April 28, 2012

I am sitting in the same little cafe in my hutong with my German roommate (Simone). In the red velvet chair next to her a white kitty is curled up, napping in the sunshine.

On this particular visit, I suddenly realized how much I knew everyone.

I know two of the servers, the owner with his massive ponytail, and the Russian woman who is always sitting with him, the two of them stroking yet another cat and two baby kitties that I can’t stop staring at because they are just SO PRECIOUS. And I know the Spanish guy working on his linguistics thesis and the French guy who complains about Chinese censorship slowing down his internet all the time.

And then the smattering of others whom I don’t know; the man smiling to himself as he self-consciously quietly repeats the Chinese words of his teacher across the table from him; the smattering of Chinese people, and the few tourists who wander in for a drink before they continue on their meandering journey through the hutongs.

I live in the best neighborhood in the world.


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