Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 122: Riches
Zhang Siyi broke down and said: “You posted it online!”
Tao Fei shrugged: “Why can’t I? Is there a problem?”
Zhang Siyi: “At least you could have told me ahead of time!”
Tao Fei’s behavior made him instantly think of the selfies he posted on his business trip with Gu Yu. Did Tao Fei also catch Gu Yu by surprise?
In contrast, when Gu Yu was “spoofed”, his expression was still so handsome while Zhang Siyi looked stupid in the photo. What’s more, Tao Fei was laughing when the photo was taken. At least, let him laugh too!?
…… Wait, that’s not the point! The point is, why did you post my picture online without my permission!
Tao Fei smirked and put his arm around Zhang Siyi’s neck: “What’s the point of the surprise if you know ahead of time!”
Zhang Siyi twisted his shoulder and tried to shrug off Tao Fei’s arm – is this a surprise? Clearly, it’s to make me angry!
Squeezing his arm, Tao Fei held Zhang Siyi’s neck tighter and asked: ”Why are you so angry? Don’t be so stingy! My brother took your silly photo and displayed it at the main entrance of the company and you weren’t angry. I only posted it to my circle of friends……”
Zhang Siyi never said he wasn’t angry. Why do you think I was never angry? In fact, I was livid! If not for respecting and being together with Gu Yu, I think I would be planning my vengeance now!
Tao Fei smiled and continued to explain: “And my friends don’t know you. Why do you care so much about what other people think? Oh, I almost forgot. Does it bother you if my brother sees them?”
Zhang Siyi could feel his ears turning red. He refuted: “Of course not!”
In fact, he does mind a little. He is afraid if Gu Yu sees, he will misunderstand. But on second thought, Gu Yu blocked Tao Fei’s social media page so he might not necessarily see them.
Moreover, even if he did see it, Gu Yu knew what kind of person Tao Fei was. Unlike Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu is so rational and calm, would he even get jealous?
With such a thought, Zhang Siyi’s heart breathed a sigh of relief.
Even so, Zhang Siyi was still angry with Tao Fei’s antics. He doesn’t really mind photos being put online, but he wishes Tao Fei was less spammy and more sincere.
Watching Zhang Siyi reaction, Tao Fei continued: “We are traveling together for a week on our business trip. How are we going to get along if you make a fuss all the time? I’m planning on taking a lot of photographs”
Clearly, the topic about the photographs is something Tao Fei wanted to discuss with Zhang Siyi. He wanted to smack Tao Fei, but upon seeing his positive attitude and smile, Zhang Siyi sighed helpless. In a serious manner, he laid out some ground rules for Tao Fei: “You can take photographs, but don’t lie to me, don’t take candid ones and make sure I look good in them or else I will think you are messing with me!”
Tao Fei chuckled: “Ha-ha-ha! That’s what bothers you?” He patted Zhang Si Yi’s shoulder: “OK, I understand. Next time I’ll make sure you are super handsome!””
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Since Zhang Siyi slept really well throughout the previous night, he wasn’t feeling sleepy at all and thus, he thought he should utilize his time to read. He grabbed the book that Gu Yu gave him from his bag.
Tao Fei glanced at the book and asked: “Hey, how come you are reading that book?”
Zhang Siyi: “… What’s wrong with this book?”
Tao Fei: “I read it during my sophomore year at university.”
Although he shouldn’t feel surprised, Zhang Siyi was caught off guard. He never asked Gu Yu about his time at university and since Tao Fei was also a graduate of big T, he was curious: “What was the course work like at big T?”
Tao Fei wrinkled his face as if he had thought of something painful: “Undergraduate…. Ah, those five years were simply hell.”
Now given the opportunity to talk about himself, Tao Fei had no qualms gushing about his years in University. He continually spoke to Zhang Siyi about the difficult learning process of the early stages of the course work. For two years, day and night, they had to practice fundamental fine art skills like sketching and watercolor painting which were skills that science and engineering students rarely had prior exposure to. In addition, the text books were difficult to understand. Even if the material discussed was a struggle to grasp, one had to keep going forward, otherwise a person would fall too far behind. By the third year, in addition to written history, the course work was focused on learning computer software and how to transform your ideas into computer models. Finally, during the fifth year, an internship was an available option to gain office experience, but the most tragic aspect to it all was that the income earned was totally out of proportion to the investment!
“Anyway, in those years at T-Big University Architectural department I basically did not have a weekend to myself at all. I even had to work and study during the winter and summer vacations. Everyone else was doing the same, so there wasn’t really anything to complain about.” Tao Fei summed it up and shrugged.
Zhang Siyi was shocked and remembered his experience of studying abroad. Although he thought he was very busy, it was a far cry from Tao Fei. At least he still had time to watch movies and even go out during the holidays. The contrast between student expectations and course work from their respective universities was so different that it was no wonder that Zhang Siyi felt like he had never learned anything at school when he first joined the company.
“Was it the same for Gu Yu?” Zhang Siyi asked.
Tao Fei glanced at Zhang Siyi: “Almost, but he isn’t the same as ordinary people.”
Zhang Siyi: “He isn’t the same? What do you mean?”
Tao Fei crossed his arms and said: “Although designing is very fun, most of the architecture students are very poor. In short, there is no time and place to make money.”
Understanding the situation, Zhang Siyi nodded in recognition. Tao Fei also wanted to make money, but didn’t know how costly an architectural education was.
Tao Fei followed up and said: “But my brother is an exception. He is particularly rich!”
Zhang Siyi: “…… Did he earn it himself?”
“Yeah!” Tao Fei said with envy and jealousy. “His professional achievements are very good. Sophomore year he joined a team with his seniors who entered a design for the competition and won the grand prize. His teammates also came from families with construction and architectural backgrounds, but unlike Gu Yu, they went abroad to further their studies leaving Gu Yu alone to reap the benefits of winning the award. When I was at school, he was already a junior. At that time, even the teachers would mention him and joke; if you need good architect cheaply, find the junior in the third year for the job.
Zhang Siyi: “Why does he sound more like a contractor?”
Tao Fei cried: “He wasn’t a contractor! In addition to being a top student, he was very connected in college and relied on those relationships to open doors that normal students wouldn’t have access to. He participated in many competitions during university and most of the time he got first place. In fact, many architectural design competitions were organized by design institutes in order to think of cheap creative design and mine new talent. Through those events, Gu Yu went to many rich parties and made further connections. I don’t know how he had the time, but he did private work while taking care of his studies.
Zhang Siyi: “How much can one earn by picking up private work?”
Tao Fei: “It depends. During my senior year at University, I worked with my mentor for the first time and earned eight thousand a month. I thought that the money was good. Later, I had an opportunity to work with my brother for one month and we made a residential plan together. I got paid fifty-thousand at that time!”
Zhang Siyi: “!!!”
Tao Fei: “There were rumors that he could afford a house in the capital city center after graduation. Since I thought people were just bragging and making up stuff, I didn’t believe it at first. It is said that when he was a senior at school, a nouveau riche gave him a one-hundred-thousand-yuan design fee for a villa in cash. At that time, tuition was only five thousand a year and monthly expenses were only one thousand. The concept of having one-hundred-thousand was unbelievable. Like winning the lottery, one day in the courtyard, some people saw him screaming. With his handsome face, it was like a scene out of a movie.”
Imagining it, Zhang Siyi unconsciously smiled.
Tao Fei: “It wasn’t just him. Even his roommates from the dorm benefited. I heard they were ordinary people in the beginning, but after the competition, they began to wear designer merchandise and ate at first class restaurants.”
Zhang Siyi gave a hallow laugh: “Is it possible that when one person gains enlightenment, his followers also profit? Ha-ha-ha.……”
Tao Fei sighed: “Anyways, I feel that some people are lucky and born to be rich.”
Being remined of his conversation with He Chengtian, Zhang Siyi’s mouth twitched. He still remembered the comment Bi Lele made some time ago about Gu Yu rejecting a job offer with a million salary. Now, Zhang Siyi finally understood why Gu Yu did so; because he isn’t short of money! Ah!
Hey, Zhang Siyi is looking forward to following Gu Yu to the heavens! He wants a lot of money too!
Tao Fei looked at Zhang Siyi and asked: “What did you study abroad?”
Thinking for a moment, Zhang Siyi felt ashamed of the difference and said: “The basic courses are similar, but I wasn’t required to practice fine art skills and we didn’t read so many books. I didn’t have an internship during the summer or winter vacations, let alone private work experience.” (=_=)
Not only that, but because he went abroad after graduating from high school, he couldn’t adapt to the pure English teaching environment at the beginning of his studies. The language problem alone made him fall behind the local students.
Since Zhang Siyi didn’t understand the professional terms, he was in a fog everyday during his architectural history class during the first semester. He had to record the professor’s lesson and play back the recording slowly to understand what was being said. It wasn’t until his second year in University that his English became fluent enough for his classes.
Relating to Zhang Siyi point, Tao Fei excitedly said: “Ah! Me too! Even though I scored a 7.5 on the IELTS, I didn’t understand half of my classes at first. Would it kill the professor to speak a little slower!”
Tao Fei’s exaggerated description almost made Zhang Siyi spit his drink out in laughter: “It took time to adjust to the speed of spoken language. In my second year when I finally could comprehend everything, I switched to a German professor who spoke English with a thick accent. Even the local students had a hard time understanding him, let alone a Chinese one!”
Tao Fei boisterously laughed: “Yes! Yes! I had a similar experience but the professor was Spanish! I became stupid once again. Ha-ha-ha-ha!”