Sunday, February 06, 2011

A friend worthy of only NT$48,500

To continue training their writing fluency, I asked students of my writing class to post at least five articles on their blogs during the winter vacation. One of the topics I gave them was to write about a friend. They can write about a helpful friend who exerts positive influence or a bad company who causes injure, harm, or damage. Setting up an example, I guess I should write one myself. Let me tell you something about a former friend of mine named Liu. I used the word “former” here because we have stopped contacting each other.

I met Liu soon after I graduated from senior high school in 1972. For we did not do well in college entrance exam, both of us were preparing to try again next year. His uncle was a math teacher at a very prestigious girls’ senior high school, so he took me to his uncle’s bushiban two evenings a week to attend make-up classes. In addition to that, we went to movies, hanging around in the café or the park together. Crazy about Chinese kung-fu, he sometimes showed us some new tricks he had learned from Bruce Lee’s movies. He did not do well next year and went to study at a junior college in Banciao; however, our friendship continued. After graduating from college and completing our military service, busy in work, we did not see each other often except occasional phone calls.

About fifteen years ago, we resumed our contact. He told me that he had divorced and remarried. I was pretty happy to see him again and his young Chinese wife. We had dinners together and talked a lot about our old time. Learning that my wife was an insurance agent, he was very eager to buy some insurance policies to protect his daughter of the first marriage and his family now and asked my wife to give him a proposal. Several days later, he called me saying that he was going back to Sian with his wife, but he was a little bit short of money. He asked me for NT$48,500 to buy airline tickets and promised to return it soonest. I have never heard of him since. Later my wife told me Liu was cunning to trick me a loan by pretending to buy insurance.

Our friendship was of course ended. I jokingly told some of my friends that I consider it pretty cheap to spend that amount of money to know a person.

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