Johnson, Wei, myself and the new litle cousin
It was time to meet the grandparents and experience a taste of the countryside, which is a lot like our small towns in Canada. I am the first foreigner to actually come by there so that was pretty interesting. Johnson, his cousin, Wei and myself took a bus to a small area near Jingzhou city where we were to meet up with grandpa first. We stopped by at Wei’s cousin’s place where she showed off her new baby boy. He makes me think of Wei, doesn’t want to be in anyone’s arms except his mom’s and tends to fuss a lot. Oh, he likes sour fruit too. On my way out they handed me 100RMB, which I have decided to keep until I can think of a good way to spend it. 100RMB is a lot for people who farm, so I want this money to do more than just buy food or pay rent or be spent on gifts. It needs to be used on something meaningful.
From there we continued on to where we would get off at grandma and grandpa’s via coach and was greeted by the family dog; that then bypassed us in all his excitement and chose to come see us later.
After a tour of the place there wasn’t a whole lot to do I discovered. The houses each had a small plot of land (and I mean small) which was walled in one by one all next to each other. The chickens roamed free with the roosters watching over those that belonged to each house. Apparently they have trained chickens and roosters that come back home in the evening. Impressive. Wei had a few minutes of fun making rooster calls that angered the neighboring ones into fighting mode. I told her to behave and then we went upstairs for a rest.
Little cousin and grandpa
Johnson and his cousin spent the time fishing and managed to catch one fish and while I tried my hand at it, I just didn’t have the patience for it at this time. Other than that, Wei spent a lot of time and energy scaring me about the squat toilet situation (being only a hole in the ground) and while I will say it wasn’t pleasant it was a lot better than I expected.
I actually teased her this time around for having such a hard time using it since she is Chinese after all. We had some water fights with the well water and I discovered a bird couple nesting in the corner of the main entrance to the house. Apparently they come and go as they please, eating the bugs in the house in return for a safe haven to live. Not something you will see in Canada that is for sure; but I took great pleasure watching them take turns eating and watching the eggs.
Later that evening we had dinner, the main course being rooster (they had killed their rooster that morning in my honour) so I secretly laughed and joked with Wei about that and said next time I will have to bring a rooster as a gift. So for the first time in my life I tried rooster heart and liver, but became too full when it was time for the lungs.
I was able to meet uncle, the one that is mentally challenged due to medication unsuitable for children.
He looks fully grown but his mind is no more than a 5 year old child. He is very shy, is the last to take his seat and eat at the table (as was custom for young children) and doesn’t talk much. When he does speak it is nonsense, meaningless sounds and random words Wei tells me. None the less, when he spoke to me I replied in English, smiled and made gestures. He might not understand, I might not understand; but he smiled all the same to have human interaction.
Johnson catches a fish!
That evening we were picked up in a huge truck by a family member/friend (I can’t remember) and drove all the way back to Auntie’s house. Gandma and grandpa could have a very nice place… if only they had the money and time, youthfulness to put into it. I know it’s because of our poor uncle, him being mentally challenged that they are no longer rich like they use to be. Sometimes I wonder if money is not the solution but good ol’ elbow grease and time. Always time.
Red Cat Firsts:
~ First foreigner to that part of the countryside.
Johnson's cousin with the fish
~ Eating rooster heart and liver
~ Fishing in a small pond in China
~ Seeing birds nest inside the house
~ Talking to a mentally challenged person
~ Sleeping on a hard bamboo bed
~ Eating rooster
~ Being given 100 RMB, or money like that at all
~ Meeting the baby cousin