Finally, winter break arrived and I quickly got onto the plane for Hong Kong. I was so happy to be reunited with Jana again and we spent a memorable week at her house through the Christmas season. The feeling of seeing each other again was incredible and nothing felt quite real the first few days.
Thanks to Cathay Pacific’s cheap fanfare tickets, we had serendipitously booked a ten-day trip to England. On our first night we arrived in London Heathrow airport and promptly took the tube to Leicester square, then transferred to Chalk Farm station. We were exhausted at the end of the flight and our luggage was really heavy. But to our pleasant surprise, the walk to the apartment (Airbnb) was only about eight minutes.
We were excited about the room and turned the heat on all the way because it was freezing indoors and outdoors. We fell asleep accidentally really early, around 9pm and woke up super early at 5 am. Classic jet lag!
When Jana and I travel, we don’t force ourselves to visit every famous destination or see every sight. But since it was our first time in England, we did try to see a few of the most famous ones. In the next few days we saw Big Ben, the London Eye, Trafalgar square, Winter Wonderland @ Hyde Park. We also checked out Chinatown near Soho and would return there a lot! But the first few days were spent in the quiet town near our apartment, where we checked out cafes and hung out at home. We played poker on our iPad and phones and just enjoyed each other’s company.
One thing about the holiday season in U.K. is that the businesses there take the holiday seriously, meaning many were closed or had reduced hours. This was a big surprise and meant that a few times we found places on Yelp and walked to a closed storefront.
We have been busy with school and work lately. Here’s our update!
Kangli will be spending his Christmas in Hong Kong and it’s his FIRST TIME EVER. He will be in Hong Kong for the whole winter break (feeling blessed) and hopefully we won’t be gaining too much weight. We have been very excited about this winter since October every since Kangli purchased his plane ticket.
Another exciting news is – We are going to London & (maybe) Paris over winter break! Yes! We found cheap tickets on Cathy Pacific Fanfare for just $430 usd round trip. We couldn’t resist this amazing deal and decided to have a little “getaway” during this holiday.
We will update the blog more when we are back together! 🙂
We have been busy with work and school lately and wasn’t able to update the blog as frequent as we thought. However, there’s only #55 days left till we hug and cuddle with each other again. Kangli is visiting Hong Kong from Dec 16 – Jan 19. We are planning to visit Taiwan also, as it is a close by travel destination for Hong Kongers. Also, we’ve been planning to move in together after winter break, meaning, I will be leaving Hong Kong once again.
We both agree that it is hard to love each other so deeply but unable to show our affection in person. We dream of each others’ hugs and kisses everyday and night. We had thorough discussion of the pros and cons of me moving to U.S. We thought of different ways to keep us together physically, and U.S. is the best option for us at this moment. We are excited to see each other again and start our live together in NYC after winter break.
The following day I woke up to see that Jana hadn’t replied me yet. I thought maybe she doesn’t want to give me the wrong impression by replying late at night so I didn’t worry about it. I headed off to Mann library for coffee and school work. Around 5pm, I saw a message from Jana asking me to go to Asia Night, the event on campus that she previously said was too busy to attend. I was happy and wondered why she changed her mind all of a sudden. I rushed back to my apartment to change and then walked back to Collegetown Bagels to meet her. I got to CTB and waited inside for about five minutes. I was reading my book and wondering whether she would be late when I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. It was Jana and we started walking to the event. Along the way, I remember her telling me that her eyes were very nearsighted, to which I jokingly replied “It’s not a dealbreaker!”
Asia Night was a brief event, as we were both familiar with the clubs and their booths, most of them being unchanged from past years. I remember we tried some food and snacks and did a quick tour of the whole place. Then Jana told me she was going to go back to studying, but first a quick stop by Panda Tea Lounge (formerly Old Tea House) in Collegetown. As we walked down to get bubble tea together, we started talking more and I learned that she was taking an Intro Stats course. I thought maybe I would be able to help her so offered to join her at the Law School to continue studying. I remember being really excited the whole time, making flirty remarks that sometimes made Jana cringe. But she was nice about it and did not seem annoyed by me overall. We stayed at the law school for almost two hours before heading back. The night ended with dessert at CTB, where we shared a hot chocolate. This night would really be the start of our dating, as we began seeing each other every single day afterwards.
breakfree dance group!
Jana – I didn’t plan on going to Asia Night that day. However, after attending an Acapella concert, I figured out I still have time for another event that night before going back to study and I remembered Kang-Li asked me if I would like to go with him at the dinner. So I asked Kang-Li if he’s still interested in joining me at Asia Night. It was quite interesting how we started going out and I was the one who initiated the “first date” in someway . Also, law school was somehow opened that night – most of the time it’s locked after 8pm. But we were lucky that night and studied/ chatted for a while in there. We ended the night at CTB. I remembered we were walking together and were chatting. But all of a sudden, Kang-Li just said: I’m gonna go now, bye! And he just crossed the street without looking back, which made me think he wasn’t that interested in developing a deeper relationship with me. However, I was very wrong about it.
It’s been hard adjusting life without Kangli around. I imagine him was with me all the time and in everything I do. Today, after FaceTiming with Kangli I went out to walk around. I went to a popular store – 759 that is close by my home. I found some shrimp crackers, which reminded me of a YouTube video we watched earlier today. Also, I bought some pocky – super cheap and cost only $1.75USD for the whole pack!! I’m excited to show Kangli around Hong Kong when he visits in the winter 🙂
The following week Jana and I were both invited by the same mutual friend Nathan to his birthday dinner party at John Thomas, Ithaca’s notable steakhouse. Previously we had gotten to know each other at a group dinner gathering but neither one of us followed up.
Because the pace of Cornell academic’s is quite fast and rigorous, I spent most of the week doing my usual routine, mostly studying and some gym time mixed in. But on Friday, a series of small incidents occurred that in hindsight drew me closer to Jana.
Guys with Cars
It’s often said that guys with cars have an easier time attracting girls or just making friends in general since cars on college campuses are a bit of a rarity. Well, I never used this to my advantage until Jana messaged me, saying she had a question. I am not sure why but when I saw her message I quickly responded by calling back on facebook messenger. Of course, she did not pick up, but did reply saying that she needed me to drive some of Nathan’s guests to the dinner party. My response was something along the lines of “Can I come to your place an hour ahead to drop of a bottle of champagne for the party?” To which Jana replied “yes” and I awkwardly waited at her place for close to an hour before heading to dinner together. Looking back, my over the top enthusiasm and suggestions were really out of a desire to hang out with Jana more. So I asked her if she had time to go to “Asia Night” on campus, but she politely told me she was too busy.
At the dinner, I was extremely chatty towards Jana but she didn’t seem to mind. I brushed her legs quite a few times out of excitement and each time she flinched a little but always said it’s ok. After everyone finished the delicious steak, we headed back to end the celebration with Mahjong. But the night was not completely over. At the very end, there was a last minute decision to check out Level B. So I tagged along and danced with Jana a little. The night ended with me sending a couple of text messages in which I pretended to be drunk. Once again, it seemed like just a pleasant interaction that would not lead to anything more.
Steak at John Thomas
I forgot what it is
Jana – I was really surprised that Kang-Li let me drove his car that night. During dinner, he was quite flirty but funny at the same time, which left me with a very good impression. I wasn’t playing “hard to get” – I am hard to get (Just kidding, I was super busy with school work and had never thought I would started dating anyone my last semester at Cornell). I remember I invited Kang-Li to dance with me that night because he was playing on his phone for a while. I was also surprised by his after-party text but now looking back, I was really happy to wake up with such a sweet text ♥
It’s been over a week now since separating physically. We managed to figure out a routine that works well for both of us and continue to make adjustments so that we can stay close and happy while getting things done.
I am heading off to Columbia University to start my MS in biostatistics. I am excited to be in NYC and excited to be studying a new subject for a couple more semesters before being done with school for good. Even with the busyness of the city and the school, I miss Jana everyday and always wish she was here with me. Fortunately, we both set the same short-term goal, to live and work on the West Coast after one more year. I plan on doing a few periodic updates on the blog about living and studying in NYC.
This is not a fairy tale nor a love at first sight Korean drama plot. We had bumped into each other few times at HKSA club events and friends’ gatherings. However, those were all casual encounters that we didn’t even pay attention to each other’s existence, until that one dinner. This was our senior year, towards the second half of our final semester at Cornell.
On Feb 28, Kangli just came back from Canada and joined our friend – Nathan for dinner. He didn’t know it was actually a club’s eboard members semi meeting dinner.
Kang-Li’s take- Yes that’s what happened. This was just a dinner a Chinese restaurant in collegetown. But somehow I felt a bit more playful and adventurous that day, so upon noticing Jana, I chose to sit next to her and began to make conversation. At larger gatherings, Jana talks briskly, often in Cantonese, which caught my attention because I usually hang out with Mandarin or English speakers. The features of her face and light hair also made her stand out a bit more under the dim lights. Later on, we both agreed that I was being a bit awkward and obnoxious, but that’s what flirting is like sometimes. I heard that Jana was good at Mandarin, so I began making small talk, for example “what do you like to eat?”, “how are classes”, the usual stuff. I noticed Jana was a bit uncomfortable and I was surprised at how chatty I was towards a distant acquaintance. I also interrupted her role at the meeting quite a bit, but thankfully not enough for her to write me off as some nuisance. After dinner, everybody left separately, and I noticed Jana walking up the slope towards Cafe Pacific. So I ran after her and shouted. She turned around pleasantly and we walked halfway up the hill together. As we passed the cafe, I asked her if she wanted to grab a drink, to which she pleasantly replied “I already got my coffee fix for today”. So that was that, and I went into the cafe by myself to wait for my study partner. It would be another week before we saw each other again.
Well, the first few days certainly were not easy. It was out of character for both of us but after the first week of dating we spent a lot of time together and shared an apartment during the summer. The separation is really what I imagine to be cold turkey withdrawal from an addiction. We both cried a lot and unexpectedly, almost out of control. At first I cried multiple times everyday and we even considered finding a way to end the long distance sooner. But after several serious discussions we both decided to make the best of it and build our relationship in a different way for the coming year.
A few days ago on Aug. 15, we bid each other farewell. The goodbyes combined with last minute moving and packing meant Kang-Li procrastinated his departure by a good half-day. After lots of long hugs and kisses, we were finally going to be separated by distance. It’s pretty difficult because ever since early March, we have been on the same campus and spending everyday and night together.
We will see each other very soon with lots of hugs and kisses ♥