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  • "Hello, my name is Kitty."

    ".....I'm sorry, what?"

    "My name is Kitty. Like a small cat."

    "....Oh, okay, it's just that I've never met anyone with that name before."

    In front of me stands an obviously nervous Chinese student. His hair was long and styled into what people in the States call "band hair," which fell just beyond the top of his glasses. He was 20 years old, just two years younger than I was.

    His friend, who had introduced himself as "Freddy," explained that "Kitty" had not been given an English name, but was hoping to get one soon, because the two of them were planning to study in Chicago the following semester.

    They asked for my phone number and also my QQ number, which I was more than happy to give them. Just two weeks before, I had arrived in Lanzhou and had not made more than one or two friends.

    Over the next few weeks, "Kitty," Freddy, and I hung out more, and I learned that he had chosen the name "Janson" because of its similarity to his Chinese name.

    The friendship was quickly cemented when we three began to talk about music and decided to form a band and enter a music competition. We spent entire afternoons together playing and rehearsing and just goofing off.

    The winter turned into spring, spring turned into summer, and we spent nearly all of our free time in each other's company.

    Our band, "E.S. Band," placed 9th out of some 300 contestants in the music competition, and the three of us became very popular around the school (me especially, as I was the only foreign student at the university of 35,000). I will never forget the times I spent with these guys, and we all agreed that we are going to be friends for the rest of our lives.

    A chance meeting in the library of Lanzhou University of Technology led me to some of the best friends I will ever have.

    Don't shun a chance to make a new friend, because you never know, they just might change your life.
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