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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2 Responses to “Social customs”


  1. 2 Mom Falk June 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    We are sending messages to the man in the sky these days to hope for an end to human trafficking throughout the world—the elderly ladies in your account might well be well-disguised but poorly trained agents who were apparently reassured by the physical likeness of the two children to yourself. Assuming that only an ulterior motive would persuade a man to undertake the care of two children at one time, they may have suspected either human trafficking or mental deficiency or both. You do have a kindly demeanor and were not hauled in for questioning—stop baiting these poor Chinese people with your strange ways!!


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