Assistant Architect - Chapter 21

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 20:49:48]
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Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling


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Chapter: 21 Business Trip


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When Zhang Siyi returned home that night, it was almostten o’clock.


As he was traveling on the subway, he received thebooking information about his flight from the personnel department. The flight isat 7:05 tomorrow morning.


He threw himself on the bed feeling like the day was adream. This morning, he was still struggling with his work content and how toaddress Gu Yu about it. Instead, he is going to travel with him tomorrowmorning!


The phone buzzed. Zhang Si Yi saw a stranger’s ID and wasabout to delete it thinking it was more spam messages. Luckily, he caught aglimpse of the message – ” remember to arrive at the airport 45 minutes inadvance, do not be late.”


Zhang Siyi glanced, quickly sat up, got out the businesscard that Gu Yu gave him during the interview and compared. It really is thenumber of Gu Yu!


He immediately returned the text. “Yes” then putthe other party into his address book.


Arriving at the airport 45 minutes in advance means thathe must arrive before 6:20. Thinking backwards that means with time for thesubway, he must get up at 5:10 at the latest! Zhang Siyi dares not dawdle. Hegot up swiftly to rummage through his belongings to find his camera, thenplugged it into the outlet to charge the battery. After, he went to the bathfor a quick shower.


In the shower, he thought of another question: how longdoes it take to visit the area on this business trip? The project time is sourgent, can they come back that day?


After returning to the bedroom, Zhang Siyi grabbed thephone and sent a message to Gu Yu: “Will we spend the night there?”


After five or six minutes, the other party replied:“At least one night.”


Zhang Siyi: “…”


He would have to bring a change of clothes!


Zhang Si Yi grabbed some underwear and t-shirts andstuffed them into a bag. He then realized if he ended up sharing a room with GuYu he didn\'t want to be sleeping in just underwear. He also packed extra pantsto sleep in. Zhang Siyi was so busy all day his body feel fatigued, but hismind is still racing. He felt really excited about the upcoming trip and couldn\'tget himself to fall asleep. Already past midnight, Zhang Siyi habitually openedthe phone and checked his chat groups online. He felt bored doing so. Withswift thumb movements he entered in Gu Yu mobile phone number into the searchpage. There is an avatar of a calligraphy brush "Gu" and the "Quiet Zhiyuan"that he has in his office. That must be Gu Yu!


Zhang Siyi hesitated for a moment, then boldly clicked "add".After a bit, the information page showed they were friends and could startchatting. Gu Yu passed the verification but there was no other reaction.


Zhang Si Yi’s heart jumped. Looked at the confirmation,then thought the polite thing to do is say hello to his superiors so he asked:“you are not asleep?”


Gu Yu: “I double checked the flight information, whydon’t you sleep? Still online chatting with friends?”


Zhang Siyi: “…no, I am going to sleep.”


Gu Yu: “Oh, It\'s going to be a busy day tomorrow soget to sleep. Don\'t come complaining to me about how tired you are."


Zhang Siyi: “…” he shouldn’t have added himto WeChat! ”


Good night! ZhangSiyi lay down with his eyes closed for a while but could not fall asleep. Thegossip factor in his mind was moving around excitedly – he just added Gu Yu\'sWeChat and wanted to find out more about him.


He picked up the phone again, then shrunk back into hiscovers and opened Gu Yu avatar.


With a quick scan, Zhang Siyi’s hopes fell through. Gu Yuhas made very few posts mostly related to architectural design or forwardingarticles.


Only twice had he made a more private remark. Once was 1.5ago, Gu Yu patted a roadside wildcat, described as “cute kitten”.Zhang Siyi can\'t see his mood and state. The second time is a half year ago. Heposted a picture of the cactus when small ball was still attached to it. Gu Yu\'sdescription of them is “new life.”


Zhang Si Yi made a frown at the phone. It wasn\'t very interesting,so he turned off the phone to sleep.


At 5 o’clock the next morning, the alarm woke up ZhangSiyi. He got up quickly, washed, grabbed his stuff, and hurriedly left. He didn\'thave time to talk to Fu Xinhui.


At 6:10 in the morning, Gu Yu called Zhang Siyi and askedhim where he was.


“I am out of the subway! I will be there soon!”Zhang Siyi grabbed the mobile phone and walked out of the subway station, buthis luck wasn\'t so great. The station near the airport was under construction.It looked like a disaster zone.


Gu Xiao seems to hear Zhang Siyi stumbling, indicating:“Go along the ground deformation seam, then turn right and turn again.”


Zhang Siyi: "???"


Zhang Siyi didn\'t understandGu Yu directions at all. He noticed the temporary detour sign and walkedfaster. Finally, he saw the airport entrance and rushed over. Still holdingonto the phone, he said “I\'m here! Where are you?”


Gu Yu: “I am at the‘departure level’, the junction of area c and d.”


Fortunately, Zhang Siyi wasfamiliar with the airport and quickly went to the location with the fastestspeed. He saw Gu Yu standing there.


Gu Yu was wearing awindproof jacket today with a black shirt inside, crocheted autumn scarf aroundhis neck, retro black casual shoes, backpack in one hand and a mobile phone inthe other talking. He doesn’t look like an architect, but like a collegestudent instead.


Zhang Siyi waved his handand rushed over. With a slight frown, Gu Yu hung up the mobile phone. The twoof them hurriedly got in line to check in.


After a morning of anxiously,rushing around, Zhang Siyi sat down with sweat all down his back. He couldn\'t move,and his calf leg started to cramp. It was only after the flight attendantpushed the cart for breakfast and a cup of instant hot coffee, that he couldstart to relax.


Gu Yu folded his scarf andasked slowly: “What did you want to tell me yesterday afternoon?”


Zhang Siyi stunned andreacted. Gu Yu was asking about the conversation they had not been able tocontinue yesterday.


He felt a little guilty. Hewas being cocky. After he saw all the talented colleagues working hardyesterday, he no longer felt so self-important. Everyone is better than him. Everyoneis more capable than him, and more diligent and hardworking. What otherqualifications does he have to be picky?


Zhang Siyi shook his headand found an excuse to put off the past indiscriminately.


Gu Xiao also did notcontinue to press, after a while, suddenly said: “I saw your circle offriends on the subway today.”


Zhang Siyi was shocked. GuYu looked through his postings? He tried desperately to remember if he sentanything strange and wondered if the work plan photos sent a few days ago be alittle silly.


Unexpectedly Gu Yu said:“You have been to many places.”


“Oh…” Indeed,before he returned to China, he went to several countries in Europe and tookphotos and posted them to his social media account frequently. However, thereisn\'t much currently. Zhang Siyi smiledtwice and said, “It\'s just a matter of walking.”


“Is there really atortoise under the porch column of the Holy Family Cathedral? “asked GuXiao.


“Yes, a turtle or atortoise.” Zhang Siyi, he replied. He remembers the surprise when he firstsaw the cathedral in Spain. The cathedral facades were so detailed and complex.The interior columns so magnificent and the whole space was spectacular. GuYu\'s questions spurred Zhang Siyi on. He excitedly talked about his travels.


Gu Yu listened to himcarefully, smiled: “You seems to remember quite a lot.”


Zhang Si Yi suddenly alittle speechless?


Gu Yu said again:“Although most of the posts have very boring content, but the photos youtake are pretty good; composition ratio is good.”


Zhang Siyi: “…”


Gu Yu turned towards him andsaid: “But, to tell you the truth, you aren\'t very photogenic. In thefuture, don\'t take a selfie.”


Zhang Siyi: “…”


Gu Yu continued: “Besides,the frequency with which you have recently made posts have decreased. Overtimeis good for you.


Zhang Siyi mad Chatting withfriends is too much? Why does Gu Yu keep bringing this up? Zhang Siyi isn\'t atthe office, why does he have to endure his endless poison tongue ah!


He couldn’t help but fightback: “I also looked at your circle of friends."


Gu Xiao provoked eyebrows:“Oh?”


Zhang Siyi: “Don’t youhave a personal life other than work?"


He summed up the content ofGu Yu\'s circle of friends. Is he just focused, or a boring person?


Gu Yu glanced at him andsmiled and asked: “Do you want to know more about my private life?”


Zhang Siyi originally wantedto vomit, but I couldn’t think of it, "I just thought you would send somethingthat was not related to work.”


Gu Yu nodded: “Yes,it’s just that you can’t see it.” He sighed slightly.


Zhang Siyi\'s glanced at him.Oh? Is it a group of friends who have set up a separate group?


Sure enough, Gu Yuexplained: “Private life is inherently private, and of course it can onlybe shown to intimate people. You are not my intimate person, why should I letyou know what I look like in private?”


Zhang Siyi was dumbfounded.Gu Yu\'s completely concise statement erected a clear boundary between them. Aboss and his subordinate. Whatever misconceptions he had about being from thesame high school were eliminated. He felt isolated.


Zhang Siyi had nothing tosay, and sat there in a daze, with a strange sense of loss in his heart.


Gu Yu saw him silent, aftera minute, only a euphemism: “I also advise you to send less meaningless postsabout food, clothing and shelter. Other than your mother, I think probably noone will remember what you ate a week ago. Life is not for others to see. Thefrequency of news-posts can only indicate a serious lack of self-identity."


Zhang Siyi: “…”


Is this comforting? Why didhe not feel comfortable, but more depressed?


The conversation wasterminated. Gu Yu leaned against the seat and closed his eyes for the threehours flight. Both got up very early in the morning and the drone of the planespurred people to sleep.


Until the announcer used thePA system to remind people to get ready for landing, Zhang Siyi was asleep. Hedidn\'t know when he started leaning on Gu Yu and then to his horror, he sawthat he drooled.


At that time, Gu Yu wasalready awake and was calmly turning pages of the magazine on the plane.


Zhang Siyi sat up straight, embarrassed.Gu Yu looked at him and said: “You are very keen to soil my clothes.Coffee, vomit and now saliva. Is there anything else in the future?” GuYu\'s low voice has an inexplicable attraction. There is a smile in his tone,but he doesn\'t know whether it\'s ridicule or a joke. No matter what, Gu Yu\'s harshtongue always exists. The difference is, sometimes it makes Zhang Siyi irritatedand other times, it lets him blush.


Zhang Siyi whispered a few“sorry”, scrambled to take paper towels for him to wipe. If Bi Leleknew drooled and slept on the Boss\'s shoulder, he would never hear the end ofit.


Getting off the plane, theygot a taxi and went straight to the area of development.


On the road, Gu Yu casuallytalked with the driver and asked him if he knew that the government wasplanning to build in the eastern New Town area. The driver nodded and spokewith a Minnan accent: “It was on the TV news.”


Gu Xiao: “Do you knowwhat they will build on this land?”


Drivers: “Others carryout the development. Our common people don\'t understand. We just make ends meetwith a house to live in."


Gu Yu joked and asked:“If they build houses to live for you, do you think it is good?”


The driver smiled and shookhis head: “It’s not good, there is a leading port. There is frequentflooding under heavy rain and it is not safe to live there.”


Gu Yu glimpsed it as theydrove by. He and took out a black pocket recorder from his coat and continued askinghim questions. Zhang Siyi took out the camera and hung it around his neck,adjusted the shutter and sensitivity, and took a picture of the road that thecar passed. Sure enough, the site was very different from the photos he found.Many houses around the site had been demolished, and some areas had newbuildings.


The taxi took a while todrive all the way around the 250 Hechter lot, then the two got out of the car.Zhang Siyi isn\'t sure if it\'s just the day or regular local climate, but it\'swet and gloomy out. Gu Yu opened the mobile phone map and starting walking intothe property site with Zhang Siyi following.


There are many houseswaiting for demolition at the scene. The internal roads are muddy and wet. Theroute is chaotic, and the living environment and life style are very poor.


Although Z City is asecond-tier city, the degree of development here is not up to standard. It isno wonder that a lot of planning and development are needed.


Zhang Siyi has been takingpictures for more than two hours. Gu Yu occasionally would stop to talk tonearby citizens to find out more about the situation. Most of the questionsasked were similar questions as what he asked the taxi driver.


It was hard to get from thesouthern border to the north border. Zhang Siyi has been tired and thirsty. Histwo legs felt fatigued. It\'s not that he\'s physically weak. When he and FuXinhui were traveling outside, they didn\'t feel tired when they walked away fora day, but now it\'s a matter of difference.


Gu Yu saw him looking tired.He checked the time and asked: “Hungry?”


“Hungry! Hungry!”Zhang Siyi’s eyes were beaming, and his stomach was hungry and waiting for GuYu to pay for food. Can I finally rest? Can I eat and have good business trip?


Gu Yu looked around and sawa biscuit stand not far away, so he bought two and handed one to Zhang Siyi:“Eat and continue taking pictures.”


Zhang Siyi: "……"


He now understands why yesterday,Gu Yu said that the phrase “Don’t cry”. He is fucking wanting to crynow!


It\'s no wonder no onevolunteered to go with Gu Yu on a business trip. The rest of the group wasrelieved. He was too stupid for getting excited all night and thinking thatthis trip was going to be great. Is this what the designer can do? It\'s more tieringthan an ox plow!


The two men squatted on theside of the road like migrant workers, eating the snacks and drinking mineralwater that they got from the plane ride.


Zhang Siyi glanced at Gu Yuwho is deep in thought and wondered why he can be so calm in this environment.After they finish eating, they continue their way.


The two arrived at theleading port that the driver described. Sure enough, due to frequent flooding,the surface water system was bad. Although there was no rain, there were manypotholes in the spot. Moreover, the leading port is the most important watersystem in the region, but the water quality is terrible. The oil and thephytoplankton are scattered all over.


Zhang Siyi took a photo anda heavy feeling came up.


Zhang Siyi can\'t quite puthis finger on the feeling. Yesterday while looking for photos online he wasjust a bystander looking into a field separated by time and space. He onlyregarded it as his work obligations. Perhaps it was the hopes of thoseresidents who they spoke with or Perhaps it was the flood of dirty water, butnow after a day of being in the space for real, he feels that he was not justan outsider. A sense of purpose wells up from the bottom of his heart.


Gu Yan stood on the side ofthe dilapidated river bank and called the people in the company. It seems thatthe boss of the landscape planning department also came to the scene to see. Hangingup the phone, the two went on. From the time of the flight to 5 or 6 in theevening, the two had not rested except for the ten-minute meal. After a day ofnon-stop, Zhang Siyi finally finished shooting the photos of the propertybefore dark. At the last minute his camera battery was completely exhausted.


Gu Yu searched on his mobilephone to pick out a budget hotel in the liveliest place in the city center thenlet the driver know. By the time theygot out of the taxi to arrive at the hotel, Zhang Siyi felt his two legs werenot his own.


Zhang Siyi has somecomplaints in his heart. If they are tired for a day, can they not live better?There is no shortage of money. Because the hotel has both a good location andprice, there are no vacant rooms.


Originally, Gu Yu wanted tobook two single rooms, but was told that they were all gone. Only standardrooms where left. At least the room was clean and comfortable.


Going into the room andputting his things down Zhang Siyi, feeling dizzy, instinctively went to thenearest bed. He miscalculated the distance and Instead of landing on the bed,he missed the edge by half his body length and slid down onto the floor with hishand grasping the sheets.


Gu Yu couldn\'t stop laughing at Zhang Siyi.


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