Posted by: daradoodle | April 22, 2009

Meet Cheng He (承和)


Roommate, Take 2

Remember back in January when I mentioned awaiting the arrival of my new roommate for the spring term? Not knowing exactly when this mystery person was going to show up, I made sure that the room was spotless everyday before I left in the event that she showed up when I wasn’t around. Sure enough, I came home one afternoon to find luggage on the side of the room that was once occupied by Jenn. Later that night, I met my South Korean roommate Senng Hua… also known in Chinese as Cheng He… or in English as (and I refuse to call her this) Bambi.

Things started out great between Cheng He and I. She doesn’t speak much English, which is OK, because speaking a combo of English and Chinese forces me to speak Chinese on a regular basis. My friends who left Fudan after the fall semester gave me their belongings that they didn’t want to take home with them, so I hooked up Cheng He with most of the necessities that newbies to the dorm need. I think I made her feel at home and I believe she felt the same, but not long after we were acquainted… things started to get weird.

You see, Cheng He wears these little red rubber shoesies when she takes a shower. At hostels in China, you’ll often find that rubber shoesies are provided to use in the bathroom. But that’s in a hostel, and who knows what’s been trekking through those bathrooms. But our bathroom is clean! There’s nothing funky about the tub or the floor… until Cheng He has been in there with her little red rubber shoesies.

Every time the gal uses the bathroom, it’s as if someone took a hose and doused the whole place. Water… on the floor, on the counter top, even on the toilet seat! It looks like swamp thing threw a hissy fit by the time she’s done in there. I’ve told her time and time again to please simmer down on the water explosions, but it’s in one ear and out the other with this girl. Earlier this week, she rinsed out a coffee pot and splashed coffee-water all over the side of the counter with my toiletries. Somehow after the flood gates rush in, her side of the sink manages to stay relatively dry. As annoying as the water problem might sound, there are other qualities to love about Cheng He.

I’ll get straight to it… Cheng He likes to hit the bottle, or as we say in China 喝啤酒 (he pijiu), or drink beer. Who doesn’t love beer? I drink beer. But the girl will go out drinking in the middle of the week, come back to the room after 3 AM and knock over (or in to) just about everything that can be knocked over (or in to) in the room. Then she’ll set her alarm for 7 AM and who do you think the alarm wakes up? That’s right, me! A volcano could erupt, a rocket could launch or a tornado could blow through, and Cheng He’s not going to flinch. Just this morning, she had the most obnoxious ring blasting on her cell phone’s alarm clock. I let this sound blare for about 30 seconds while she slept like a baby. I finally woke her up by shouting her name.

The best memory though was the night that I spent two hours mopping the floor and cleaning the bathroom because the whole room was a disaster. I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed when I heard the front door open and people talking. I opened the bathroom door to find two of Cheng He’s Korean friends frantically removing themselves from the room. I turn the corner to discover Cheng He sprawled out on her bed appearing to be half dead. I walked over to a corpse that smelled like hell. I stood over her wondering if I should wake her up and make her drink water when all of a sudden, the creature started showing signs of life. She began to make noises, the noises one makes when something is about to project from the body after a long night of drinking. I quickly grabbed a trashcan and told her, “if you’re going to spew, spew in this” (name the movie that this quote comes from and you get 20 points for the day). All of a sudden I’m having flashbacks to my freshman year in high school when my friends and I would sneak mysterious bottles of booze from our parent’s liquor cabinets. As I’m holding the grocery bag lined waste basket, I’m thinking, jezzzz, I’m getting way too old for this. Next thing I know, good ole Cheng He is spewing in my freshly scrubbed toilet. So much for keeping the room tidy.

It’s hard to dislike the girl because she’s cute, friendly and quite the character when you get her chatting. However, I’m not ready to be a mother yet and at this point, I feel like I have to discipline this girl on a daily basis to get a good night sleep or keep my feet and toiletries dry.

Here’s just a tinge of what she’s like on a regular basis…


Cheng He before the metamorphosis


"Culturally exchanging" at a Korean dinner with Cheng He (center) and our Japanese buddy, Meigumi.

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  1. wow. sorry to hear that. the wet bathroom is pretty common in asian countries so im not too shocked by that. just gotta keep the tp out of the way. but the alarm thing would drive me up the wall. hope it works out.

  2. btw – im planning to be in taiwan and possibly shanghai in the fall.

    • Hey Daniel! I know that those “wet bathrooms” are popular in Asia, but for the love! The dorm bathroom is definitely not a “wet bathroom” where everything can be submerged in water. There’s a possibility that I might be in Shanghai this fall, so keep me posted on your travels!

  3. Wayne’s World

    • That’s right, Jake! 20 points for you buddy! The quote, “if you’re going to spew, spew in this” comes from the 1992 motion picture “Wayne’s World,” one of my all time favorite films.

  4. how does one manage to get the entire bathroom soaked whilst taking a shower? does she fill a bucket and pour it over herself? I’m all for the occasional drunken debauchery but when that shiz is interupting my sleep on the regular (oh the days of the german coming home with god knows what in the middle of the night, humping it, fighting with it and then yelling on the phone) that is NOT COOL! homegirl needs to take her drunk self elsewhere to sleep it off! you are not her momma! nor are you her maid

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