|| Chapter 5
Jenny finds Sandra
already slurping down her soup. She looks up and sees Jenny come
running into the restraunt with a big smile on her face. Jenny slides
into the booth and plops her backpack under the table. Sandra is
an attractive 34 year old Chinese woman who immigrated with her
parents when she was only 2. She has a bubbly..has an energetic
personality and never takes no for an answer..
Whats up Sista?
What are you so happy about? Did Russel Wong show up in your class
or something? (laughs)
Jenny (still beaming)
Hey..thats funny! After class
tonight two guys in suits came up to me and asked if I would do
private lessons for some Chinese actor trying to make it in Hollywood
for ..get this!
$100 a lesson! Look heres their card
that they gave me.. (hands the card to Sandra)
Oh my god! I know
who this guy is Jennifer! Hes Jet Li! The famous Martial Arts
guy who just starred in Lethal Weapon 4 with Mel Gibson.. Dont
you remember him? He strangled the asian guy with his prayer beads?
I dont understand.
Why would they want to hire me when they could have hired someone
from Culver City easily?
they must have talked to someone at the
bank or something. I am pretty sure they probably have an account
there. They may have wanted someone that could speak good Mandarin
and English and I am sure you were the only person Dad thought of.
Dad brags about you a lot! You should hear him sometimes..
We can ask him tonight
if he had talked to anyone about me.. They want me to call and let
them know. Gee.. I am kind of nervous now.. Hes not going
to Karate chop my stomach if he gets mad is he?? (laughs)
Oh no.. Jen. I have heard nothing
but great things about his guy. From what I have read in the magazines..he
seems pretty down to earth. When are you going to call?
I think I am going to
talk to Dad and then probably call tomorrow after class. Do you
think Dad will be upset that I wont be able to work in the
bank this summer as a teller?
Not at all.. He will
be so proud of you doing this job. Jet Li is very distinguished.
Becareful though! Once the Chinese community gets wind of you doing
this then I am sure the gossip will start flying. I wouldnt
tell anyone else because I know Jet may be nice but he is also a
very private and secluded person. He has had some freaky fans do
some pretty outrageous things in his past. I heard that one time
in Hong Kong while he was riding in the elevator up to his appartment
a crazy fan stopped the elevator and even tried to get his undies
off him (laughs)
Wow! That is scary!
Well, lets eat and then we can go home and tell Mom the good
news. Did you order mine yet?
Of course I did.. Hey.. you know I am completely
jealous right! All my Chinese friends would go nuts if I told them
what your doing!
Well maybe its
good that we keep it a secret then..
Sandra and Jenny
walk through the door of Mrs. Wangs two story home. It is
very traditional with Chinese artwork adorning the walls and has
a warm inviting atmosphere. Mrs. Yang is in the kitchen cooking
noodles. She is testing one with a fork when the two women walk
into the kitchen and park themselves at the breakfast bar. Mrs.
Wang peers over her bi-focals and smiles..
I can tell you girls are up to something..
What have you done now?
Mom! Why would you think we were up to something
you usually are up to some kind of mischief or another! You would
think you would have grown out of that already..being grown women!
Tsk..tsk..tsk.. (shakes her head)
Mom..Jenny has some great news!
Yes.. I do! But can
I tell you in English ?(laughs) ..
Oh.. let me come and sit with my
tea.. I can tell this is going to be something I need to sit down
for.. First-things-First ..Are you pregnant?
Of course not! I have
to find a date first! No..thats not it. Has Dad mentioned
anything about someone asking around for an English instructor?
Mrs. Wang (sips her tea)
Well.. hmm.. Actually
yes. He said something last week about a gentleman coming into the
bank to make a large deposit. I guess he and Dad had quite the conversation.
Well, that must have
been Mr. Yi then. He came to see me today to ask me if I would teach
a Chinese actor privately. Sandra think it must be Jet Li..
Mrs. Wang ( chokes on her tea)
This is a joke right?
Ok.. now you can tell me what you are really up to..
Well.. thats what we think..
We cant think of anyone else it might be.
You should probably discuss this with
Father..I dont think its healthy for a young woman your
age to be hanging out with martial arts actors.. I hear they are
Sandra and Jenny
both look at each other and laugh.
Oh Mom! Your being silly. I am calling Mr. Yi in
the morning to say yes Besides hes paying me $100
a lesson. I cant let that chance pass me by. I could pay for
my trip to China next summer with that kind of cash.
Now you know Father would give you the money for
the trip if you would only ask.
I know. But you all
have been so kind to me already.. this I can do by myself..
Ok Mom back off..
Shes a big girl. I hear they are having a Karaoke contest
down at the restraunt tonight. Are we going? I call wait to hear
Suzie Pai try to peel the paint off the walls trying to sing Evita
I have been practicing all day singing Neil Diamonds Sweet
Caroline. I am sure to win tonight..(looks at both women and
The following day Jenny closes
up her classroom. And hurries home to call Mr. Yi.
Jenny (phone to her ear)
Is this Mr. Yi? Yes?
This is Jennifer Logue. You gave me your buisness card last night.
Ah..yes.. I am glad
that you have called. I take it you are calling to respond to the
Well..Yes.. I am.
Do you have to teach
Well no..But I wasnt expecting to start so
I just want
to get together to discuss a few things before you meet my employer.
I understand. Can
I ask who he is?
Sure.. You have heard of Jet Li the famous Wushu
Champion and martial arts action movie star right?
Yes.. I remember seeing him on Lethal
Weapon 4. Is he your employer?
Yes..So we need to sit down and discuss your contract
with Mr. Li as soon as possible because he is slated to shoot a
movie here in four months and frankly his English needs a lot of
Alright. I understand. Where can
we meet? I prefer not to meet in Chinatown anywhere because of the
Mr. Yi (laughs)
Yes.. I agree thats
not the best place. How about we meet for dinner tonight around
7p.m. at Sams. Its the third exit off of the Pasedena
freeway..Do you know where it is?
Yes.. I will be there at 7. See you later then.
Alright then .. Goodbye
At 6p.m. Sandra
is in Jennys closet trying to find something cool for her
to wear to her dinner appointment.
How about this dress?
No..I am not in the mood for a dress.
I am just going to wear my black slacks and blue shirt. Do you think
thats too casual?
No.. It looks great
with those baby blues of yours..lucky thing!
Thanks sis! Hey!
I had better hurray.. I dont want to be late and I hate driving
on that darn freeway. Pass me my lipstick will you?
Sure here you go.. Hey is this Yi guy cute? Do you
think hes single?
I wasnt looking
for a ring on his fingers but hes wasnt too bad looking.
He has a cute smile..thats about all I noticed. Well..I gotta
go.. Hey will you ask Dad where my box of old family pictures are?
I need to look through them later.
Oh..I will tell you later..Are you going back to
your apartment or are you staying here tonight?
I m staying girlfriend! I want to hear about
your date tonight!
Jenny (laughs on
her way out the door)
I will tell you everything..later!!
Jenny runs out
the door and hops in her Beetle..She arives at Samss at 6:50
and breathes a sigh of relief that she made in one piece on the
freeway.. The restraunt is all but empty except for a young couple
snuggling in a booth in the corner. Mr. Yi is sitting in a booth
drinking a beer and wearing jeans and a shirt. They discuss the
privacy issue and days when Mr. Li is available for lessons. Jenny
orders Yakisoba and Mr. Yi (Steve) orders Moo Goo Gai Pan. Jenny
is relaxed and the conversation amiable.
You will come to his house next Tuesday
Why does it have to
be at his house? I dont know if I am too comfortable with
Well.. I am sorry. I should have explained everything
better. Mr. Li doesnt leave the house very often because he
is uncomfortable about being accosted by uncontrollable fans. So,
he prefers to have his lessons at the house. You understand? You
will be completely safe. I will be at the house whenever you are
Alright. But if I dont feel comfortable with
this set up..I will let you know ASAP. Understand?
Yes.. Here is the address.. Just
push the button on the speaker at the end of the driveway and security
will open the gates for you. Dont worry about dinner.. I have
taken care of it already..
Jenny climbs back
into her Beetle and decides to take the back road home to avoid
the freeway.. Its longer but she needs time to think. She
pops in a Garth tape and heads for home.
Written by Isabel Hodge