Today we took the kids to a dance class to learn a little Chinese dance. In 40 minutes the teacher ran over the dance moves and then the kids performed the little dance for the parents. It was so stinking cute, I couldn't believe it. I had to be careful to actually watch the kids instead of getting caught up in the video taping process. This was a "friends of FCC" event. There were a bunch of us adoptive parents there. I only talked to a few of the parents.
There was a phenomenon in China that I noticed many, many times. Back in 1990, it was rather uncommon to see back back travelers in China. I had been in China for about 7 months and was eager to talk to "Westerners" and couldn't wait to just talk with other people who were from the states or Europe or whatever. When I would see another Westerner, I would try to make eye contact, a connection talk about something...ANYTHING! If it was a teacher, even better, we could share "war stories". So many times, though, the other Westerner would walk by and not even make eye contact. It was as if they were upset that there was another Westerner in the city ruining their "Asian Experience".
I had a similar feeling from some of the parents at the FCC event today. The feeling of "I'm more Asian than you and I'm the one providing my child with the REAL Chinese experience". Some guy was telling me about how he went and spent 4 days without his adoption group in Guilin and how he skipped going to Beijing. Wow, dude...that was totally daring and different. I wanted to say, "You know, brave dude, I've spent 2 years in China. I've been to places you don't even know exist. Don't brag to me about your Asian experience". But I just smile and nod. Their daughter probably knows how to say, "Ni Hao" and can say "Xie Xie" (pronounced shay-shay). Their so very Chinese and culturally in touch. OK, I'm not being very nice. It's better than nothing. In the end, everyone had a good time, the kids were adorable and I got some cute pictures. Sometimes this journey takes me to strange places.