Coming home, chilled to the bone and exhausted with an empty stomach, I didn't bother to rush to the kitchen as usual but dropped my head against the window, listlessly. It didn't help. That mocking snicker still haunted me, distorting itself into grating shriek, driving my mind and body into the irresistible dark hole of nonentity.
The very first meeting of Young Enterprise program was not what I imagined. Thirteen British and one Vietnamese students from five colleges in Croydon gathered to found a real company. With the helpful guide from two advisers, we discussed its legal name and feasible products for this coming Christmas sale. Everything went smoothly except that I didn't find an expected self-confident girl of mine. Those gazing baffled eyes seemed like scorching beam of laser surrounding me. They supplemented with knitting eyebrows to inform me how little the audience made out of my five minute speech for the position of admissions officer.
The well-prepared effort of giving a fluent and persuasive presentation suddenly ended in smoke. Was it because of my accent, my gesture or my outlook? The cultural intimidation thought to be defeated after one year studying abroad suddenly resurged and uncontrollably overwhelmed my body. 'It's just a little bit nervous', I tried to soothe myself. It didn't help though.
Things worsened when I indistinctly stammered for the explanation of the company's names that I proposed. Just merely 'SNC stands for soap and candle, our products' and 'Heaven scent because of the smell', not 'the names sound melodious, easy to memorise and seem slightly mysterious' or those kinds which clarify their advantages and make me more convincing. My mind went blank with thousands of 'what' and 'pardon'. Unreasonable snicker, shrug of shoulders and hardly discernible headshakes irritated me and drained the last drop of...