We Interrupt This Afternoon . . .

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Last Saturday, some of my neighbors were moving boxes up to their apartment on the fifth floor. Having nothing much to do, I helped them carry the boxes—and also because it was a way to get into someone else’s apartment and see what it was like. It turned out to be the apartment of the grandmother of a boy in one of my first grade classes. Several grandparents live in the adjacent buildings and the children live with them during the week while they go to school. The grandmother made me a cup of coffee and she, the boy, the boy’s mother, and I sat around a little awkwardly doing our best to chat and then I left.

A few hours later there was a knock on my door and these three boys showed up (the one at right is the first grader):

Hopeful Enterprise

They came right in, looked around my apartment, changed the channel on the TV to some Chinese cartoons, and starting playing with my stuff.

Hopeful Enterprise

Hopeful Enterprise

As the other two boys played, the third sat at the computer.

Hopeful Enterprise

I had tried to ask them the question “What are you doing here?” using nciku.com to translate with no luck. After a few minutes, I looked over to see what he had typed into nciku. This is what he’d tried to translate:

这里用不着你,你只管睡你的去。
We don’t need you here. You just go to bed.

我警告你,你再这样就没你的好。
I’m warning you, if you do that again there’ll be trouble.

你的老妈妈在家里记念着你,你可要多回去看看她啊。
Your elderly mother is missing you at home. Remember to go home regularly to see her!

他批评你也是为了你好,你岂可错怪他的好意?
He criticized you for your own good. How can you blame him unjustly?

  1. Tony —
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 :: 04:54 AM

    I agree. Please don’t blame him.

  2. Sarah Raymont —
    Thursday, November 26, 2009 :: 11:22 AM

    I wouldn’t upset them. Be in their gang and let them use your stuff. Learn to fall asleep while they watch you. Show them your moves. In return, it looks like they might have your back. Also, what is that McDncl… shirt? Get one. And Happy Thanksgiving Sam!

  3. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 :: 10:49 AM

    I see the four of you happily roaming the streets, beating up old ladies and huffing petrol.
    Hope things are well!