Maria and David are the first foreigners I knew. It was nearly ten years ago. One day, I saw an English corner advertisement in the newspaper, so I decided to go there.
The English corner was in a tall building of this small city’s center. Just coming out of the elevator, my eyes caught a pretty girl, it was the first time I saw a white girl in real life. This girl seemed very energetic, a red kerchief around her blonde hair, about 1.75 meters tall, in her twenties.
An usher asked if I came for the English corner. I said yes. She said: ten Yuan to buy a drink, then you can come. So I bought a cola, and went to the room in the other direction. The English corner was in every weekend night, seemingly had two sessions. First is a lessen by the waijiao(foreign teacher) , the second is a free discussion. I was late this time. It was free discussion session.
Opening the door, I saw a tall and fat laowai in his forties, According to his own words: even in Canada, I am a big man. Sadly, he was a little crippled. This laowai greeted to me after seeing me. Actually I was nervous for being the frist time here, his greeting calmed me. So I sat near him, and talked with him.
His name was David. It was the first time he was in china, also the first time in this English corner. He didn’t know any Chinese words. Maybe that is the reason he talked with me most of the time. Others’ English seemed too poor to have a deep conversation with him. from his talking, I knew the girl outdoor came from America, her name was Maria, her father came from Russia, she majored Chinese in college, had been here for one year.
Maria came to the English corner near the end of session. Sadly, she knew other guys here, so I didn’t get a chance to talk.
I came to the English corner early next week. Maybe it’s too early, so I wandered around in the street. I saw david and maria in the street by chance. David still remembered me and introduced me to Maria. Maria said: ni hao, and came toward me. When she came near me, suddenly her eyes nailed on my eyes. I was scared, maybe because of her beautiful eyes, or maybe I thought her eyes had seen my last night’s wank being filled with fantasy about her.
So came the lesson of the English corner. The lesson was taught by David. Though David was a good teacher, trying to inspire others to talk with him. but the room was silent, no one wanted to talk, so his eyes moved toward me, hoping me to say something. But I also kept silent. For a moment, he understood. He cried out: Maria! Maria!
Maria came to room. Now I became vibrant, so was other guys. The topic turned toward international politics. I talked about how Russian had taken china’s 1.5 million square kilometers territory. David kept reminding that Maria’s father was Russian. But I didn’t care. What I did was to catch her attention. It was the time of Iraq war, Maria said she was against the war. “ If Bush won a second term, i would have to stay in china for four more years.” She said this words sadly.
Don’t know why I didn’t come to the English corner again. It was nearly a year later, when passing the building of English corner. I remembered Maria and David. So I came to the place. The English corner has long gone, but Maria was still there. She became a little fat, not as energetic as before, her shining face also dimmed. She told me David had left for another school, and gave me her business card.
I store her number into my phone, but never dared to call. Two more years later, in a boring evening, I called the number. The number had become an empty number. Maria had left this small city.