going to stay for the night.
"Wow, it's just fantastic! I have never been in any room more classy and cozy than this! Loveman, it's so nice of you to prepare the surprise for me!" Pipi couldn't express her joy in words. She suddenly wished this adventure could last forever...
Thursday, December 15, 2005
"Huh...Good dog. Go right ahead. I am not here..." Pipi murmured to herself as she hid in the bushes. Loveman didn't warn her that there was a dog that guarded this LOVE CABIN as well. Meanwhile, she wondered why Loveman hadn't come to her rescue...
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
"My dear, this is our LOVE CABIN in the countryside! Isn't it gorgeous? Thanks to my generous aunt and uncle. Without them, we would have to sleep in the woods tonight. Did you see the vast lawn in front of the house? How the trees behind are full of life! Fortunately it's summer here. You get to see the most beautiful sides of Normandy!" Loveman rambled on happily without noticing that Pipi was gone...
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
"Oh my God! Where do these beasts come from!" Pipi, afraid of dogs by nature, shouted out of sheer fear.
"Don't panic my dear! They are just dogs kept by the families in the neighborhood. In the countryside, it is a common custom to keep dogs as their guards." Loveman was confused to see how people could be so frightened at the sight of such adorable animals. He had no idea that Pipi was just a city gal and she hadn't seen much except human beings.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
In a few more weeks, my best friend Chichi will give birth to her baby boy. It's still hard for me to imagine her as a mom, but I am sure that she'll not have another chance to go on adventures ALONE! From now on, Chichi will embark on new adventures with her little family. If there is ever a sequel to Chichi's Fantastic Adventures in France, the stories will be even more exciting. Now let me show you a glimpse of my new book and let's review how Chichi made her way to France then!
Chichi always traveled with her best friend Chuen. They went everywhere together and had the best time in the world. It was sad that Chuen couldn't accompany her this time. Before Chichi set out, Chuen gave her a balloon as her companion on the journey. Then Chichi wouldn't feel so lonely.
Chichi finally arrived in France, but she was puzzled. There were roundabouts everywhere and every road looked the same. The road signs were so small that Chichi could hardly read what was written on them. "Where am I supposed to land?" In the meanwhile, people seemed to know their directions. It was such a special place, Chichi thought.
Right when Chichi landed, it started to drizzle. The Parisian sky looked so gloomy. She was eager to find a shelter from the rain. When Chichi felt cold and starved, she saw a handsome man hold the umbrella for his friends. They had so much fun even when the weather was so unpleasant. At this moment, Chichi started to miss Chuen. "If Chuen were here, it would be fun to be in the rain without umbrellas."
Chichi came to Fontainebleau. The little inn where she stayed looked so warm with its orange tone of wall paper and decorations. The inn keeper was a sad man. Chichi saw only his little son. She asked herself, "What is his story?" "Maybe his wife is on a trip to a farway place. Maybe the boy is just his nephew. Perhaps he is an optimist that looks pessimistic. Or maybe I am tired...Good night, Chuen."
When Chichi reached Avallon, she had a hard time seeking a hotel room. Finally, people in the tourist center sent her to the inn with a beautiful small garden. Yet Chichi found the hotel owner to be very "special." He was a perfectionist to the bone. Despite the fact that his hotel was super neat, Chichi believed he was too demanding. "Please don't cook in your room. My carpets were burned by Asian tourists like you." "You'd like to borrow my Michelin guide? Hmm, which pages would you like? I'll zerox them for you." "By the way, please come to the restaurant and be seated at the table for dinner. Watch out for the crumbs. I hope you won't mess up my place." Before Chichi left, she'd love to award him as the champion of perfectionists in France.
When Chichi arrived at Dijon, she could finally loosen up by riding a bike around the lake in the suburbs. The summer breeze caressed her face. She played with the swans happily. But she didn't notice that her balloon was flying higher and higher...
The balloon was gone when she realized it was no longer with her. Chichi rushed all the way to Lyon. She took every metro line, but she couldn't find the balloon. She couldn't but ask the hairless conductor if he had seen it. Before Chichi opened her mouth, he greeted her with a HUGE smile, "Hello, my working day is over. Bye!" Then he disappeared. He didn't mind if she was left alone in the car either. At this time, Chichi was really worried.
Chichi went back to the metro station in the city. A loving couple enjoyed making out in public. Since the policemen were nearby, Chichi shouted to them, "Hey, did you see my balloon? It is yellow with a turquoise heart on it!" The police shrugged their shoulders indifferently and then they continued their chat. The man waved his hand at Chichi and then he started to kiss and caress his darling. Chichi was so disappointed..
Right when Chichi got a glimpse of her balloon, a group of people emerged near the fountain in the park. Three little boys were after her, "Konichiwa, are you Japanese?" "Are you a Buddhist?" There was also a receptionist from Hotel Ibis. She was trying to get away from the American tourist. "Oh spare me. Didn't I repeat to you that we set up roundabouts to avoid traffic jams? In the past, when there were only traffic lights, many people died in car accidents. How were we supposed to know that roundabouts would give foreign tourists such a hard time?"
In search of her balloon, Chichi checked everywhere. She didn't miss the hilltop in Lyon. The kind-hearted yet serious-looking conductor analyzed to her the possible whereabouts of the balloon. He even took out a map of France. "I believe that your balloon must have flown toward the south. If not..." He reminded Chichi of her geography teacher in old school days. He was so proud of himself. Chichi bit her lips not to laugh out.
Chichi realized it was impossible to walk across the whole France to search for her balloon. She decided to resort to a helicopter. First, she flew across the lavender fields of Provence. It would be impossible not to find the balloon, she said. But she was so engrossed that she didn't hear the women cry to her, "Hey, your balloon flew away in the opposite direction!"
Chichi couldn't find the balloon, so she turned to North France. Maybe her balloon hid in the sunflowers. "I have a question! People here drive so fast. Do they dream of becoming car racers? Even bicycles are faster than me. I have to speed up!" She had the idea that speed would do her good...
She didn't become a helicopter racer, but she did end up on a hat stand in the southernest city Menton. The seller was bargaining with other tourists. Then all the hats flew up because of Chichi. The woman, a straightforward French, lashed out at Chichi in anger. Chichi had the most unlucky day in France. Instead of finding her balloon, she was hurt physically and mentally.
Chichi cried like a deserted child at the swimming pool in the hotel. There were so many happy tourists around her, some of whom were preparing to jump into the pool to enjoy the cool water. Kids yelled and screamed, but they had nothing to do with her. "I don't want to travel alone again..." Chichi thought to herself sadly...
It came as one of the most beautiful surprises that the waiter in Nime found her balloon, right when she needed it the most! Her joy was beyond description. Chichi couldn't refrain from giving him a BIG HUG!
Chichi didn't forget Chuen's advice--she got to try Bouillabaisse in Marseille. The more she ate, the more lonely she became. One man's feast was no fun at all. "If Chuen could join me..." Chichi even wished that the embarassed tourists on the pavement, rejected by the high-class restaurant, were her friends.
Chichi dragged her tired body on her way back to Paris. The lavender souvenir storekeeper in the Gordes mountain areas told her, "Little girl, don't be so frustrated. You know, this is the trip that a lot of people dream of!"
Chichi was still unhappy after she went back to Paris. She didn't pay attention to the riot among the tourists on the cruise. "Hey, there is a balloon!" "Ah!" "You almost caught it!"
On her way to Monmartre, there were people and music around her, but Chichi didn't hear or see anything. The old sir next to her that resembled Einstein caught her attention. "Hey, the balloon seems to have something to say to you!" On seeing it, Chichi lunged forth.
Following the balloon, Chichi found Chuen waiting for her on the hill! "There is no better end to this trip!" Chichi thought!
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Today I'd like to share the first story I did back in 1998. Since beef noodles are a tradition in my family, I wrote a story based on this very special dish. Kiddie is the apple of her parents' eye. They miss her so much when she is away for studies in the US. In the meanwhile Kiddie is worried about her dad and mom's being too sad. She thinks of the old good times when they ate beef noodles together. She then hits upon a good idea. She would like to make beef noodles for them! However, she only ends up in burning the whole house. Afraid of being caught, she starts a long self-exile. Her parents, in the hope of seeing their baby daughter, begin a challenging journey across the mountains and the seas. And the story ends in their finding each other unexpectedly. What's better, they prepare a hot and yummy bowl of beef noodles for her!
"Kiddie, we have a surprise for you!" Mom says.
"Eh?" Kiddie is puzzled.
"Open it!" Dad offers a warm box to his baby daughter.
"Oh oh oh! It's a bowl of beef noodles!!! Gee!" Kiddie is so surprised and touched that she can hardly say anything. There is nothing better than a gift like this after an exhausting and despairing journey.
The three people are so happy that they start the dance of beef noodles. Even the fish join them. And this time, Dad and Mom save two bowls for themselves too!
Friday, December 09, 2005
by Weichuen You 2004
"Look, there are herds of sheep!" Pipi yelled as if she had never seen the animals in her entire life.
"Yeah, you've never seen so many of them?" Loveman teased her. "I didn't know one could be so exhilarated at such a sight. For me, this was part of my childhood scenes." He really loved the innocent look of surprise in Pipi's eyes.
"Wow...I even feel like lying on that wide stretch of green pasture..." Pipi just couldn't stop being amazed at the lovely countryside.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
"Oh, I know what you are thinking. No, we are not at the seaside. We are in the city center! I don't think you can find another city with beaches along the main river. We French are certainly the most creative people in the world!" Loveman explained to Pipi with excitement.
"Aren't real beaches better?" Pipi was puzzled. She wondered if the artificial beaches were another "romantic" invention of the French.
"Loveman, I am tired of Paris. I'd like to see more of the countryside. Could we?" Pipi asked.
"No kidding! I grew up in the country! Let's just GO!"
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
"And, would you like to experience the intoxicating kiss in the famous photo of Robert Doisneau? Huh, so yummyyyyyyy!" Loveman held Pipi and gave her a super-big kiss on her lips.
"WHAT are you...doing?" Before Pipi could finish her sentence, she melted and she saw stars dancing around her even in the bright daytime...
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
"I bet you have never traveled in a city with such a limited budget. Well, the restaurants in Paris could be expensive and lousy at the same time. Sitting here, we have the beautiful view of the Seine River and after all, my food isn't that awful. There's something romantic about poverty don't you think?" Loveman explained as he enjoyed the self-made sandwich with Pipi.
"Wow, your sandwich tastes yummy! And I love where we are. It's like a small paradise inside the bustling city." Pipi really began to understand why so many people had fallen in love with Paris.
Friday, December 02, 2005
"Since you don't like the 'glamorous' sides of Paris, I'll make you experience something different. I bet you have never seen the metro car packed with so many sad and indifferent faces." Loveman explained to Pipi while the latter wondered why this would be a "tourist attraction."
"Wow, I am impressed...Their faces are unbelievably gloomy..." Pipi replied.
"And you know what? When people look so downbeat, we can't laugh or smile. It wouldn't go with the tone of this city. Try to look VERY depressed..." They two made much effort not to laugh though they both knew they were playing a very stupid game...
Thursday, December 01, 2005
"Loveman, I really don't find our trip to be exciting or interesting. What do you want to show me anyway?" Pipi was rather disappointed with what she had seen.
Loveman was EXASPERATED on hearing this. No one could insult him or his country in a more ruthless way.
"What? You don't even think this canal is gorgeous? It was so beautifully filmed in 'Amelie'. Oh my God, I am so angry now that I might die of a heart attack!" He was at the end of his patience and tried his best not to scream like a madman.
Pipi didn't think she was wrong in being honest with Loveman. So they were locked in silence for a few minutes.
"OK, if you want something special, then I'll give it to you. Just stop complaining!" This time Loveman decided to go all out to impress the difficult young lady.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
"You see? This is the MASTERPIECE I am most proud of. As a French citizen, I can't say there is something better than this. What a piece of art!" Loveman exclaimed with admiration for the classic Mona Lisa.
"Really? I mean no offense, but I think you have the same painting hung on the wall in your apartment..." Pipi scratched her head puzzled.
"You mean, THAT ONE?" Loveman yelled out of a sudden.
"Yeah?" Pipi was caught off guard and quite surprised by him.
"My holy Napoleon...This is the original and we have nothing but a copy! Do you or do you not understand the difference between the two?" Loveman thought he had shown the pearls to someone who didn't understand their value.