Happy Mama

KSM-20140418-HappyMama-12-480pxI was in Qingdao, China. In an adorable cafe called “The Giraffe”. I was with Emily, my son’s girfriend, and our ability to communicate together was quite limited, smiles, laughter, shei shei, Emily’s cell phone app and my Lonely Planet phrasebook, and I was tired, oh so tired.

James (my son) insisted that I should have a Chinese cell phone so I could reach him or Emily in case I needed as I wandered Weifang alone while they worked. I got it the day before Emily and I went on our outing to Qingdao and had set the alarm for 5:30 am since Emily was going to pick me up at 6. I went to sleep and was wakened by the cell phone. It felt like I had only been asleep a few minutes. I crawled out of bed and headed for the hot pot to make instant coffee. I was so tired my eyes weren’t all the way open. After a cup of coffee my brain started to function. It seemed awfully dark for that time of morning. Turns out it was11:00 pm. My phone had bleeped because its battery was dying.

KSM-20140418-HappyMama-01-480pxThe next morning I was in a little better shape, but the caffeine at 11 meant that I didn’t get the best night’s sleep. We rushed to the train station. The ticket line was so long that we were not going to make our train. Emily talked a young woman who was close to the front of the line into buying our tickets for us. This meant that we were all sitting together.

After leaving the train station we went to the beach, bought some souvenirs then headed out to see the town a bit. Emily had a Chinese map of the city and was looking for the house of a famous author. I later learned from my son that Emily, while she has many fine attributes, can’t read a map.

I really didn’t much care about seeing any particular site. The cherry blossoms were out in force and it was a beautiful day, sunny, mostly clear skies, not too hot or too cold.

But as noon approached these old bones needed a rest and I really needed something to drink, preferably with a bit of caffeine.

KSM-20140418-HappyMama-10-480pxWe spied the light pole first. As soon as I realized it was a coffee shop I somehow communicated that this was where I wanted to be.

At the table they had a little book for people to write in, and people from all over had written notes. Emily enjoyed reading them and wrote something in the book herself then passed it to me. I wrote that I was happy to be there with Emily, since she does not read English I looked up “happy” in my phrase book and signed the note XingfuMama. (In Chinese Characters).

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All About Me.”

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9 thoughts on “Happy Mama”

  1. This is part of the assignment for day 12 of Blogging101. What a delight it was to read of your day with your son’s girlfriend! It reminded me of the times my husband and I were with our son-in-law’s parents. We saw them several times when we visited North Carolina. They were from Iran and didn’t speak English. However, she loved to watch cooking shows on TV, so she knew the names of English foods and ingredients. This was amusing, because our daughter never cooks, and her mother-in-law knew more about American food than she did.

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    1. It is amazing how much we can communicate without a shared language. Sharing food together is a really important part of bonding. I hope you enjoy blogging 101, I did when I did it earlier this spring.

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  2. enjoyed this. what a memorable day. you made me laugh with your alarm story. gotta love technology! thanks for sharing. and thank you also for visiting my blog – which allowed me to discover yours. happy blogging!

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  3. Have to admit, Chinese is a difficult language, and when we were there, we were relieved that our son served as our translator:) But an amazing and intriguing country and culture:)

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    1. It is challenging. So aften we deal with languages that evolved together and Chinese seems to have developed in isolation. Studying it makes me ponder about communication and how language shapes us.

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