Smile! It Only Happens In China

Wuhan Travel Blog

 › entry 45 of 74 › view all entries

I missed this place, this site. Mostly because I miss sharing with all my friends and family the funny encounters I have had as of late. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you look at it as I do, I have been too busy to go online let alone blog; but I have been sure to make note of every little quirky thing to share. So, please read on, overlook the splash of randomness and certainly enjoy the quirky moments I have encountered.


On Oct. 25th I had classes for the training school. In training school the parents are aloud in to sit and wait for their children’s classes to be over. During one such day I decided to play outside with the children, bouncing balls and running around with them; teaching them some basketball tricks. One woman saw me playing with her son ad struck up a conversation. Now I am a polite person who can grasp the meaning of most sentences but in this case I truly believed I had heard wrong and asked for the help of one of my fellow teachers and friends, Abby. I wasn’t incorrect. The woman had indeed indicated that she lived just outside and across the road from this school, but furthermore, had insisted I come live with her family!!! The trade off was, I come live with her and her family for free in exchange for teaching them all English! Can you imagine? I even tried the whole ‘I have a Chinese roommate’ and she even said that was ok, they could come live with them too!!!! So I politely declined, embarrassed both the woman and I, to my knowledge and prayed to any god out there that this never happens again.


On Oct 22nd Wei and I went to Han Kou district to check out the wonderful food court and get out and about. The food here was not only delicious, it was endless! The malls were like mazes that I swear to this day if I was let loose in I would be lost forever (there’s about 7 or 8 floors to shop on too!). At one point we went to a little shop called “Do It Yourself Chocolate/Cake.” It was here Wei let me make little chocolate hearts and draw my crummy drawings on them, confessing my undying love for chocolate…. What? You didn’t think I’d confess my undying love for her did you? It wasn’t my first time making chocolate, but it was my first time having a successful outcome with the results. I learned something that day; leave chocolate making to the experts who buy the right brand (which does not include a bag of chocolate chips or that snickers bar brand you tried melting when you were a child).


On Nov. 7th Wei and I toured around the food court in Han Kou District. On our way home we were just walking along the side of the road looking for a bus stop when both of us caught sight of something we thought we would never see. Our friend Chenzi! And this time for real, not that other girl who looked like her twin. The situation was complex though, because it wasn’t really Chenzi (Katie) in the flesh, it was her picture.. on a product. Right before our eyes a small side store was selling a brand of lipstick that had illegally used Chenzi’s picture taken for her friend to help him sell his jeans. We looked and looked again and simply couldn’t believe it. Her exact picture! So we let her know but she wasn’t concerned by it. Still, of all the things to see when going out for a walk.


At this point I have forgotten anything more, except for yesterday when Wei hid my “comfort rag” as she calls it, under her pillow…while we were talking. I didn’t find that for some time. Or when just yesterday she and I were talking, watching a show and she slipped a tissue in my sock and I walked around with it there oblivious to it, for the whole day until she pointed it out to me. I won’t even go so far as to mention how she laughs every time I rush to the squat toilet in a bought of sickness from the behind because surprisingly, the way I figure it is it could be a whole lot funnier for her. I could be running to a countryside toilet in a bout of my bowels complaining.


So if you ever find yourself in China, being asked to stay with a woman and her family for free just to teach them English, or happen to spot your friend unknowingly supporting a lipstick brand, or just in a situation that is a bit quirky or out of the norm just remember to smile and think “at least I’m not running to a countryside squat toilet in a moment of weakness. And if that does unfortunately describe the situation you are in, then just try to grin and bear it and thank all gods of any manner that no one is turning the corner and surprising you with a “One Two Three Eggplant!”



Notable RedCat Firsts:

~ Oct. 22nd, taking a Ferry ride down the Yangtze river


Side Note: For those who don’t get the eggplant joke, in China, when taking a picture the will say 1,2,3 Eggplant because the word for eggplant is like our “cheese”. It makes the mouth make a smile appear.


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photo by: FK27