Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Messy Christmas 

I picked up a bunch of booklets with the sayings of Mother Theresa at the little Christian book store in Huaqingjiayuan, and handed them out to the waitresses at the coffee bars. There's no tipping in China, and I wouldn't change that, especially after living in Arizona. But you know, these kids work pretty hard, and they are very service oriented.

A new waitress I had not met before came up to me a few minutes after I had handed out the booklets at the Bridge Cafe, and told me that this was a very hard time for her. She thanked me for giving her the booklet, and asked if she could give me a hug. What could I say?

I don't know the source of her anguish--she didn't elaborate. But it doesn't take much to guess. These kids come in from the countryside with little or no money. The company they work for gives them a minimum wage and a bed in the company dormitory. More than one of them that I have met are encumbered with some financial need in their families back home. Still, they are remarkably cheerful. And I guess they should be, because they do have a good job that gives them at least the opportunity to get ahead. Still, it can be awfully frustrating.

The other day, I was sending a Christmas text message with my cell phone. I started typing "Merry Christmas," but the way the software is designed on my phone, when you type "merry," it starts out as "messy." It seemed strangely appropriate. This has been a bit of a messy Christmas. Part of it is because there is no Christmas holiday in China (although I always take Christmas Day off). But it is also because I am preparing to get a student visa from the language school for next semester, but I actually started studying there the end of September.So I have really been swamped--going to class for an hour and a half every morning, and then teaching the rest of the time. Fortunately, by the time I finished inputting the text, it became "Merry Christmas," instead of "Messy Christmas,." proving that what starts out messy can become merry if you have the right attitude. And the right software.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?