Spring Break

In a moment of nostalgia and of curiosity, I read through all my previous entries. I caught a few mistakes, but all in all, they were quite interesting. In particular, the adventures documented in the early entries captivated my attention. It seemed that over the months, not only did the content of my entries become more mundane, but so did my style. I’ll have to work on that.

I drove down from Stanford by myself for Spring Break. Though hardly a noteworthy achievement for most college graduates, it’s only the second time I’ve driven 400 miles in one day.

The first time was in September, when I drove up by myself. I could honestly say that the first time was quite the experience. I had the radio and CD player to myself. I had full control of the air conditioner. I stopped for lunch at Carl’s Jr. and ate my meal in peaceful solitude. I pumped gas for the first time. I played with the cruise control until I finally understood its operation. And after listening to countless loops of Chinese oldies, after passing through the monotonous fields of Central Valley on the uncluttered 5, after watching the day morph from a cool morning into a sweltering afternoon, and then watching it slowly cool down as the afternoon progressed, I finally reached the segment of 101 with which I came to be so familiar from all those rides to and from the airport. And as I neared my school, the rosy late afternoon sun provided the perfect backdrop for my mounting excitement at what lay ahead: a new beginning, a new residence, new responsibilities, and new opportunities for romance.

But this second time was significantly less romantic than that first time. Driving became a bore. I began to lose my appetite for Itzhak Perlman’s Greatest Hits. The engine was still as noisy as before. But most of all, I was alone. An unsought loneliness has settled where there once was an excitement of being free. And the verdant foothills only reminded me of the lack of a companion with whom I could share this majestic creation. Indeed, it is not good for man to be alone.

As it is Spring Break, I paid a visit to my high school teachers, whom I haven’t seen for four years. My French teacher was quite excited to see me back. We spent vingt minutes speaking Franglais, and covered everything. Nous avons parlé des jeunes filles, de la religion, de l’université, de l’avenir, et de ma sœur. In the end, she pronounced that I spoke couramment, despite my not having taken French since freshman year of college.

The strangest thing happened: my French teacher and my Physics teacher independently asked if I was married, and they didn’t look like they were joking. Married?! My parents don’t even expect me to be married! My parents, although they keep giving me some friendly hints, still consider me to be rather young. And when you’re in your first year of graduate school and you see no lack of singleness in the older folks, you begin to feel that you’re still young too.