Day 70: Epitome of Life

Get ready: I’m going to attempt to extract something profound out of a photo of lint. But before that…

The more often I write that I am grateful for sunny days in Shanghai, the more I’m beginning to feel better about Shanghai weather, in general. Maybe it’s just that we arrived at a time when the weather absolutely destroyed any hope of us enjoying good weather for a while. I remember we would tell each other that we would return to places we visited and liked “in warmer months like April.” On the one hand, the warmer weather has arrived earlier than expected. On the other hand, I realize now that April and May are supposed to be extremely rainy months.

But this is all besides the point (sorry). So, I was in my Shanghai history class when my Nokia cell phone rang (we all received temporary Nokia cell phones while here). The one other student in my class took this as an opportunity to leave for another class (he’s a Harvard PhD candidate, so he really doesn’t even need this class anyway). I saw it was from my internship supervisor but decided to ignore it. Two seconds later, he called again, so I decided to take the call and excuse myself.

Basically, an editor from Shanghai Expat’s sister publication City Weekend said Bruno Mars, who’s coming to Shanghai in April, would be accepting interview questions via email, and my supervisor wanted to know if I wanted to do the honor of sending him my questions. Brief background: On my first day of work, I came up with a list of story ideas, some based on events around the city. I semi-jokingly suggested interviewing Bruno Mars, thinking it’s impossible for a lowly intern to snag one. Fast forward two weeks later, and my supervisor is asking me to interview Bruno Mars.

COMMENCE FREAKING OUT. Just kidding. Slightly. I still had an hour of class left. And yes, as you can probably imagine, an agonizingly (I use this word a lot, don’t I?) long hour.

Of course, I gladly accepted the task, despite the fact that I wouldn’t get out of class till 4:30 and my editor gave me till 6. As soon as 4:30 hit (well, my professor made me wait and watch her things as she went to the bathroom, despite knowing about my urgency…I mean, sure, I’ll [omg] watch [need to] your [leave] things… [NOW!!!!]).

The thing is, I had planned to attend a dinner with a visiting BU professor and his group of School of Hospitality students at the Lost Heaven restaurant near the Bund. But that was at 6, and the opportunity to send a celebrity questions (which could possibly lead to an in-person interview) was worth skipping a free meal and possibly…new…friends…well, it did at the time. Scratch that. My roommate just came back saying it wasn’t worth it. Still, this news meant that I had to cancel on the friend I was going to go with to this dinner. She suggested that I just come up with questions on the subway and use the restaurant’s WiFi to send the email. It was a tempting idea, but I immediately realized that I couldn’t just come up with questions like that. I needed to do research. I needed to ask good questions.

By about 5:40 p.m., I managed to submit 10 good (in my opinion), thoughtful questions. They showed I had at least some knowledge of the singer and his accomplishments. We’ll see.

Now, you see how ridiculous it is, then, to have today’s photo be one of the extreme amount of lint that had accumulated on my shirt after washing. I bought a lint roller a few days ago and didn’t use it till today.


I took this photo late in the day, after all the craziness of today happened. Then when I thought about what I would blog about and realized how the photo doesn’t represent my day at all, I tried to think of some meaning to extract out of it. Essentially, this is the epitome of life. It’s full of ups and downs. One minute, you could be sitting in a dull history class. The next, you could be coming up with questions for Bruno Mars to answer. Afterward, you could just be rolling lint off your damn shirt.