4th July, 2014
“Hi.. Would you like me to help you take a picture?” Rina asks, seeing that the man and his family of a wife and son were obviously struggling to get a picture together with the light house in the background.
“Oh yes. Thank you,” he replied, looking grateful and smiling.
“Ok! Smile!” said Rina, snapping their family picture several times.
“Thank you! Are you Chinese?” the man asks Rina.
“Yes,” she replies back in Cantonese.
“Oh! Where are you from?” the man further asks her, now speaking fully in Cantonese.
“I am from Hong Kong,” she replies back.
“Oh really! Me too. I am from Hong Kong too!”, said the man quite excitedly.
“Are you here for travel?”, he continuous on.
“Hmm… well, I am actually here for a 10 week immersion programme at the University of Wollongong…”, Rina replies quite hesitantly.
“Oh really? I was at a conference for the University of Wollongong too. Interesting! Which university do you study in back in Hong Kong?” he asks, looking more and more interested with his eyes-widening.
“Hong Kong Institute of Education..,”, she replies back again, not sure if she should continue on or say something else and leave.
“Oh! How lucky you are! And what are you majoring in?”, he enquires as if he was a distant family uncle that has seen her as a baby and has just met her after 20 years.
“I am majoring in education…”, Rina replies, still hesitant.
“Oh wonderful! Can I take a picture with you?”, he asks her quite frankly with a friendly smile.
“Ok.. sure!”, Rina replies, and already smiling ready for the camera, now in the man’s wife.
“Great!”, he says and slowing looks into his jacket’s inner coat and reaches for something.
“Here is my card back in Hong Kong,” he gives it to Rina, still grinning.
Rina accepts it and looks at the familiarity of the card.
“Oh my god! You are actually a professor from my university!”, she says, looking at him all bewildered, while he is still grinning.
“Haha! Yes,” he manages to say, now looking quite humble.
“Wow!”, says Rina, smiling and amazed by the fact that she bumped into one of her own professor all the way from Hong Kong!
She holds on to the card thinking, it is a small world after all.