Surprise!

This morning, after working all day yesterday – I slept in until a glorious 7:30! Our nanny arrives to work at 8 o’clock, so I had just enough time to get Leo up and dressed and was puttering around the house in my pajamas when Cheng Ayi arrived with… her twin sister in tow. Surprise!

Notice I still have bedhead and a squished up sleep face - but Leo looks great!

Notice I still have bedhead and a squished up sleep face - but Leo looks great!

We’ve heard a lot about her and were delighted to meet her, but having no advance warning of her visit was something of a shock to the system at 8 o’clock. And anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that mornings and I aren’t best friends. But, this is the way things are in China; we really never know quite what to expect. Not much is absolutely certain until it actually happens, and anything really goes. This has its advantages, as one can change one’s mind at the last minute with no penalties or problems. However, it also has the drawback of not really being able to plan for a darn thing, and needing to be ready for anything, anytime. I’m glad I was at least remotely presentable.
This kind of thing happens all the time. The other day, without notice or warning, a security gate was installed in our apartment building and we were locked out without keys the next day. No big deal, because one of the Nainai’s (Leo has two adopted grandmas in the building) was waiting with keys and felt no need to explain anything to us other than that we owed them money for the gate and access; giving us advanced notice was unnecessary. Our landlord calls (at least he calls!) about 15 minutes before he arrives to make a repair or look at something. We’ve gotten used to this over time. Our class schedules are bound to change at any time, which makes arranging childcare a bit tricky, but so far so good. It all seems to work out in the end, but not without stressing us unaccustomed Americans out a little bit. We’re trying our best to adjust and go with the flow, but I’m afraid I’ll just never be able to roll with it like a Chinese would! One of the most important things for us to remember in the midst of this is that in no way is this lack of advanced notice rude here, and we’ve had to check our own reactions and sensitivities at the door more than once.
Cheng Ayi and her sister are now outside with Leo playing and all is back to normal (for now). We’ll see what other surprises are in store; you just never know what’s going to happen!

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1 Response to “Surprise!”


  1. 1 Julie April 15, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Wow! I cannot believe that!! It’s hard to imagine that not being rude…. can you tell me if this is the same in dating relationships? That sounds like it could lead to all sorts of problems! Now that I think of it, it would be neat to hear a post from you two on marriage/relationships in China…

    love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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