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Spending this Mid-Autumn Festival with foreigners

“ Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!” said cheerful Massardi in green Chinese at sight of me. I replied to him immediately with “ Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!” in Chinese. On hearing my Chinese greeting Massardi immediately was aware of his mistake in his Chinese greeting which he learnt just yesterday. He appeared unlucky. Looking at his child like naïve expression on his face I thought to myself that it would be interesting to spend this year’s mid-autumn festival with foreigners.

     Due to the Mid-Autumn festival workers on site were not required to work nightshift tonight. Then after shift was over the two foreigners and I rode to spend the festival to Star Lake 101 in development zone. After having simple dinner we were sitting in a small bar drinking and enjoying moon. Actually it was a short time before we three knew each other and our case belonged to the type of having fated relationship as usually said. Since the formwork for immersed tunnel element of HZMB was processed in base of Shanghai Zhenhua in Nantong I was assigned by the project management as resident supervisor in the factory supervising works progress. Zachary was the responsible person from PERI, the German form designer factory and gave technical instruction on site. Young Massardi was a talented form designer and graduated from university in short time and he was responsible for form design and manufacture. This way we three talked about the scene when we met together for the first time and thus became familiar with each other gradually due to working together. Now we were sitting together and couldn’t help talking about the situation of first meeting. It was a little late when we arrived at the base and project responsible person for formwork manufacture project catered us in the restaurant by road. Mr. Zachary at age over 50 was not good at using chopsticks and the dishes just lifted with chopsticks fell down. He joked with humor that it was the ninth miracle in the world and he managed to hold the dish with chopsticks with difficulty. He picked up beer glass and cheered with us and drank three mugs of beer. Zachary was cheered up and began to sing us a German folk son with beer belly sticking out and his singing won applause of whole room. While Massardi at age of 24 was curious about Chinese dishes which were new and strange in his eyes and he took photos of us one by one and he showed doubt about the Chinese name of a course of Chinese dish which was directly translated into English from Chinese as “Ants climb the tree” and he shrugged and could not figure out the meaning of this English name of the Chinese dish. This way, the two Germans gradually felt and adapted to the life in China and we found mutual cooperation in work.

Just exactly like the forecast of Chinese weather forecasting bureau in this year “The moon on 15th. was full on 15th.” Looking up at the bright full moon hanging in the high sky I couldn’t help feeling homesick as old saying “ The homesick doubles whenever in festival days”. At that moment Zachary rich in life experience seemed to figure out something from my eyes and started talking with me about football by mentioning the Munich football team. In his cheerful narration and description I could feel his love and loyalty to the football team from his hometown. He asked me which football team I belong to and I answered him that I belong to “One man one team”. Massardi immediately inserted that it was “the best team”. We had a quick look at each other and couldn’t help laughing.

    At the sight of the colorful fireworks in the sky the two foreigners wanted to have a try. Due to customary tradition fireworks was not so free in Germany. Massardi like a child was so fond of the fireworks that he couldn’t let it go. Looking at the flame shooting up into sky in a flash he said with humor to me “ No wonder the American always mentioned a theory of China threat!”.

Time passed too quickly and it was rest time again. I felt that this mid-Autumn festival night in foreign country was not so lonely instead it was full of complete happiness and joy. I was thinking perhaps it was just because of them ___Mr. Zachary and Massardi.

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