I don’t consider myself to be a listener because somehow I just like to talk about myself as if I haven’t share enough with anyone. Sometimes, though, I like to eavesdrop on interesting conversations to get some juicy scoop. Like that time when my mom, her friends, and I were walking to see Old Faithful erupt at Yellowstone, mom told the story about my first seizure to her friend. I had no idea how that conversation got started but once I heard my name, I began eavesdropping.
Then there was another time that got me turning my head all over the place. Who is saying that? Where is it coming?
It was late May two years ago, spring semester had just ended and summer semester was about two weeks away. Mom took the time off and decided to take me along to visit her friend out in the bay area. Mom decided to rent a car and drive so she could go to Chinatown and stock up on some Chinese ingredients we cannot get in Utah.
Anyway, it was a showery day which is very annoying because there’s puddles of water everywhere, mom’s friend parked her car in a lot outside of Chinatown and we walked. We passed by fruit stands, stores that sold numerous things, and stands. The streets were stinky, disgusting, and loud. Why do these people have to talk so loud?
We stood at the light, waiting to cross the street when I heard someone calling my name and not just my name but the name every one of my relatives called me, LanLan. It was a male voice, I remembered, and it sounded like my uncle. What the heck was that? I thought. I told my mom, “I keep hearing someone call my name.”
She laughed, “It’s Chinatown. Maybe someone has the same name as you.”
I shrugged, maybe I was imagining things. After all, this is Chinatown, there’s bound to be someone speaking my dialect and calling someone with the same name as me.
In the end, after that day, I swore I would never go to SF Chinatown. It was damp, loud, disgusting, and full of clumsy old folks who don’t know they are standing in the middle of the street.