Thursday, October 11, 2012

Funny Stuff: Things You Learn on Your First Day in the USA

The Beautiful Chinese Lady has arrived!

Beautiful lady
Mrs. Liberty
Do you remember that quote from the Statue of Liberty that we all had to learn as kids, "Give me your poor, your tired, your humbled masses longing to be free?"  Well, Minxi arrived last night.  I'm not sure about humble or poor, but man was she tired.  It was more than 48 hours from her door in china to ours here in Topeka.  There were trains, an overnight in the Hong Kong Airport and a two hour delay in customs but she made it!   We're together now in our little house.   So far our blissful togetherness is mostly composed of a long series or naps but we did get out today and I managed to show her a little of her new world.  

I'd really been looking forward to getting a chance to see my world though her eyes so I thought tonight I would write a, mostly humorous list of first impressions.  So here is:

Minxi's list of Things You Learn on Your First Day in America

1.  American's talk really really fast.  

I've been telling Minxi that she will do well in America because her father was an English professor and her English is really very good...if you speak slowly, like you might in a classroom in China.  On the wild streets of USA where every rips out words as if they've been doing it all their life, Minxi answered most questions with a resounding "What?"

2.  Most of America is Occupied by Parking Lots.

The idea of individuals owning cars is not new in China but has only recently become widespread.  When I showed Minxi Washburn University, she was most impressed by the size of the parking lot.  Several times today she observed that no one walks in the US.  We all have cars.  From her perspective, there are very few people here, mostly it's all cars.

3.  Telling the Marriage License Lady that You are Married to Someone Else is a Mistake.

Minxi meant to say that "Yes, Joel and I want to marry."  Due to some linguistic challenges what she actually said meant, "I cannot marry Joel because I am already married to someone else."  Whooops!   Thank you thank you patient government worker.

4.   Joel Does not Know What the Word Small Means.

While China is a very big country, the huge population means that space is always in short short supply.  All day I told Minix, "we will go for a short drive."  "This is a small store."  and she answered me, "This store is very big!"    "You Drive so far every day!"  This is actually very cool.  We are calling our house our Da sha.  This word means mansion.  To Minxi, who shared a one bedroom apartment with her father for 20 years, my little three bedroom with a yard big enough for a garden and an apple tree is our own little empire.  Cool.

I'm sure there's lots and lots more to find.  I am so excited, after two years of work to be together.  I can't wait to see what discoveries tomorrow brings!

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