Real life authorial fact:

When ‘composing’ this scene [i.e. blending both real life and fiction into the properties of this story to tell you the heart of things], I drew from the atmospheres of multiple socializing-uni events that I’d gone to– similarly in the early part of my year.

Although not everyone here was originally together in all of those spaces– in EACH of those times combined, I saw this kind of atmosphere of what *introducing one’s self* seemed to be about.

It is from this angle, particularly in hindsight, that I personally relate to Mei Ling.