Studying on exchange at University of Southern California (USC) in fall semester 2009, I decided to do something different other than just studying. I had to take same credits as my home university (University of Melbourne). That means I had to take 4 level-4 subjects in Marketing and Strategic Management. Luckily, students at USC are allowed to have extra 2 credits to do some fun courses if they want to. And international ballroom dance sounds exciting to me.
Never been to the dance class before, but this is to help me overcome my shyness. And I met her, a very cute girl from Hong Kong. I remembered that we had to find gather up and find a dance partner. She was standing next to me, and when I asked (with a big smile): “Would you like to be my dance partner?”, she said “Yes, sure!” with the cute Hongkonese accent. I think the smile is the perfect ice-breaker tool, in most situations.
We were pleased that both of us have ‘Zero’ experience in dancing because it’s easier to pick up the dance moves together. One will not be the burden for another. “Why you want to learn dancing?” – I asked. “Because I’m major in Animation so I want to understand more about body’s movements”. Hmmm, an answer I would never expect, but it was unique from her.
Our ballroom teacher is a nice guy too, with great sense of humor. He taught us from the very basics such as how to feel the beat, and how to put arm gesture in a correct position. Even though we had to change the partner frequently during the class, she was always my first dance partner when the class started. And I still remember our big smiles when we the round finished and we danced together again. The whole class was always full of laughs when someone did their ‘weird’ dance moves. Soon, we started to form our Asian group, mainly from Hong Kong, mainland China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. A few of us are exchange students, but it was great hanging out with the local students too.
I remembered when we hang out at Staples Center to watch the Hockey game. It was my first time watching hockey, and also our first time hanging out outside the ballroom class.
I remembered when we had a walk around campus at night. It was after the ballroom class and I had nowhere to go. My other exchange mates wanted to watch Twilight at midnight sessions so I have block of few hours doing nothing. She invited me to her room while waiting, and show me her cute & colorful rooms. She also showed me her animation project and told me a lot about her major. Her housemate was cute too. I really appreciated and feel welcomed!
Knowing her birthday is coming, I have nothing but just a little koala I brought with me all the way from Melbourne. I think it’s memorable and would surprise her when I asked her to close her eyes and opened her hands. And I received a warm hug from her!
The semester had been so fast. Our 12-week ballroom dance class and then we planned to have a farewell dinner at an Indonesian restaurant. My other group mates from another class brought me there first, and I’m amazed by the food (yes, very spicy!) Then I received her cutie letter which I still keep it till now. I was really surprised because she still remembered the Vietnamese phrase “Chúc mừng năm mới” (Happy New Year) that I taught her during the class. And the spelling of her hand writing is correct too 🙂
I wish that we could spend more time. I wish that our ‘promise’ of meeting in Hong Kong will be fulfilled soon, though I don’t know when. Even though it’s not much, I appreciate all the feelings that I had for her during that time
Hmm, since we have been going on totally different life-paths, memories still remain in our heart! It’s been 2.5 years, and today I suddenly miss her 🙂
… And I’ve never settled long enough to like someone 🙂