But Without Panda

Chengdu, September 17th 2010

I followed the sign to a cafeteria. It was a very nice place. Cool, romantic. And, one of the waiters could speak English!

At the back part of this cafeteria was a verandah overlooking the forest. This picture I took from my table. I had fried rice which was delicious but forgot to take a picture of it.

Two of my friends showed up. One of them said that they didn't see many pandas either. Oh well...

The other friend said nothing to that. He kept busy shooting this red rose. Yes, indeed the rose is beautiful. It certainly shouldn't be missed.

After lunch I went to "Swan Lake" just across the cafeteria. I bumped into another friend.

"Hey! Where have you been?" he greeted.

"Where have you, been?" I replied and walked on, consciously  imitating the way I was treated when I said that I had been waiting and had sent text messages. Ah, I just felt tired of being good. I know it's not good to pay back (revenge), and even worse if it's paid back to another person like now.
All the others were ready to proceed on their activity with Angel. I didn't hear anything about that before. It seemed that all the seventh, but me, knew about it. They must know that I wanted to go to Beihu Lake. I had written that on my itinerary and already discussed it by email. None protested. None told me exactly what they actually preferred to do. None did. Not even on the morning when we were entering the Panda Base. I felt so silly. It's as if they just let me write anything I like on the itinerary, but they have their own plan. Including the one who personally said to me would want to join me to Beihu Lake, followed the others, but me.

After the others left, I said by the side of Swan Lake, still in Panda Base. Aaarggghhh... how silly, how stupid. If I knew, I would have just wake up, have breakfast, call a taxi, and go by myself to the Panda Base. After all it was me through Melissa who could at last tell a taxi driver where we wanted to go. If I didn't follow Angel to the baby panda nursery, I could have joint the crowd I saw early in the morning, and take lots of pictures of the pandas. Yes, pandas, not panda. If I didn't care to wait for my friends to come out from the nursery and moreover bother to text message anyone, I might still be in time to meet the pandas. Once again, pandas. With an 'S'. And... if I didn't bother to spend that much time to search for the best travel agent I could find in Chengdu, we wouldn't have met Angel either.

Back home I noticed one of them said to another friend saying about the trip, "It's easy. You can find it everywhere on the internet." Oh well... No wonder.

Despite my anger with myself and with my friends, I still could enjoy the cuteness of the brown ducks. I made many shots of them.

... and another one.

Meanwhile, I heard some noise from under my feet. I looked down, but saw nothing. So I continued shooting.

Tok... tok.. tok. I heard it again.

Oh! It was this black swan petting the tip of my shoe from under the water with its beak. I noticed already there were black swans but wasn't interested to take their picture for I thought black swans aren't interesting.

"Hello, Swan!" I greeted in English.

Black Swan held its long neck higher and turned its head so the eye pointed at me. My mind flew. It was as if Black Swan was telling me that it knows how I feel. "You've missed the pandas, I know. But I'm here."

Sitting crossed leg by the side of this lake, I started to sob. And Black Swan stayed.

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