Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lost In Translation

There are many, many shirts here that make me say, "what the heck does that mean?"
This one was too good to pass up.

The one above is for Chase (to enlarge, click on the photo).

I almost bought one for myself that said "Snoopy and Eteinds," which I can only guess was supposed to read "Snoopy and Friends."

Dinner Tonight

Eggs with peas and shrimp ...

Curried (American) beef with onions ...

"Sea vegetable," which I can only describe as tasting"of the sea."

First Chinese Play Date

The play date was a success, although the woman I initially wanted to invite (the one in my complex) didn't come. I have a feeling that my well-meaning Gymboree friend forgot to invite her.

I had tea (for the parents), fruit (for the kiddos) and mini sponge cakes (FYI: not a hit - maybe I should have put out an odd number instead of an even number?) on offer. The parents brought presents for Chase. I said, "not a party" over and over when I invited them, but they must have thought more than one invite = party.

I found myself wondering about cultural etiquette - do I save them and open them later or do I open them in front of them? I remembered reading somewhere that if you open presents immediately, it indicates you are greedy, so I put them on the bookshelf and said loudly "I will save them for Chase's birthday," but I'm not completely sure they understood what I said.

They mostly spoke in Chinese to each other. They got a good laugh out of her bed, which I think was the strangest thing they had ever seen. (What? No crib?) One said, "Does your daughter sleep here (meaning her room) alone?" I said, "yes." They continued, "Do you like her?"

Truth is, I don't just like her - I love her with all my heart. In fact, my love for her is so overwhelming it scares me. But I realized that responding in any way other than nodding with a smile would put me smack dab into the middle of a cultural discussion - something I try to avoid - especially when it comes to how different people/different cultures parent their children.

Now that it is over, I will admit I was really nervous about today. I have found the Chinese are very kind, and very inquisitive people. I have also found they talk a lot (gossip is perhaps a better word) amongst themselves. So I'm pretty sure that all the parents and the staff at Gymboree will get a full report - goodness only knows what they will say!