so this experience happened with my mission buddy: faith. we don’t talk much currently but I swear, she’s been in the majority of my short-term missions. I kinda don’t want to go to another one if she doesn’t go, lol.
(^there we are. dang, I feel like we look exactly the same, lol. we had just finished senior year of high school, I’m pretty sure. HIGH SCHOOL. wowzers. oh and I cropped melody out. LOLOL, I love you fatso, but this story isn’t about you so bye).
so during taiwan missions, I’d say our 7/11 breaks were the best. so I remember we had a bit of extra time while picking up lunch for everyone. and there was a family mart nearby. I mean, it wasn’t our preferred 7/11, but better than nothing! so we went in to buy some popsicles and there was just one guy sweeping as we browsed. when we approached the counter, he rushed over to assist us. and in his hurry, he dropped his broom loudly to the ground with a CLOMP! I remember being startled by that, and also a little bit touched because he raced over to us like we were VIP customers or something, lols.
he talked really fast and low while helping us with our transaction, so we couldn’t understand a thing he said, and we were both like “whaaaat?” lol, I felt like we were so obviously foreigners >___> it pricked my pride a bit because I thought our Chinese was advanced as heck. I think he was trying to tell us something about the change
but anyways as we left the store, while tearing into our popsicles:
me: “hey did you think that the guy there was pretty cute?”
faith: “what? was he?! I wasn’t really paying attention :(”
and you were pretty bummed out. lol.
me: “also he had a very mellow voice. it was nice!” (I’m a sucker for mellow voices, lol)
faith: “really?” you paused and bit into your popsicle, pondering over what I had just told you. “wait if we have extra time, can we go back and take a second look?”
me: “what?! noooo, that’d be super obvious and awkward.”
faith: “weeeell, we can buy something. we can buy some drinks!”
me: “… nah, that’s overkill.”
faith: “come on. we’re probably never going to come here again. and if we have extra time we have to wait anyways. let’s just do it.”
I was not convinced, but you didn’t give up! I have to say, you always had a way about being able to persuade me when it comes down to it =___= so back we went after we finished our popsicles to buy drinks. he was back at sweeping, which made me feel embarrassed cause we were so annoying, lol.
so we got our drinks and approached the counter again. I was feeling super self-conscious. and he kinda smiles at us and goes “冰吃完了?” (finished your popsicles?) and in that moment I was like, HE KNOWS. HE TOTALLY KNOWS WE CAME BACK FOR HIM.
I think we murmured an embarrassed “yeah” and doubled outta that place. as we were leaving we started laughing about the situation. and you were like, “yeah, he was cute! and his voice was nice.”
it was a neat little experience and I think you wanted to keep it an inside joke between us. just whenever you would refer to “the family mart guy” we would both smile over it. but I ended up blabbing it out to the girls that were with us. sorries. I have no idea how the story spread but pretty soon the majority of our mission team members found out about family mart guy and wanted to see for themselves just how cute he was =___=
(^there’s some of us! missing 阿斑哥. maggie? I can’t remember if your parents were there for it too).
I was completely against this, because our schedule was pretty tight and who know if he’d be working again when we were free. but what luck we had, huh? because we especially made a trip over and he just happened to be working that particular day. we all filed in and I made somebody buy something because we needed a reason to be there, right? there were a couple of seats along the counter and I remember the guys just sitting there, being completely obvious in their scrutiny of the guy.
girls agreed with us that he was kinda cute, in that fobby way. but dang, the guys were super critical. like calm down, everyone. we’re not on Taiwan’s next top model or anything.
阿斑哥 was straightup: “I don’t see anything attractive about the guy! he just looks like an average guy!”
jeremy was like, “yeah I guess I can kinda see it. but he’s way too skinny. I’m obviously better looking.” <- LOL PSH.
and so on with their nit-picking and criticisms =___= faith, you were like trying to get me to go buy something else and take a picture with a guy. TAKE A PICTURE? like nah girl, I ain’t that gutsy. I kept turning you down and once everyone was satisfied with their gawking, we finally left and went for lunch across the street.
but as we ate, you kept bringing up how mad you were that I didn’t go for the picture.
faith: “it would be such a good memory if you took a picture with him. at least try asking! if he says no than that’s that.”
me: “but what would be my reasoning behind taking the picture..? it’s so embarrassing!”
other members: “you could say that you’re from the states and emphasize your accent a bit. be like, you’ve never been to a family mart before and it’d be cool to take a picture with one the the workers!”
me: “… that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
other suggestions involved asking for directions and somehow transitioning to picture time. or make him feel like he’d be the lucky one to get the picture with us cause we’re foreigners from America. what a rare thing for him, lol. it was ridiculous. and everyone wouldn’t let up. eventually I gave in like the sucker I am. and agreed to ask with four conditions.
- we weren’t all gonna file in again and have everyone be watching from the sidelines with their wide eyes and popcorn. faith would come in with me, and charlene as the one to take the picture. that’s it. everyone else was gonna wait outside patiently.
- I wasn’t listening to their ridiculous suggestions and I was just gonna straight-up ask for a picture. I was pretty sure that the guy recognized us going in three times for him and he probably could guess at the reason.
- if he was busy and there were a lot of customers, it was a no go.
- lastly, faith had to be in the picture with me.
and that’s how it went! after lunch we all went back. I was nervous as heck. there was just one person at the counter. so we waited and I approached. I honestly don’t know if he recognized us but I just blurted out: “我們可以跟你照相嗎?” (can we take a picture with you?)
he jostled at some receipts in front of him and didn’t look at me. I was looked over at faith. did he hear me? did I have to repeat myself? finally he looked up at me and seemed pretty confused, but said: “我想應該可以吧?” (I guess you can?) very hesitantly. and he came around the counter and took the picture with us. I think I chirped a quick “謝謝!” (thank you!) and sped outta that store. everyone was waiting for us and I think they even cheered for us when we said that we were successful in getting the picture. wow, we’re so extra. lols. 阿斑哥 was like, “now that you have a picture. you should’ve asked for an email to be able to send it to him and get his contact info that way!” but I had to put everyone to a stop there. that’s too much, lol. everyone needs to calm down.
so yeah. even though I felt like everybody had coerced me into it. and it was embarrassing as heck. but now I’m glad I got the picture (: every time I tell this story, everyone is so curious to see it. and it took a little digging on my part to find it again. but I did, and I’ll go ahead and attach it, ahaha.
(^and here we areeee. wow my expression is so awkward. but I still smile a little when I see it. I’m glad I was persuaded to do it. it does make for a good memory!)
mang, I loved taiwan missions. this is just a short tale we can smile and laugh over. but there were plenty of experiences that helped grow my faith, that touched me, that allowed me to encounter people very different from me. maybe I’ll do a few more of these throwback stories in the future! (<- whoa I just mentioned both past and present in the same sentence there… that’s not cool, sorry. lol).