A few weeks ago, my friend, Yandary, messaged me on facebook to see if I was still interested in meeting people for this project. She told me a little about her friend, Andi, and he sounded like a great guy. When he called to talk with me, I got the sense that he was really easy to talk with and friendly. But I didn’t really get how awesome he was until I went out with him.
Andi is pretty much amazing. He was born in Bejing and moved to the states when he was young. He moved all over with his family and eventually ended up in Utah where he graduated high school, went to college, and joined the LDS church. The more I talked with him, the more impressed I was.
For instance, he picked me up in a car that I later learned he had customized, both internally and externally. He told me about his plans to drive to Moab the next day to do some mountain biking on one of the top ten trails in the US, with crazy 4-5 foot drops in places. He helps people with financial planning for his profession and works for Fidelity Investments. He was the president of his fraternity in college and continues to head up the alumni chapter and events. He organizes charity projects through work for the community. He speaks some Mandarin. He’s worked in a down (as in ducks and geese) testing factory (How many people can say they’ve done that?). He’s worked construction jobs with housing. He cooks and plays all sorts of sports. There seemed to be no end to his abilities and accomplishments, but only because I kept pulling it out of him. He was very humble.
And I loved that he took me to Ikea for our date. It was only my second time there, the first time being a pretty brief visit. We ate dinner in the cafeteria upstairs, and I was finally able to try the Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce that my friends have raved about. We shared a dessert that looked like half of a tennis ball, but tasted like a sponge cake with jam and cream. After dinner, we walked around and checked out the different design styles and space-saving techniques. We had fun testing out furniture and exploring all over the store.
Andi was really easy to talk and laugh with. He was playful, but he also impressed me with his depth and knowledge of so many topics. He has an incredible memory and a thirst for learning. I had fun hearing about the music, books and movies that he likes, and we never ran short on things to talk about throughout the night.
I appreciate Yandary introducing me to Andi, and really enjoyed the chance I had to spend time with him tonight. As we were walking through Ikea, he taught me some words in Mandarin. And though I don’t know Swedish, the language of Ikea, I did look up one word online that describes Andi. It would be underbar — which means, awesome.