A few weeks ago, I was invited by Wang Kai Jing, an English teacher in the technical school, to have lunch with her and her family at their home. Kai was my coordinator in 2008, doing the same job that Annie is now shouldering, i.e., answering Bob’s questions, etc. Her husband Wang Zhong Hao picked me up and drove me to their apartment located in the Hua Lin Xin Qu District and near the airport. (FYI, even though they are both named Wang in latin pinyin, the Wangs are different in Mandarin characters.
They are housed in a fairly new complex in a second floor walkup. The apartment is about 1200 square feet and is comprised of two bedrooms, bath, living room/den, and a small kitchen with large pantry. It’s comfortable and would easily accommodate me, if I lived in Yantai.
When we arrived, I was introduced to Zhong Hao’s sister, Wang Zhong Min, who serves as nanny/cook when both parents are at work. She takes care of the household and Wang Bo Han, the Wang’s new son. He was born last year on July 6, 2010.
Both Zhong Hao and Zhong Min prepared the “lunch”, and of course it was enough food to feed Mao’s army for a week. I ate until I thought I had done enough damage (there were 5 different dishes—all good), but I was floored when they continued bringing in food until I cried uncle.
For the next hour, we sat and talked about, mostly, the US and compared educational systems. I, of course, attempted to be the avuncular old man and held Bo Han, bounced him on my knee, etc. Suddenly, I realized I was in danger! As are many Chinese babies, Bo Han was clothed in a typical play suit utilized by the Chinese to clothe their young children. This playsuit has no back from the waist to the top of the legs. To put it another way, they don’t use diapers to catch the output of the digestive
process. There I was, holding this cute little thing, but in mortal danger of stinking my way back home!
Luckily, nothing went amiss and I managed to quickly hand Bo over to Min. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, thanked the Wangs for their hospitality, and jumped into Zhong Hao’s car thanking my stars I had escaped embarrassment at the, uh, Hands? of a 10-month old.
To date Zhong Hao and Kai Jing have been the only family to invite me into their home. Their graciousness was much appreciated and allowed me to gain a little insight into the Chinese family. And, by pouring it on this heavily, I’m hoping they’ll invite me back again—both the food and the people were non-pariel.