diary for march 4

已有 1648 次阅读 2015-3-6 03:13 |系统分类:海外观察



I woke up in about 8 am andrun for exercise in the lawn for about 10 minutes. Professor Yonelinas emailedme saying he would be available around 9 until 11 am, and so I decided to seehim. Yet, without a car or a bicycle, it is indeed inconvenient to get onto thecampus. I sent a short message to Fred asking if he would go out so that Icould hitch a ride, but he did not reply within about 10 minutes. So I searchedonline, found a cab service, dialed the service number, talked to the driverand finally set up an appointment with him at about 9:20 just on the roadsidenear the house where I lived.


Getting into the cab, Italked with the driver, who was a young man of about 26 years old. I came toknow he had got a greencard but was on the way to American citizenship. Inabout 20 minutes I was on the campus and with the credit card I borrowed from Liujinpeng,I paid the taxi fare. Then I walked towards the office of Professor Yonelinas,which is located in Young Hall. Well I actually had no idea where it was thoughthe taxi did give me some guidance, so I asked one passer-by after anotheruntil finally I was in the Young Hall. I found the room number of ProfessorYonelinas, and called him to tell me I had been in the Hall. Then very soon asI stood there in the corridor he came out with his black dog. He came up toshake hands with me and asked me to wait a moment because he was trying to getsome water for his dog.

Now in his office, Istarted talking with him. I have to say that, although I was so shy as not tohave the courage to look into people’s eyes during conversation, here I wasindeed able to look into his eyes most of the time. I told him that I was happyand honored to be here in his lab and I told him that one of my academicyounger sister was jealous when knowing I would be a visiting scholar at hislab. He laughed. I also told him that I really wanted t get published intip-tier journals and do something bigger and better. Then I showed him some ofmy experimental data on memory and emotion and discussed it with him for aboutan hour, in relaxing atmosphere. He gave me some advice as what to do next andI wrote them down on my paper notebook.

Then he showed me to thehuman memory lab and introduced some members there to me. I shook hands withthem with pleasure and excitement. Mike, the lab manager helped me to print andphotocopy some documents that I needed to submit to the Consulate for Educationin San Francisco. I was grateful that he was nice and ready to help.

Then Mike showed me to theMemorial Union and the dining room, where I bought two bottles of juice.Because I told him that I wanted to eat noodle for lunch, he led me to a restaurantdowntown, where the waitress was a Hunan girl, who tried to speak to me inChinese though her English was god enough. She told me that she had been therein Davis for seven to eight years. I order a meal (chicken mixed with mushroomand vegetables) at a price of about 8 dollars and then took it back to the labto eat.

After the lunch I carriedmy documents to the SISS at the University House to check in as required by therules. It took me some time to fill in the forms and inquire about some otherissues. There I saw a Chinese girl working there who was helpful with myquestions.

Then I walked severalblocks of streets to the Wells Fargo bank at the F street. I was amazed to findthat, unlike the situation in China where you have to get a service number andwait for a long time, there were very few customers there. In fact, as soon asI came in, the lobby manager led me to a service desk and the whole processbegan! The gentleman dealing with my business was an Indian American, who wasso professional and patient with me throughout the process. During my waitingperiod, he even offered to ask if I need some coffee or water! I chose waterand very soon he placed a cup of water on the desk area near me. I was somoved. Another thing that moved me is that at the end of the process hepersonally walked me to the door and shake hands with me! In China this kind ofexperience I had never had even in such big banks as ICBC or Bank of China.

After setting up theaccount in Wells Fargo Bank, I took a bus back to the lab. Initially wanted tohitch a ride with Wayne, the other tenant inFred’s house, and I called him. Yet he was unavailable. I thought about callinga taxi company, but considering the service price, I finally gave up. After allit already cost me almost 20 dollars in the morning to take a taxi to get tothe lab and I really thought I needed to a little thrifty at least for themoment. Finally I made a difficult decision of just sleeping on the chair inthe lab! Well for some people this may be excruciating and unbearable, but Idid not fear it that much because I did sleep on the sofa for several nights inthe office back in China. Though a chair is not as comfortable than a chair tosleep on, but I did have the capacity to put up with this lack of comfort andconvenience at least for one night. One important reason for my decision isthat I wanted to be able to discuss something with Professor Yonelinas tomorrowmorning...

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