So…on Tuesday two Chinese exchange students will arrive at my house. They will stay with us for 12 days. They’ve come to experience America. A lot of what they learn about America will be based on my family.
Ok, I can’t even type those words without huge guffaws. Heaven help them. Seriously, I can’t stop guffawing. Hang on while I compose myself. Hang on…
Think about it. Think of the warped view of America they’ll receive. Consider my previous blog posts. Like the one about how we’re so cheap we allow only a single light bulb to be lit each evening.
Or how about the sock that’s been hanging in the back yard for a few years because we want to see how long it takes to deteriorate? Speaking of the deteriorating sock, we also have a dead mouse in a glass jar on top of the dryer. We wanted to watch it decompose for science class. Unfortunately, with no oxygen in the glass, after 3 years the mouse looks the same as the day we put it in the jar. Guess that Snow White and the glass coffin story isn’t so far-fetched after all.
And how about our old technology? The very first picture I posted on my blog was of me talking on the phone to my mother. This picture:
What a great phone. We call her Rosie. If there’s a guest in the house when Rosie rings, the guest will look confused and ask, “What was that?” Apparently people haven’t heard ringing phones that use an actual physical bell and hammer in a very long time.
And let’s not even talk about the manual typewriter in the living room. Children have stared at it, trying to puzzle out what it is, and finally have to ask.
Or how about the way we sing Happy Birthday like dying giraffes? In the dustylizard family everyone picks a different tune, or just a general dirge-y moan, and we all warble or wail (or moan) out Happy Birthday. Luckily for these Chinese students, Dad’s birthday party is scheduled for the weekend they’re here with us. They’ll get to take part in the birthday tradition. They’ll go back and tell everyone what bad singers Americans are.
Darling Husband and I heard about the exchange students needing families to host them through our friend Vince, who has 42 children. I guess when you already have 42 children, a couple more aren’t that big of a deal.
We went to a meeting to find out the details and everything was sounding really good. We’ll have two boys staying with us, aged 13 and 14. They’ll be with us for 12 days and will spend only 4 full evenings with us and three weekend days. They’ll be in classes and on field trips the rest of the time.
Yes, everything was going along smoothly until the guy said, “A lot of times the kids get a little homesick. They’ll view you as a stand in mom and dad while they’re here. You’ll want them to feel welcome, so as soon as you meet them give them a big hug.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. Scratching record sound. Time out.
A big hug? Huh? You know how I feel about hugs. Out of the 7 billion people on this planet there are exactly three people that I want to hug—Darling Husband and my two kids. If I never hug anyone else other than my man and my kids for the rest of my life, I’ll be perfectly content.
Besides…really? Really? Do people just go around hugging other people like that? No. No, that’s just weird. Why would I go around hugging someone just because they’re homesick and need a stand in mom? I mean, that doesn’t happen. Lemme try to think of one time that someone would ever do that…
Mrs. Weasly would totally hug Harry if he was homesick and needed a stand in mom. I guess I could pretend to be Mrs. Weasly for a few days and give them hugs.
But! There is a bright spot! Remember the blog post where I told you that no one will play board games with me?
When these kids arrive it’ll be a cinch to convince them that all Americans play board games and when I ask them to play, they’ll play! The only snag is how will I teach them the rules if they can’t speak much English? There is no guarantee that they’ll speak English at all.
Never fear, mon frère. Do you doubt my game playing determination? Ages and ages ago I bought some awesome games from a French company. Each game comes with a 27 page booklet of instructions—each page in a different language. Check out the table of contents.
And lookie-lookie at page 25. I double checked with Jin at Li’s Buffet and he confirmed—Chinese. Woot! Doubt no more. Games will be played.
Anyway—you do not want to be around me right now. I’m so excited about their visit that I’m starting to embarrass myself, prattling on and on to anyone who will listen. Like Chester in this clip. Yap, yap, yap.
About two weeks ago, I was lamenting the fact that I can’t afford to travel to other countries. I was considering ways to save up enough money to go to Europe before I die. People are endlessly fascinating and I’m always trying to work out what makes them tick–especially how cultures shape people. And here, without having to spend a dime, I get two kids from China dropped into my home. I hope they can speak English and I hope they’re as talkative as Nephew14 because I’d love to learn as much from them about China as they learn from me about America.
I can’t wait!