“How did you guys meet?” It is probably the most frequent question I was asked when it is regarding me and my late husband. I have to say, it is kind of unusual for us to meet. He is American and lived in Michigan, I am a Chinese and lived in Shanghai. Physically it is almost impossible to meet. But then at that very important day and time, our paths crossed.
It was June 18 in Shanghai, a very comfortable Friday afternoon. I had run away from my hometown to this big and fancy city for more than 5 years. From almost homeless to co-owned a company with my best friend. There were a couple of short relationships but nothing real. My heart just couldn’t settle and was still looking for the true love as I have read in books or seen on movies. 😉 After I turned 30 years old, I suddenly was not in a hurry anymore. In Chinese society, it is like a death penalty if a woman hasn’t married before 30. There is even a special word for women like me, Leftover Women. Lol! But in fact, I was quite relaxed because no one gave me pressure anymore since I am hopeless of getting married as my age. 😉
Without all the pressures and noises, I spent more me-time on reading and reflecting on what I really want. It came to a conclusion that I just wanted to be happy and enjoy my life no matter if I am married or not. Although the society was putting a pity label on me, but I found peace by just being the odd one. Reading fashion magazines, trying new skincare products, and learning how to take care of my body and my soul became my lifestyle. Seriously I was at my best being a single woman.
Then that very special Friday afternoon, my partner, a female client and myself had a meeting at our office. We had a such great time so we decided to continue our conversation to one of my partner’s favorite place, Paulaner Brauhaus Shanghai At Binjiang Branch. This is a German Beer Garden located in close proximity to the Lujiazui Financial District along the banks of the Huangpu River in Pudong, the restaurant boasts one of the most stunning views of Shanghai’s historic Bund. Below are the views that you can see when you are sitting outside of the restaurant.
This is how outside of the restaurant looks like.
That very day, we sat on the table right behind the folded umbrella in the photo below, watching the boats going by, sipping the German beer and laughing with each other’s jokes. Then suddenly, a group of guys came to our table, there were two middle aged Americans and one young Chinese. The young man asked us if they can share table with us in Chinese. Just like all the beer gardens in Europe, costumers need to share tables when it is getting busy. So of course we said ok.
The slim American man sat right next to me along with the young Chinese guy, the over-weight American guy sat next to my client along with my partner and they were facing me. At that time I had almost no English. The only words that I remembered from my collage years are “Hello, thank you, how are you, I am fine, good-bye, yes and no”. I became nervous because I realized those American guys wanted to talk to us after we exchange greeting. At least the slim guy next to me. I had no clue what they said or how to respond and it was quite embarrassing…Well, you have to come back next time to read more about it since this post is already pretty long. 😉
Photo credit: Grace Liang
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