Monday, June 29, 2009

American Things

We've been busy doing American things this past week.

(1) Garage Sales

On Saturday we contributed some of our stuff (that had been sitting in storage for eight years) to Aaron's sister-in-law's garage sale. Garage sales seem so very American to me. I mean, what other culture is so pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps-focused that they would slave away for two days straight to make sixty-five dollars?

Garage sales really are a huge undertaking. Not only do you have to pull out all this old junk and go through it, but you've gotta slap price stickers on everything too! And you've gotta try to make it look nice on tables. Which isn't always easy.

Actually, now that I've written it, sixty-five dollars is starting to sound like quite a lot of money. I mean, that's over four-hundred RMB. In China, that's what some people make in a month. Gosh, some people probably make that much in six months! I guess it's more like, in what other culture would the average family have so much nice stuff that other people would actually be willing to pay real money for the cast offs?

(2) Swimming Lessons

Today Olivia, Gabe, and Anna started swimming lessons at the pool across the street. Yes, swimming lessons. Such a very western thing to do. Actually, I do remember hearing that they offered swimming lessons at a pool near us in China. But in that case every session was two- hours long, instead of the half-hour they are here. I couldn't really see my children lasting for a structured two hours in the pool.

(3) Gymnastics

My three oldest have also started gymnastics. See, I don't waste any time. We're getting Anna ready for the 2020 Olympics.

I know they have an excellent gymnastics team in China, but for some reason we couldn't get a hold of the right coaches to have her enrolled in the live-in training program for three year olds.

Plus, I don't think her legs are straight enough for Chinese gymnastics. Unfortunately, she's slightly knock-kneed. Instant rejection with that. It's true. My mom saw it on a documentary.

(4) Tee Ball

I didn't want to overwhelm my culture-shocked children with summer activities, so I did not enroll them in tee ball. However, we did attend a rousing tee ball game, in which their cousin Grace hit two home runs.

(5) Mini-van Outings

Aaron just took all four children out in the mini-van. They're heading to the American icon, McDonalds. For ice-cream cones.

Ironically, going to McDonalds for ice-cream cones was something we did all the time in China. It's the mini-van that makes the experience so very American. And the car seats that the children have to sit in while they're riding in the mini-van.

Goodbye bike piled high with seatbeltless children! We're back in the land of the free!

1 comment:

  1. lol...i like the last line. so it's still a free country with kids strapped in car seats? sounds like a misnomer to me :)