Spring break: I had a good time exploring Chicago which has easily become one of my favorite cities in the world!
Another rewarding find from this Chicago trip was that I made a new friend – William Aitch (pronounced as Ay-tch or H. But I always call him Ai-ch).
Apart from a few brief encounters with William in MU, I never knew him before this trip. To me, it was an entirely new experience having to travel around with a stranger but it gave me a chance to document how he transited from becoming a complete stranger to a friend.
Not that the trip helped me know him thoroughly but it was the shared experiences and common memories that I could make the statements below.
Three things that I found out about William during our four-day trip:
1. He is a computer geek.
William likes computers both hardware and software. Talk to him about dismantling your computer and piecing them together again, he likes that. He’s definitely into gaming, all sorts of video and computer games. He could spend all day in front of his computers chasing after aliens.
And yes, he has two desktops and a laptop in his room.
2. He is a music geek.
During our 6-7 hours drive back to Columbia, he was blasting his heavy metal music away in the car. By heavy metal, I am referring to music that will make your heart beat race faster, brains throb crazily away and will resonate in your ears even after it is switched off. He blames his loud engine for having to increase the volume to deafening level.
Personally, he can plays the electric guitar and likes the bass part in particular. During our trip, he misses his bass guitar very much that he needed to imagine playing it even in a restaurant.
3. He has severe allergy reactions and has his own unique set of ways to alleviate the symptoms.
Throughout the trip, he was sneezing, cough, feeling drowsy and other discomforts due to the pollens and polluted air in Chicago.
His solution to help himself feel better took me aback. They include eating MacDonald’s hot fudge sundae for breakfast and having earl gray tea for dinner. His explanation was that having very hot or very cold drinks could help him clear his nasal congestion and throat. (Do not ask me about how the science works!)
Apparently drinking soda helps him better than downing glasses of water. Anything sweet and sugary will keep him awake and clears his mind more than a proper meal does.
I could go on a long list about other things concerning William, yet I realized that I’ve only properly known him last Wednesday.
The process of befriending someone is often taken for granted. We would rarely think about how did we met a particular friend because it comes all too naturally. Yet if we start paying a little more attention to how did it all happen, I would say the process in itself is a surreal experience.
I might not like heavy metal music; I might not enjoy sipping soda as much as William does; I might not like Super Mario. But the fact that we had the opportunity to meet, to interact and to reveal our habits with each other are steps that all friends engage with each other.
Hey William, I’m looking forward to have barbecue at your house! Invite me please!
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