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Portfolio 9

 For the second year, I still live at the same dormitory as that of my first year. Now I have a new neighbor. He is called ‘Steve’ (pseudonym). He is a Kiwi, and he is a quiet person. Steve lived at the same accommodation last year as well. He knew that I had a problem with the neighbor last year so he suggested me to request a room in a quiet area. His room last year was also in the area where there were loud noises. As I notice, some of the students who live here like to have parties, drinking, keeping the music loud even though it is the accommodation for students. I don’t really get used to these kinds of things, and didn’t expect to experience any of these in a university accommodation. Now my room is in a quiet area, and I have a quiet neighbor…that’s great! Steve is an interesting person, and sometimes I think he is quite strange. For example, he doesn’t socialize much with western students or even with Kiwi students. Every time I see him at the dining hall, he always sits at the same table as those from other ethnic groups. There are some students who always sit alone during meal time. Steve would notice these students and would go to talk with each of them after he finished eating. I noticed this happened the whole year last year until now. I once asked him why he didn’t socialize much with the Westerns or with Kiwis. He didn’t tell me exactly why, but he said, ‘I prefer to socialize with Asian students…especially Korean and Japanese. I became a Christian because of a Korean person. And I want to make sure those who are from other countries are happy in my country.’ He does what he says. Very often, he goes to the students who appear to be quiet and talks with them, listens to their problems, and gives them some advice. Steve seems to like Korean and Japanese a lot as his program of studies is Asian Studies majoring in Korean and Japanese languages. Every time Steve sees me, he always asks, ‘Are you ok? How are you doing? Did you sleep well? Is there any noise from my room disturbing you?’ I feel strange to be asked with those questions every time he sees me. But at least I know ‘there is somebody who cares and there is a good host here.’