We Crazy Americans, Saying the Opposite of What We Mean…and Find it Funny!

Well, life is not something I’m about to pretend I understand, that’s for sure. This week has been…well, you’ll see. I’ll tell you all about it.

I stayed in the hotel Sunday and Monday nights, to my surprise. No one had bothered to tell me we were staying for two nights, so I was kind of unprepared…no chargers, no clean clothing, a dead iPod and an almost-finished book. The Tongshenghu Hotel is supposedly five stars, but Sang Min and I have yet to find a real reason as to why it’s five stars…I mean, it’s very elegant looking and all, but the rooms are just as nice as a good Westin or Holiday Inn. Well, maybe a little better. But not much.

Anyhow, I had gotten angry at Sang Min that day (Monday), so my phone was unusually quiet and my fingers the rare non-tapping (texting). Of course, the minute I’m dropped off at my new hotel room, my father tells me “we want to have dinner with your Korean friend..your boy ….classmate.. call him and tell him…we have dinner tonight! at hotel!”. Which, of course, is the last thing I want to do. Besides that fact, my phone was out of money and so I couldn’t call or text anyone, which I had just told him…. So I sat in my room fretting for a while, then decided to take a shower. A little after I had gotten dressed, my dad comes and knocks on the door, saying “your classmate and teacher are here! let’s. go!” and so, looking pretty funky and with a bad zit breakout, I followed my dad. I hadn’t put on any makeup or put any effort into my appearance, because I didn’t think anyone besides my family would be there…so I walked, zits a’blazing. 
And there they were, Vala (my favorite teacher) and Sang Min. My mom and sister walked in the hotel entrance at the exact same time we entered the lobby, perfectly timed. We walked up a set of stairs I hadn’t really noticed before, and went to a restaurant that I had no idea existed (apparently this hotel has multiple?). Upon sitting down, we were served cold tea from a hot-liquids container. Sang Min and Vala sat at opposite heads of the table. Clockwise, starting from 9 o’clock, it was Vala, Mom, Dad, Sang Min, Me, Sabrina. All of the nice places to eat in China apparently have armchairs for you to sit in? Which is comfortable but a little annoying because they’re so bulky and if you put your back on the chair you’re either slumping or much too far away from your food to do much eating.

We had a good meal. Conversationally it consisted of everyone talking in Chinese and ignoring me mostly…I’m only addressed in English, despite the fact that I can understand different sections of their conversations.. My dad told me that I speak Chinese well but Sang Min is much better, but there’s not much I can do! Sang Min has lived in China three years now! I can’t compete with that…anyhow, all went well. Apparently (Sang Min told me later) they remarked that since they made me eat spicy food, my skin would probably get worse…which it did.. Thanks a lot mom and dad.
Anyhow, after dinner my dad insisted we ‘go on a walk’, so we did, down to the sports center of the hotel, which isn’t attached. Really, I think my family is one of the most spontaneous groups of people I’ve ever met…most of the time when we do things or go out, I have no clue what we’re doing, and I’m not quite sure if they do either. Because when we got to the sports center, my dad told me “I like tennis” and before I knew it, I was being given tennis balls by a trainer and I was hitting them with a nice racket…surprisingly, I wasn’t too shabby. Sabrina and Sang Min took a couple hits (wow, sounds like we’re all stoners…), then we were whisked away to the ping pong room. We all played a few games, except Vala. Sang Min had a stomach ache, so he drank some hot water in a beer glass (everyone uses beer glasses here for non-alcoholic beverages…it’s very off-putting). By the time we were done, it was pouring rain outside, of which there was no warning. We waited while my dad got the car, and then the night was over.

The next day at school, I finished my book which Sae-a lent me, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I recommend that you all read it, the book is quite amazing, although not for those who cry easily, like me. Unless, of course, you’re in an area where you aren’t embarrassed to cry…I cried a few times at home and unfortunately during school..luckily not too bad. It’s very brutal, though, so be prepared. That book gave me a new perspective on a lot of things, and I honestly knew next to nothing about Afghanistan prior to reading it.

Just a side note, as I’m typing this I’m doing so on Word because WordPress isn’t loading, still. I politely asked Sabrina not to watch TV while doing her homework, which she agreed to. I thought this would make her homework process speed up, maybe just turn off the monitor and work? Alas, no, she’s doing even less homework than she was while watching, I’ve been on here for almost an hour now and she’s still on the same page. How many photos of celebrities can one look at in a sitting? Zoe, some help here? Haha…oh wow, I just typed “lol” but then deleted it because this is a serious blog! With serious stuff! 
Oh man, I’m starting to talk like I’m IMing someone…great.

Incase you’ve wondered, I’m aware I haven’t uploaded any pictures as of late…before that was due to being at the hotel, and then laziness, but now the part of my connector that plugs into my camera is smushed. Not sure what I’m going to do about that, any suggestions? We’ll see.

I’ve started washing my face! Wow, that sounds pretty disgusting…but I mean, like regularly and with official face-washing things. We’ll see how long this lasts, so far it’s been three days. Three days down, many many more to go! I relish the thought (not.)
Damn do I miss being sarcastic. I had heard that the Chinese don’t use sarcasm, and I didn’t realize that other countries don’t either…whenever I’m sarcastic (I slip sometimes, but I can’t help it! That’s my main way of being humorous, besides impersonating people) the only person who laughs is Karina, who’s from Mexico and lived in the US for three years. The others just look at me really oddly…for instance, yesterday, we were walking from the Beautiful Prison to class. To get there, we have to pass these two bathrooms that are absolutely disgusting, smelling like a combination of….well, I’m sure you can guess. No need for me to describe. Anyhow, the smell just gets worse on the hotter day, so as we pass I turn to Guilia and say “don’t you just love that smell?”, laughing.
She looks at me very confused and says “No! It’s disgusting!”
Which makes me face-palm (when you slap your hand on your forehead), and I tell her “nevermind, I was being sarcastic”. She still looks at me oddly, “in America sometimes we say the opposite of what we mean in a way that everyone understands and it’s funny”. I then use other ‘famous’ sarcastic phrases, like “I’m not being sarcastic at ALL”, and no one seems to get it, so I give up. For now, I have a slightly cynical sarcastic voice saying in my head all the funny things that I would say out loud, but no one understands. Oh well. Just one more thing to love about home.

WordPress still doesn’t seem to work, so I’ll email this to my REAL mom, and have her post it. Hope you’re all having a great day! (not sarcastically)

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2 Responses to We Crazy Americans, Saying the Opposite of What We Mean…and Find it Funny!

  1. Trifax says:

    “Incase you’ve wondered, I’m aware I haven’t uploaded any pictures as of late…before that was due to being at the hotel, and then laziness, but now the part of my connector that plugs into my camera is smushed. Not sure what I’m going to do about that, any suggestions? We’ll see.”

    Chances are your camera is made in China. When you get a chance, look around for a cable. There are also chances that the charger for your camera/hook-up to the computer is by USB and universally compatible on the other end (into the camera). Try to match that end up with any other camera cables you find.

    I wanna see some pictures of China!

  2. Leslie Graham says:

    This was an LOL post, seriously!

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