Chinese People Don’t Sleep

They’re here!  The Chinese exchange students arrived yesterday at 10:45 p.m. our time which is 10:45 a.m. their time.


Taken this morning–Justin is wearing the button up shirt, John is wearing the tshirt.

First of all, Darling Husband is on a business trip so it was just me and my kids to greet the students.  I’m not sure if the fact that Darling Husband is away played into the events of the last few hours or not.  I’m curious to see what happens when Darling Husband gets home at 8:00 tonight.

Here’s what I mean.

One of the boys, whose English name is Justin, speaks pretty good English.  The other one, English name of John, speaks almost none.  Justin has taken over my house.  I’m not sure if it’s because of a personality quirk unique to Justin or if the language barrier makes things more abrupt than normal or maybe it’s a mixture of him being the oldest male in the house coupled with a sense of service to his elders.  I don’t know but he’s taken over.

When we arrived in the house Justin immediately announced to us all, “First we will open presents.”  He opened his bags in a bit of a frenzy to find the presents.  They were wrapped.  I’d been told that Chinese people accept gifts and open then later so I planned on a polite thank you and to open the presents later.

But not with Justin!  With Justin, he unwraps your gift for you.  He unwrapped the present, took it out of the box, set it up and then presented it to me.  It was coffee mugs with coasters on a tray.

Next he unwrapped and took a bell out of a box and hung it in the living room next to my Tardis Christmas ornament.  And then there were bookmarks.  Not only did he unwrap the bookmarks but he found a book in my house (a ridiculously easy task) and showed me how they work.

After I offered them water, milk, or coke (they took the coke), Justin announced that now they would take baths.

I store my Costco-size laundry detergent and a laundry basket in the shower stall and as I tried to move it out of the way Justin said, “No, no, no!  I do that!” and leaped to do it for me.

After showing them the showers, I showed them that I had toiletries for them.  Justin looked it over and said, “I brought all that.”  “Even a towel?”  “Yes, a towel.”

But not John.  I watched as Justin and John had a conversation in Mandarin about each toiletry—the toothbrush, the toothpaste, the shampoo, the washcloth, the bar of soap.  Justin would ask something and John would reply.  Apparently to Justin’s great disgust John didn’t bring any toiletries with him.  He told me, “He brought nothing!”  I think he was tempted to smack John on the back of the head like in the Three Stooges, but he refrained.  He really looked irritated at poor John.  John just smiled at me.

Justin pointed to the toiletries I’d bought for him and said, “You put these away.”  Then he said, “Are you tired?  We will take bath.  You are tired.”

And with that, I was clearly being sent to bed.

The floorboards in my house are pretty quiet—except for the ones in my boys’ room upstairs where the students will stay.  They creak a lot.  The night before the students arrived Boy8 wanted to sleep on the floor like a camp-out, so I let him.  He must have been sleeping on the creakiest floor board in the entire room because I could hear it creaking all night long every time he rolled.  Apparently, Boy8 rolls a lot.  I don’t wear earplugs when Darling Husband is away so I didn’t get any sleep.

And then last night the students walked around on the floor until 1:30 in the morning.  And then they started walking across it again this morning at 5:30.  I broke my rule and put in the earplugs until 6:45.  Four hours of sleep just isn’t enough for me.

This morning Justin didn’t order us all around, but he did insist on helping with everything.  I let them choose among pancakes, eggs, and cheerios. They chose eggs.  Justin jumped right in and wanted to crack and whisk the eggs (ham and cheese omelets).  When we made their packed lunch Justin wanted to make his own sandwich (chicken salad) and wash his own fruit (grapes, strawberries, blueberries) and get his own water.  He told John to help, too, so John did.  John does whatever Justin tells him to do.

When I mused to Boy10 that they want to do everything for us he suggested we start to clean the playroom so that Justin and John would take over and do it for us.  Good try, buddy.

I think Justin enjoyed his eggs, but I don’t think John did.  That’s ok John, I didn’t like them either.  Eggs are gross.   I’m pretty sure John and I both ate them only to be polite.  I’ve been forced to eat three (make that four) rolos to cover the taste of them.  I think John and I will most certainly be eating rice tomorrow morning.  I like rice much better than nasty old eggs.

Poor Boy8 tried really hard not to laugh, but this morning when I asked Justin what they like to eat he said, “Rice and soap.”   Boy8 was trying his best to be polite, but there was a bit of snorting coming from his side of the table.  He turned his head aside to try to hide it, but it was there.  You all would have been proud of me.  I wanted to laugh, too, but Justin is very serious and I thought it might offend him.  Justin realized his mistake and corrected it to, “Rice and bread.”

After breakfast and packing their lunches, it was time to drop them off at their class.  Halfway there, I noticed that the ABS light was on and that all my gauges were at 0.  Gas—zero.  RPMs—zero.  Speedometer—zero.  Blah.  Why do I have car trouble with passengers in the car?  Like when I was out with Photo Club and we had 500 million dollars’ worth of camera gear and the car broke down in the middle of Baltimore city?

I have no idea how serious the ABS light is or how serious it is when all your gauges go to zero.  I was afraid to continue on and afraid to pull over.  We soldiered on and all at once the ABS light went off and the other gauges came back on.

I can’t wait for Darling Husband to get home. Since he’s a male he can take over and tell me what to do about my car.  🙂


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