I had just made it back into town in Saturday after a week away, barely in time to say goodbye to a friend of mine and one of the more interesting people you’ll ever meet.
His name is Randy, he’s north of 50 years old and picking up his life to move to China. Not to retire, mind you, but to become a student. To learn Chinese. To teach Chinese people how to speak English. (I could probably learn some English myself.)
For someone like me who has trouble reading instructions on how to put together a barbecue without whining in boredom before finally winging it, I can’t imagine learning a phrase in Chinese, much less the entire language. I’m getting tired just thinking about it. I’m going to take a little nap.
One hour later…
What were we talking about? Learning Chinese. Right.
One more hour later…
Okay, Randy is obviously superhuman. Not only is he learning Chinese, he’s going to use it to teach English to people… I’m getting sleepy again.
Two days later…
In all seriousness, I’m in awe of Randy and his bravery. Divorced and starting over (been there, done that, never again, women stay away), Randy is an inspiration to anyone who is afraid of change or thinks it’s too late to pursue his/her dreams.
Can you imagine? Moving to China? That’s like… 500 miles away! Man.
Long has this story inspired me and I’ve wanted to write about it ever since I met Randy. We’ve spoken about it and we were finally able to get together. I talked to Randy before he left the nudist resort, and I’d like to share a little of that conversation with you.
Mayo: Hey Randy! I just came down to see you off. I can’t stay long but I wanted to at least say goodbye.
Randy: Hi Mayo! Glad you could make it! Good to see you.
Mayo: Great to see you. Hey, How long are you going to be here? I’d love to do that interview we’ve been talking about doing for months.
Randy: Tomorrow or Monday. I’m not sure yet.
Mayo: Perfect. Want to get together tomorrow at some point for about a half an hour?
Randy: Yeah that would be great!
Mayo: Okay see you then (Sleeps until Monday)
So there you have it: An Interview with Randy. I’m not sure I covered the important stuff, but honestly, I’m a horrible interviewer. I probably would have just asked him what kind of candy he likes and what his favorite Burt Reynolds movie is, and I only would have accepted “Smokey and The Bandit” for that answer, so let’s just say “kit kats” and we’ll call it a day.
In my defense, a couple nights before a hooker and her pimp tried to break into my hotel room, forcing me to prop a chair against the door and sleep with a lamp. And to further my defense, I did not order a hooker. These are the things that happen to me beyond these walls, so I’m just going to stay here from now on. China? No way. You’re a braver man than I, Randy. I’m sure I’ll see you again, but I guarantee it will not be in China.
I know Randy will be missed and I know he will miss the people here. I know when he comes back, this is the first place he’ll come, because after all, it’s the best place in the world. (I also understand China is beautiful and very far away.)
Randy is probably on a plane right now and I’m not sure if internet restrictions will even let him see this post. I understand there are ways, but I truly hope he doesn’t get arrested trying to read this. That would make me feel bad and like I should have been funnier. I should add something awesome and worthwhile. Here.