It's about China, faces, characterization.
So, I went on a random 3-week trip to China. Random because four days before departure I was told my paternal grandfather was in critical condition, held above ground only by life support. Three days before departure I was told the tickets have been bought.
My marks are going to suffer obviously and I've pissed off some of my teachers. Such is life [...I do not recommend it], and such will be my GPA.
However I do not regret going. It was a broadening experience and I'm super motivated now to learn Chinese, which I'll need to be fluent in to be an interpreter.
I didn't want to go back. I am fine missing nobody and nobody missing me.
I missed Facebook and Blogger, though. It was a refreshing way of living, very simple and present hedonistic, not thinking about the far future, or the too-easily-regrettable past. Thinking wasn't required.
It's important how your environment affects you, the availability of resources like the internet and sites like Facebook that determine what you'll be doing in a minute to minute basis. I think I learned a lot from what I spent my time on.
I don't know, I almost didn't want life to go on. ("Oh but it do." - Aibileen, The Help.)
It's just so Chinese. People shredding water chestnuts next to smoking carts of fresh food like gypsy wagons [that's only in counties like Longgang, however], people spitting, people drying clothes on clothes racks that decorate balconies. Chinese people [Chinese all the way!] are awesome. Make them speak English though and they're like little kids.
I realized before this was why an old nice Christian couple invites us and other ESLs (and just ESLs...I mean that's pretty Christian) to their house. They have four sons, all graduated from kidhood, a Chinese daughter-in-law and another one on the way. I realized at their house as we played pictionary how cute they were, I guess, in their enthusiasm and laughing, not unsimilar to kids. ESL people are funny, if only judged by Western social standards. Sometimes they state the obvious, sometimes the truth no one admits. Like one ESL girl wrote for her yearbook message: I wish everyone can remember me.
Longgang and Wenzhou people who wear tutus over leggings and curl and dye their hair are a little crazy. But it's a funny kind of crazy like old people trying to be young, much less drunk than Western crazy. And they appear less sexual when presenting themselves the same. It's a less pretentious more burping in front of family more giggly and eating out all the time kind of Wenzhou crazy, so much more preferable!
Chinese kids generally have really good and often cute, joking relationships with their parents. As if they were their friends! It blows my mind, the cuteness.
One flaw about the Chinese though, they tend to have really boring jobs. My relatives are like, accountant, tax manager, banker, studying marketing, resource management. They don't seem to want jobs that are enjoyable, like it's not an option, which I guess it isn't.
People also spit a lot as I mentioned, but that's no surprise to anyone.
Deep in the culture and the country, especially in the non-[less]-globalized areas, counties like Longgang, it is anything but mundane. It's really smoggy and traffic's a nightmare but it has an endearing non-linear architecture. The streets are really narrow as they were built pre-automobiles.
I've also come to like Longgang more than Wenzhou. I arrived there first and stayed there longer, but still.
If you look out the window of Longgang you'll see gorgeous salt-on-watercolor cracking and blacking and de-tile-ing of the outside walls of the homes. Early in the morning you can see people washing dishes in their balconies. People sell goods on the streets and their stands are makeshift like nomads. Their market is huge, with a cloth ceiling and dirt on the ground and aisles and hands handling raw meats, vegetables, people at their respective selling stands.
It's great having relatives beyond your immediate family. Very cool, actually. They're people who share your dominant genes and your recessive ones. Even in-laws, they're still woven in the tapestry of lineage by some very thick water.
:D I love my family, though my relatives I haven't seen in four years and don't really talk to because of the language barrier. But I don't think that's a requirement or anything.
Really, both the mystery and fact of heredity is wondrous.
Something random about faces.
When one of my cousins was about grade 6-aged (a magical age), I think he looked a lot like Ryan and Jason. Like, a combination.
And it reminded me. The homogeneity of the (Chinese) face.
I first started thinking about this seeing Gabriel in one of the Kearney videos. His face looked like one of some base faces of Chinese boys, to which as he aged, the features change, the face changes and that is another beautiful thing. I mean, Gabriel didn't look like Gabriel exactly, as he could have then looked like many other boys his age.
I didn't talk that much to my cousins. I don't know that much about their personalities. If I try to describe their nature it sounds 2D like a character sheet for a roleplay, that really doesn't do them justice. Anyway.
More effective in conveying them and people in general is imagery that is instant rather than reconstructed piece by piece. It comes unbidden. It becomes a moving picture.
Idiosyncrasies, an asymmetrical smile, a certain walk.
When I thought about it outside of context, a much easier way to fall in love without really knowing much about the other person. Which explains a lot...?