If Rui Shan’s life is like a still, green pond, protected by the trees and mountains surrounding her, then Ah Yue’s one and only post card is the little pebble that unintentionally falls into that pond and stirs up a multitude of small ripples. Even after the surface of the pond restores its formal peacefulness, the pebble is nonetheless asserted into the pond. And the internal equilibrium is deeply disturbed.
Two years is a long time, a lot of things stay the same — Ah Yue’s mother is still selling food at Jiu Chuang, waiting everyday for Ah Yue’s return; and Ah Yue is still not over his hand injury — but a lot of things have also changed. Rui Shan is now the first cello of a renowned orchestra and she is getting engaged to Shi Chuan (above left). The reason Rui Shan and Shi Chuan come back to Jiu Chuang in the first place is to invite Ah Yue’s mother to their engagement party once Rui Shan returns from her Europe tour.
Ah Yue’s first day at work is marked by awkwardness and embarrassment. (What? First day of work? The Shanghainese postal office must be ultra speedy to deliver the postcard he dropped just this morning all the way to a rural area in Taiwan in a matter of just a few hours.) His lack of experience in advertisement sets him apart from his colleagues in communication; his lack of knowledge in pin yin poses problem for him at work (the keyboard in TW has inscriptions on each key to enable typing in Chinese, whereas in China, pin yin is represented through the alphabet that requires no special keyboard for the given task of say, type up a business letter); and his shy, reserved personality further alienates him from the rest of his office mates. What an encouraging start!
While his colleagues speak Shanghainese amongst themselves to exclude Ah Yue from the conversation and go out to lunch, ignoring his presence, Xiao Lu observes the dynamic of the situation as an passive observer.
Affected but not defeated by unfriendly environment, Ah Yue escapes the office to cool his head. He pantomimes a second person reproaching him playfully for being a complete idiot in front of his coworkers and jokingly slaps himself with one hand to “remind” himself not to do anything stupid from now on. Then he yells out his frustration and feels SO MUCH better after the release. Xiao Lu follows him out of concern at first, but when she sees him being such an endearing big child, she couldn’t help but to chuckle at his silliness. 😀
Xiao Lu sneaks back into Ah Yue’s office cubicle, drops off Da Hong’s lunch box and grabs the mountain pile of files Ah Yue is assigned to do. She sits back down in her own office, puts her lunch aside and starts to type furiously on the laptop — Xiao Lu wants to finish Ah Yue’s work before his colleagues come back from their lunch break. (You can’t get a better girlfriend than that, but on the other hand, her help may hurt the guy’s ego.)
Within a half hour, Xiao Lu finishes the files the others are supposed to deal with themselves (but toss to Ah Yue to take care of instead). She sneaks into Ah Yue’s office, puts the files down and nearly got caught by his colleagues. To look less suspicious, she pretends to have come to ask for the samples companies send over for advertisement purposes. (Both the advertisers and companies know that employees leech off the samples, so when Xiao Lu asks about the sampler shampoos, the other coworkers give her a unknowing smile.) She walks out with a handful of shampoos and noodles and drops one right when Ah Yue returns from running an errand for Da Hong. They stand looking at each other for half a minute, then grudgingly, Ah Yue bends down to pick up the ramen. As if his unwillingness isn’t obvious enough, he slaps the cup noodles heavily on top of the other samplers Xiao Lu’s holding, gives her an *AHEM* look and walks away. (He’s such a kid!) And Xiao Lu, collects all her stuff and walks away utterly mortified. 😀
When Ah Yue returns to his desk, he finds a disc containing all the work he is supposed to do and… this:
Now that’s sweet. Only that Ah Yue doesn’t know what’s done so much for him, yet.
When a pebble cuts into the seemingly calm surface of a pond, it pushes everything aside — impending engagement, upcoming tour– and heads toward the deepest part of the pond, the heart of the pond. It settles itself down after scrabbling everything around it and stays there — until something stirs it up again.
Ever since knowing Ah Yue is in Shanghai, Rui Shan hasn’t felt so uneasy, so out of her element for so long. She has a change of mind and withdraws herself from the Europe tour and heads to the performance in Shanghai instead. She ends up lying to Shi Chuan about the change of plans, not wanting him to think she still cares about Ah Yue more than a friend-to-friend level so close to their engagement. Then, she tries to find out Ah Yue’s whereabouts through an elementary school friend, but to no avail…
(What a pretty house she lives in!)
Later in the day, while in the bathroom, Xiao Lu discusses her suspicion that Ah Yue’s fellow colleagues may be picking on him on propose. Their conversation is overheard by the company executor, who then calls Ah Yue’s superior in for a lecture. The minute this angry lectured man walks out of the executor’s office, he leashes it out on Ah Yue. Ah Yue bounces back on the false accusation, exacerbating the already intense situation to the point of a complete out burst. At that moment, Xiao Lu walks by and witnesses the scene. Her sense of justice makes her lose her cool. She intervenes to help Ah Yue, but unbeknownest to all, Ah Yue snaps back at Xiao Lu for being nosy. Things get ugly.
Ah Yue leaves the scene, Xiao Lu follows after and the two of them break into a difference-sharing argument. Xiao Lu claims that instead of bottling things up, it’s better to lay them out in the open and actually discuss the problems. Ah Yue disagrees, thinking that leave each other a step instead of pushing to total embarrassment is a more appropriate approach. Sometimes, people should let time deal with the problems. (C’on people, must we all be so black and white?)
Poor Da Hong is left to clean up the aftermath. (What would Xiao Lu do without her best buddy? 😉 )
The next day, Ah Yue goes to work as usual. He doesn’t deliberately make any changes to his attitude, especially his attitude toward Xiao Lu, but he has reflected on Xiao Lu’s words and took mental note of alternative ways of dealing with problems.
Time does come to the rescue. It happens that the man who was in conflict with Ah Yue faces difficulty juggling family problems and work. Ah Yue stands up to help, their misunderstand hence resolved. 🙂
It is a busy day for Ah Yue, being new to the job and having to face the challenge of substituting the work his experienced coworker is equipped to do, but it’s fulfilling and satisfying nonetheless.
Rui Shan is in Shanghai now, still wearing the matching watch she bought for herself and for Ah Yue. She meets with her elementary classmate, who has seen Ah Yue about a half year ago. The man recounts his meeting with Ah Yue and regretfully tells Rui Shan that he forgot to ask for Ah Yue’s contact information. The only clue he can give Rui Shan is that he and Ah Yue went to a bar on Heng Shan road during their only encounter. She wanders around the busy Shanghai streets aimlessly, hoping fate will waltz her back into Ah Yue’s life…
But they still missed each other by inches.
The next day at work proves to be just as tough. Because of Ah Yue’s lack of experience and his unfamiliarity with one of the client’s work, his promise to change a picture will cause multiple departments to redo their work. Of course that entails Xiao Lu staying late into the night to revise the work. Since she doesn’t know which set of pictures the client wants, she has to call Ah Yue to ask. He comes at her bidding after socializing with the client for a whole night trying to get the client to push back the deadline. But by the time he arrives at the company, he is so drunk that he falls asleep at her feet within seconds. Being the mischievous Xiao Lu that she is, when Ah Yue wakes up the next morning, he’s like this:
(Oh come on, you can’t expect less!)
But ironically, when Xiao Lu falls asleep, she is subjected to the same treatment (revenge!):
They’re so different in some ways, yet so alike in others.
After have had enough fun, Ah Yue takes the wig and glasses off of Xiao Lu and carries her to sleep on a couch. And gently, he takes off his coat and covers her with it. 😀 Then, he sneaks back at her desk and starts drawing his mother’s best dish — because Xiao Lu once said she wants to try Ah Yue mother’s taro dessert. (*awwww* and MAN, that stuff IS delicious! *drools*)
When Xiao Lu finds out what he’s drawing, he shyly explains his reason for drawing and then, suggests in a quiet voice, “maybe, if there is a chance, I can take you to try it sometimes.” (Oh is he asking her out?! :D) Then, they have their first meal together.
The jewelry company that got Xiao Lu in trouble, Ah Yue employed, and Da Hong the star of a photo shoot is hosting a concert through the advertising company. Naturally, Ah Yue is over at the site helping out; certainly, Rui Shan becomes the featured cellist when she decided to go to Shanghai instead. Blind to the irony, Ah Yue eagerly aids the preparation of the concert. But when he hears Rui Shan’s name, his hand freezes in midair and his gaze loses its glim of mischief. He hides behind the multi-layered cake, hoping never have to come face to face with Rui Shan, more than that, with everything she represents. To add to the irony, immediately after introducing Rui Shan, Da Hong cues for Ah Yue to bring forth the cake, putting him in an awkward stance. Having no other choice, Ah Yue pushes the cake forward while keeping his head low — but it’s too late, Rui Shan has already spotted him… She faints into Cheng Yue’s arms.
Steadying herself, she looks up at Cheng Yue with plea in her eyes, “Don’t go, not after I’ve finally found you.”
My biggest problem with this drama is that after I watch each episode, I have no thoughts about it. It’s not like awww it’s sooo good/cute/great nor is it like argh it’s so bad/pointless/boring. It’s always just so-so. Sure, there are enjoyable moments, but not enough for me to go hey, I really liked that. Ironically, as emotionally aloof as I feel toward this drama as a whole, the recaps are pretty lengthy for an episode that’s only ~50 minutes.