Archive for June, 2010

Social customs

It gets old sometimes.

The staring, the laughing, the comments about having two children, talking about us in front of our faces. We wish it were the odd exception, but no, it’s pretty much the rule.

Just today, I took the two kids outside to do errands, Leo in the stroller, Rosie in her baby carrier. Everyone stared, chuckled, pointed, commented how amusing it was, said how pretty the babies were, and dangerously turned heads to look backward as they rode past on bicycles. They aren’t used to seeing a dad with two kids in public, let alone foreign babies.

But it was the old ladies this time that took the cake.

I walked past them at a street corner, and they looked, smiled, exclaimed how funny it was, etc., thinking I couldn’t understand them. Continuing on about 100 yards I made it to an ATM terminal inside the foyer of a bank. While going about my business, one of them followed me inside, came right up beside us, and gave a good lookover to the two kids. As if I weren’t there, she turned and called out to her friend, “They DO look like their father!” “I told you!” the other replied. Well satisfied, they left us alone to finish our transaction, but still circled around outside to get one more look as we were leaving.

Sigh. Just another day as the resident western spectacle.

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Just another day..

Break time in between teaching classes, heading over to the restroom…

After using the facilities, time to wash hands. Cold water? Yes. Soap? Of course not.

Glance over at the restroom sink next to mine: bucket of raw, cloven pigs’ hooves, sitting under the faucet. Next to them in a plastic bag: a whole unscaled fish, paring knife lying on the counter waiting for action.

Another normal day around here?

Yes. Just head back to class…