Early 1978 were very happy times for us. We had our own place where we could go when we wanted. Barbara's mother was giving Barbara more freedom as long as she worked on Friday evening, Saturday and did the accounting. This meant that Barbara could join in with the activi-ties that were organized during the week. Mostly that were parties from the Asian Society or sport events. Barbara was not allowed to come if there was no formal invitation.
Cambridge is lovely town to be in love. It has beautiful historical college's with romantic gardens. A lot of parks, where you can just lay on the grass and chat. There are nice botanical gardens and the walking area Grand Chester meadows, a nice large open plot around the river Cam. When we were there we tried to get a lift from the punters (a typical boat of Cambridge, where you have to push the boat forward with a wooden pole) to the other side of the river. At that side there were no walking paths and the nature was much more wild. Especially in spring, with all the flowers it was lovely just to lay there all afternoon, without being disturbed, doing nothing really, just being together.
Our social life was mostly concentrated around the CCAT. We both liked to sport. I played Volleyball, tennis and badminton. Barbara played badminton and table tennis. My table tennis wasn't good enough compared with Chinese students. I was always one of the losers.
Every day with did some sport. Because we sported a lot we were very popular by the physical education teaching staff. There was one teacher in particular, a woman who was what older and not very tall. Barbara called her 'Short and fatty'. She was often looking for us when she needed someone to complete a team or substitute someone who had been injured. Barbara would say "Short and Fatty is looking for us again".
Often there were special activities at the CCAT. I remember that the school organized once an educational session about sex. It was a film which would show everything about a healthy sex-life. Of course everybody wanted to see it, the lecture hall was completely filled up. The film was a bit disappointing , it was very proper and traditional. Barbara's comment therefore was "I hope my sex life is going to be better than that!".
Also we went often to the town centre visiting shops, not buying anything as we didn't have much money. My favorite shop was the book store. Cambridge has an enormous bookstore. I like books. When we were there I had great fun secretly observing Barbara when she nosing around all types of books. Barbara was very expressive with her face. By looking at her face I could see what she thought of the contents of the book. The funniest expressions where the ones where she at first had no idea she was looking at and then she realizes what it was about. Barbara liked puzzles and mathematics, she did say that she wouldnâ€™t have mind studying mathematics instead of Art.
Sometimes we went out to eat. Most often we went to the Indian restaurant at Regent Street. We both liked Indian food. Rogan gosh was our favorite dish. Another advantage of the Indian restaurant was that we never saw any local Chinese there. That was important for Barbara, in order to avoid the gossip with which her mother would have to deal with.
There were plenty of parties at the CCAT. The Asian society was very active and also the Art session had great parties. There were fancy dress parties with a dress theme. The art students did their best to make the nicest and original dresses. Barbara also did her best to make me and herself look original and pretty. For Barbara that was no problem. Somehow whatever she wore she looked beautifull. It was more a challenge to dress me up. She made the most wonderfull creations. I have been dressed in toga's as a Roman God, as an Arabian and who knows what else. It is a pity there are no pictures of those parties.
Snapshot of Barbara and me taken at Grantchester Meadows
有时我们会去餐厅吃饭。通常我们去Regent 街上的印度餐厅。我们两个都喜欢印度食物，最喜欢Rogan gosh 这道菜。去印度餐厅的另一个好处就是，在那里从未遇见过当地华人，这对美玲很重要，不会有流言蜚语，不会让她妈妈听到后烦恼。
(translated by Julia)