Wednesday, November 11
It's been raining a lot lately in Hangzhou. So much that they postponed the highly-anticipated Sports Meeting at the last minute because of all the mud and general sogginess of our campus. Rain is inconvenient back home because you have to get wet on the way from your door to the car, and if you drop the keys or if your hand slips on the car door handle, you'll be in the rain an additional 8 to 10 seconds. Here in China, the rain is slightly more inconvenient because you have to get wet on your entire twenty minute walk to the market and another twenty minutes on the return trip.
And our umbrella is broken.
After the last couple days, however, I've decided I wouldn't get and umbrella if it rained every day I'm here from now to June. Why? Because when you come needy, the good people come to you.
Andy is one of my students. His English is very good, but he is relatively quiet in class, sitting in the back with some of his guy friends. He didn't really stand out as someone I should pursue while here in China. But two days ago when I was ready to step out into the rain after class and make the half-mile trek home, Andy popped out of nowhere and demanded that he escort me. So we walked and talked under his umbrella for the next fifteen minutes. Wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been needy.
Chen Shu is an art student at our university. She is studying vocal art, perfect mastery of the Chinese language so that she can be a newscaster or television spokesperson. She studies at my university, but not in my college. I would have never met this girl, except yesterday she noticed me walking behind her on the way back from the market.
She asked where I was going and pulled me under her umbrella. We introduced ourselves and talked for twenty minutes as she kept me dry all the way to my building on campus. Chen Shu said she was interested in coming to our English practice meetings, where we use a good book to learn English. I never would have met her if I owned an umbrella. If I hadn't been needy.
A great man once sent out his followers saying, "Don't take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; no bag for the journey or extra tunic or sandals or staff."