Ever since I stopped taking Mandarin classes, I pretty much stopped speaking Mandarin. But this is the one place where I've managed to practice a few phrases here and there. An unassuming laundromat on the Upper Eastside near my office. I befriended an older married couple here who run the business and sit peacefully behind the counter. The first time I went there to drop off a shirt, I heard them speaking Mandarin to each other. So I tried to engage with them with my horrible tones and small talk. I found that they were very friendly and very patient with me. Almost a month ago, they told me that I should come back during my lunch hour to say hello and to practice. Today I finally returned since I had some time to take a brief walk and get some air. I learned that their last name is Gao, the same gao as gaoxing which means 'happy.' In my head, the husband will forever be known as Mr. Happy.