When I met Barbara I had different groups of friends. A group of Chinese. I had already a Chinese friend for some years. He was really skinny, talked English so fast that nobody could understand him and he had an enormous mouth. His favorite party act was putting a whole apple in his mouth. He introduced me to the other Chinese, all students from HK. This group was very close to each other, politically interested, willing to demonstrate and very musical. One of them played in a punk band. His band even made a record which he tried to sell in HK.
Then I had this complete different group of friends. The bikers, they were English and had a completely different lifestyle. The bikers and Chinese never mingled, they were two separate groups.
All these friends studied at the CCAT. All of them rented rooms near the CCAT. I was still living with my parents. Every time we had some free hours during school we went to someone's room, drank tea, and chatted. Often we ate together.
When Barbara came into my life she mixed easily with both groups. Obviously Barbara felt more attracted to the Chinese. The way we lived our life was a way Barbara didn't even know that existed. A very free life. No-one told us what to do. If we didn't feel like going to college, we didn't go. There was always someone where we could go to, and just have fun by chatting. We didn't drink alcohol and didn't smoke. I can still remember the times that Barbara had stomach aches and tears from laughter from the stories that were told or songs that we sang. Barbara had a very loud laugh. One time we went to visit one of our Chinese girlfriends to see her new room. We had a lot of fun and we laughed a lot. The next day the landlady told this girl that she had to leave, we made too much noise. I suspect that Barbara's laugh played a major part in this.
All our friends were students with not much money. We had no special dreams or ambitions; we just enjoyed being together and live a carefree life. Barbara was very happy with this. Everybody liked her, no-one expected things from her and there was always someone to help her.
While our way life continued the same way in the evening Barbara had to go home to help her family. Also in the weekends she was not allowed to join us.
Guestroad nr 1, about 100 yards from the CCAT, on the bottom floor Steve and Di lived, this was our meeting place for our English friends, during the day and in the evening.
(translated by Zhi)