Last night I realized that pictures of my kids are crowding out my pictures from home. It seemed symbolic and sad that class photos and favorite students are starting to cover my pictures of Stick. Actually, most of my bad-China moments happen when I realize that everyone I love is asleep right now.
I called Stick today as I was waiting to meet my student. “I only have a moment before Helen of Yantai arrives,” I told him. “I just had to tell you that I love you and want to marry you and play MORPGs with you forever. Ok?”
“Is someone honking at you?” Stick asked, probably imagining that my declaration of eternal love was coming from a Chinese intersection.
“Oh yeah. I’m outside my office. It’s just a taxi. Ok, three taxis. And four other cars. And here’s a bus.” I explain this Yantai phenomenon to him and he laughs.
“I’m talking to Meg,” he calls over to his roommate, “And all the cars are honking at her because she’s white!”
“Not because I’m white, specifically. Because I’m not Chinese. Listen, they’re shouting lao wei out the window, too. Can you hear it?”
“They’re actually shouting at you? Right now?” Stick asks, in that happy stage of American disbelief.
“Now and every other time I leave the house.”
“That’s so cool!”