Skip to main content

Crouching Tiger-Family

I had no desire to visit China.  Give me Italy, Spain, England any day.  I want to travel but to a country where I recognize the food and speak the language. I want to eat with a fork and a knife, and I do not want to squat to do my business. (At my age, I am not a very agile crouching tiger.)

It has been one year since my husband HoneyBunch and I spent seventeen days in China, and I can now look back and not hold it against him anymore.

It’s not that I didn’t like China; it just wasn’t on any of my bucket lists.  And though he may deny it, it wasn’t on any of his.  I distinctly remember taking him to a travel presentation where he went all Kung Fu Panda on the sales agent. The poor man was talking about the sites we would visit in China and the history we would learn, and HB said some pretty ugly things about Mao and Communism.

Needless to say, my husband and I didn’t stay for the slide presentation of Tuscany.

What changed HB’s mind?  Why did we spend our trip-to-Italy money on a seventeen-day tour of China?

His son.

His oldest went to China on a one-month vacation and  returned soon after to pursue an interesting job offer – just a little diversion until he decided what to do with the seven years of expensive schooling from UT-Austin paid for in cash by his father.  He worked at several jobs while there and eventually met a wonderful young woman and got married.  They were making plans to move to the states, so HB figured this might be our one and only chance to meet our Chinese in-laws. He booked us on a tour for the first twelve days and then added a four-day detour into the interior on our own to visit family. 

For four months I practiced with chopsticks, worked out at the gym (because the brochure warned us there would be a lot of climbing and walking), and read up on Chinese history.  I had a lot to learn. Nowhere in the seven thousand years of history was there mention of Mulan, Jackie Chan, or the Karate Kid.  The only Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a made-for-America movie that scored big at the box office.

It was a bit overwhelming but made sense when we were able to attach book knowledge with the museum artifacts and the structures that have survived through the ages.

It all feels like a dream a year later, but what stays with me most is my daughter-in-law’s family.  Now that the kids live nearby, we often talk about “home.” She Skypes and emails with them on a regular basis.  They ask about us, and we send our regards. Despite our language barrier and all the thousands of miles between us, one thing is real – mess with our family and awaken the hidden dragon in all of us.  


Popular posts from this blog

Finding My Muse

1)Because my muse has a wicked sense of humor and visits me at odd times and in inconvenient places, I have learned to record inspirations/ideas immediately before I forget them or they dissolve into nothing. I carry small notebooks, own a digital recorder, and have been known to text messages home. I will scribble on anything – old napkins I find in my glove compartment or old receipts. I even pop out of bed in the middle of the night to jot things on sticky pads. 2)Calendars are great places to find topics. I use important dates, seasons, and upcoming holidays to plan blog posts. I can also go back into my work calendar to refresh my memory about meetings, conferences, or books I have read that might be worth sharing with others.   3)I will sit with a good cup of coffee, pen and paper ready, and read the newspaper searching for topics, interesting characters, or modern trends.  News channels and other newsfeeds are just as good.   4)I love to read the TV and movie guides for titles and…

The Girl Who Eats Canned Spinach

I went to a Catholic elementary school run by strict Belgian nuns, and we could not leave the cafeteria until we ate everything served on our food tray. Once a week, they served warmed, canned spinach with our meal. The spinach tasted nothing like the way my grandmother made it, but I ate it. I gulped it down in three or four bites and it amazed my table mates. I told them we ate it at home so I was used to the taste. Now, my real problem began the day I ate the spinach off my friends’ trays so we could go play outside. As soon as the nun monitoring the cafeteria turned her back, my friends ate something off my tray I didn’t want, and I ate their serving of spinach. I only did it for two of my table mates, but the word spread. On the next Spinach Day, kids followed me to my table.I was suddenly very popular, and as soon as the nun marched off to the other end of the cafeteria, my friends and an army of others who only knew me as The Girl Who Eats Spinach, begged me to take their servin…

Facing My Fear of Guns

With the ownership of firearms comes responsibility, so I had asked HoneyBunch several times to teach me how to shoot and to help me get my License to Carry. I got my wish two weeks ago. HB and I signed up to take a LTC class. He bought me a gun, one similar to his, that would be the type we needed to show shooting proficiency, and for one whole week he tried to get me to become familiar with it, but I was hesitant. I read the booklet that came with the gun. I practiced loading and shooting it in what is called dry shooting (no bullets), and since the flyer said I would have to shoot thirty shots at different distances, I finally tried with it loaded. I was a nervous wreck. The class of twelve turned out to be close to forty people. We were of all ages, colors, and genders, and I was glad I wasn’t the only woman my age. The shooting test came first, and we were separated into two groups. Those who were proficient (or thought they were) would shoot first, and those who were novices wou…