| Panda Holiday 2001 |

Here I am, with Bob and Doris Lum, the couple who played a big part
in helping to make my Panda Holiday 2001 dream come true

I'd first met Bob online in 1997. We were both participating in an online creative writing course and singled each other out from our Asian names during a "live" chat session. We've corresponded since then, mainly via email but also using snail mail to send each other Christmas cards and other items (he sent me more than I sent him).

When I was planning my Panda Holiday 2001, I remembered he lives in California, but I wasn't sure if it was near San Francisco or Los Angeles. I wrote to ask and he replied that he and his wife, Doris, live about an hour from Los Angeles, and that they would be delighted to meet up with me during my trip. I wrote back to ask if they would like to join me for a visit to the zoo. One thing led to another, they decided they could stay a night in San Diego, then offered to pay for my night there. In the end, they also paid for the visit to Legoland, plus all my meals while we visited in San Diego.

When I told Bob he must let me take them out for a meal, he told me off and said no way, they're the host, I'm the guest. Actually, I had invited them to visit the zoo with me, which kind of made me the host, but they ended up being the host, and I the guest!

After I returned to Los Angeles, they came to take me shopping on Sunday, 6 May 2001, and once again paid for the various meals. They also sent me to the airport for my return flight home.

Thanks to the generosity of two people I've never met before in my life, but only corresponded with, my Panda Holiday 2001 was made very much easier and less worrisome.

| How it all began | San Diego Zoo | Legoland | Hollywood | Big Kitchen |
| A Journey told in Ticket Stubs | Miscellaneous |
Chet's Corner

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