Minor Delinquent

Somewhere on the internet, I’ve seen a list of colleges and universities in the U.S that have the hardest finals; “Congratulations if you are in one of those schools”, the by-line said so. I gazed down as I started to wonder if BU shall appear somewhere on the list; two seconds later I knew I don’t have to wonder because miraculously, BU was at the top of that list. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I didn’t see “U” as “C” or “B” as “H”, as if that would have explained everything. Luckily I didn’t have to experience the allegedly toughest final exams since all my finals were either papers or group presentations; as for the dudes whose voices I heard in the middle of the night two days ago, my guess is they were less lucky––something had to be the reason why they were shouting “bleep the exams”.

*

Allston, the place that lived up to its “party town” reputation. You can’t sleep without being intermittently waken up by the excessive noise coming from several of the multiple ongoing parties, and “bleep the exams” was just yet another phrase that stuck in my mind and made me wonder: if BU really has the toughest final, how did these people manage to party all the time? Obviously the recent parties should be celebrating the end of the semester; in fact, as I write, I can hear people outside my apartment yelling on the street. With all my papers and dues finished, I actually want to join them in a celebrating party––one that reminded me of a precious moment in my life.

There weren’t many precious moments in my life, which is probably why I am feeling so pumped writing about the time when my friends and I received an official warning from the Hainan University Police Department (HNUPD).

I studied in a college that had a separate power system from the university; the good thing was whenever the university’s power went down, which averaged 4 times a semester, my college wouldn’t be affected. The bad thing was in the event of my college did go black, there won’t be a notice beforehand.

We had just finished our graduation presentation that day, my friends and I then made plans for the next day instead for that very night––we unanimously agreed that games come before Karaoke. I guess I don’t have to explain more as to what happened later that night, but the severity warrants some decent narrative. We were playing the Rank Mode determining the final ranking for that particular season of the game, and the black-out happened exactly when we were about to win, hence made our effort but vain. Imagine you are driving to your interview and the fuel ran out half-way, or you are poaching a salmon and the stove broke down––leaving that salmon underdone. I can keep finding similar situations to stress the importance of that game, while the gist is––and please take a moment before you start to judge––we are not as geeky as you may think.

There aren’t many options to kill time in the middle of the night without electricity; we realized that when our phone went dead. Later someone broached the idea of playing poker, and if my memory serves my right, that someone, didn’t get caught in the police raid because he was using the bathroom at the time. There were about 10 of us seated around a folding table illuminated by 2 flashlights, the time was 12 pm. My friends and I, the seniors, finished our semester a week earlier than the other students who lived on the floor above us; the time we chose to unwind ourselves was also the valuable time for them to rest from the excruciating finals. We didn’t really care about them since they had been making unbearable noises while we were preparing for the defense of our dissertation.

We played for money, so technically one could argue that the nature of our game was gambling. However, the total amount of money on our table was just around 30 CNY (5 dollars); to put that in perspective, we were basically playing with dimes. I don’t remember exactly how loud we were, thanks to the beer; but it must have been extremely loud because we later found out, the ones who lived above us called the HNUPD on us for gambling. Now allow me to introduce the valiant para-police force on our campus: they didn’t give the least amount of shit at the time when one of our classmates went missing and we called them at 1 in the morning, all we got was “it’s not a missing person unless the time exceeds 48 hours”. But a raid on a gambling at 2 am? they were definitely dutiful––I wondered what motivates them more, the money they keep after the raid or their sworn oath? I’ve seen them taking away the poker money before and it wasn’t a small amount.

I heard hurried steps approaching from the back, as I turned my head the police yelled, “FREEZE! DON’T MOVE!”. My friends and I instantly fell into an absolute obfuscation as to what was happening; then I saw the looks on the police’s face were no less confounding when they laid their eyes on the 30 CNY in total. I tried so hard not to laugh watching the HNUPD’s confusion gradually turned into disappointment, these dumbasses just woke up for literally nothing. One of the police was wearing flip-flops, I could only imagine the excitement he felt when he was called up for a gambling raid.

IMG_0347

Photo taken by the HNUPD, from one of the officers’ social media.

“We’ll just give you all an official warning this time,” one of the officers said. “Just minor delinquents, and don’t do it again.”

The officers turned away and left, leaving all the money on our table. 1 CNY=10 mao, there were more than 300 maos laying on the table; to our delight, the HNUPD even helped us sort them out.

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