It was a nice day to be out to Zhu-jia Kou,
about one hour drive from Shanghai, for a
class reunion with Ann’s high school classmates.
Her school was the same primary school I
attended, established by the same educator.
We were to be picked up by a chartered bus
at 9 a.m.
Therefore, I had time to drop off the
Huangshan films and stop by the new Shanghai
Library to check my e-mail and stock quotes.
I already knew that some of my stocks were
doing well from a telephone conversation
with my niece Kong Mian in Hong Kong.
She was kicking herself for not following
the hot tip stock that I had given to her five
The stock already had gone up 30%.
Shortly after my return from the Library,
Lao-da Goa (Elder Big Brother, a title of
respect) and Lo Yui-lan (Ann’s close friend)
were at the door.
It is a Chinese custom for key hosts to come
to the door for escorting honorable guests;
we were overwhelmed by their kindness.
Ann was having a phone conversation with
Kwang-tze, the elder daughter of my brother,
also in Hong Kong.
A warm hug, and a broad smile triggered off
a happy day, particularly for Ann.
There were thirty-two participants in the
Of course, the time was specially arranged
to fit Ann’s schedule.
We were grateful for those who organized the
event in very short notice.
A banquet type dinner was set up in an
exclusive second floor of a country style
restaurant at Zhu-jia Kou.
The room was barely able to accommodate
our three tables.
We were the guests of the classmates, and
undoubtedly the center of attention.
After an introductory remark, organizer
Chiang Din-fong asked both of us to say a
I briefly talked about the trip, my work,
and Ann’s work before turning the floor to Ann.
She was bubbling with excitement to see so
many of her classmates as some of them we
didn’t meet last year.
At the end, she promised to come back next
year, about the same month, for another reunion.
The group toured the re-created village,
with a setting of a river and several old bridges.
Sampans were there for hire.
Many souvenir shops crowded the already
From the merchandise displayed in these shops,
we could see that the main native specialty
was Tsong-tze, the sticky rice with pork
wrapped in bamboo leaves.
I suggested to the tour organizer Chiang
Din-fong that we should get four Tsong-tze
for each participant, as a token gift from
Ann and me.
Chiang approved of this idea and started
his bargain skills with one vendor.
In all, we bought 128 Tsong-tze, in 32
While touring the site, Ann asked her
friends to help me walk so that I won’t
trip or fall.
I enjoyed having different girl friends
to keep me company as well as to watch
over my safety.
Special friends deserve mention are San-san,
Lo Yui-lan, Chiang Wei-xun and Chian San-tsu,
without their assistance I would mostly
likely run into difficulties with the
cobble stones and steps.
The charter bus took us back to Hunan Road.
We bade good-bye to all our friends on
the bus, promising another meeting next year.
It was a very special day.
Our own schedule did not end yet.
Ann’s friends from her work place, Spare Rib
and Master, were expected to have dinner with us.
Ann gave the nickname Spare Rib to her close
friend because she was tiny many years ago.
Master was actually a gentle lady.
Under her supervision, Ann gained the skill
as an instrument assembly inspector.
Both of these friends are still working, much
beyond the mandatory retirement age in China.
My sister-in-law strongly suggested that we
stay home for dinner with them.
Two more friends would not be a problem.
Since we were tired from the all day trip,
we agreed to have dinner with them.
All of us actually enjoyed the home cooked
meal much more than if we had gone to a restaurant.
My brother enjoyed meeting Ann’s friends.
He was obviously very happy to participate
in whatever subjects came up during the