Day in the Life Of #2

24 Jul

It’s morning, and the sunlight’s streaming in through the window, making you turn over to your side and shield your eyes. Vaguely, you remember hearing voices talking about you, but it’d been late and you had already begun to fall asleep. Something tells you that whatever was being said hadn’t been positive–part of that assumption came from previous experience. Alert for any signs of people coming your way, you keep your head hidden under the covers and put up a facade of being fast asleep. Soon, you hear the voices coming–it’s your early-rising relatives.

Your bed is right across the dining table, and so you try not to make noise or attract attention as you go back to sleep (or at least, your pretense). Excruciatingly slowly they finish their breakfast, complaining about you and occasionally your family. You hear them say that you’re all lazy people who won’t get up early like they do. You also hear their loud “it’s okay, she can’t hear us; she’s fast asleep [like a pig]!” Nevertheless, you swallow your contempt and disgust and simply turn your back on them even more, hoping that it would make them nervous. Sure enough, a tentative “are you awake?” comes your way, but you grunt a little and pretend you can’t hear them.

And so it is in this way that the day finally unfolds. You’re used to it now, but you still lie in bed for as long as possible to shorten the rest of it. Normally, you don’t get that far–you’re ushered up around 10 o’ clock. You make your movements as slow as possible, and a quick glance at the watch gives you a countdown of eleven hours until the next day.

As lunchtime approaches, you’re shoved a broomstick and asked to “help clean up”. You’re crap with the broomstick because you never use it at home, but they don’t get the point and reply with “Nonsense! Everyone must know how to use a broomstick. You’re just saying that to get out of doing this”. Fuming, you continue and eventually present them with the crap job you’ve done due to the lack of expertise and poor eyesight. You can’t see the “really obvious” pieces of dirt on the floor, because you can’t see anything much clearly beyond a 15cm of your eyes. Explanations are futile. And so lunch commences.

It’s useless trying to fish for compliments by washing up, and that’s something you’ve long learned. They say that you waste too much water (“modern people! so wasteful! Can’t stand it!”) and become upset instead. After lunch you try to get away from them by reading a book, but you’re interrupted by their questioning–why didn’t you ever read Chinese books? Chinese culture is wonderful. You try to disagree and point out that there are many things you don’t agree with (and dislike) about Chinese culture, but they get angry and say that you’re talking back. They, like most Chinese, expect younger members of society to be deferential and “agreeable”. You on the other hand especially hate that part of Chinese culture. A semi-argument ensues, with them trying to push their point and getting you to agree, and you resisting and decidedly against their opinions.

Dinner comes and goes with frightening similarity to the lunch scenario. As they watch television you are obliged to accompany them, and you do so in typical awkward silence. You’re aware that they like your cousins more, who are happy, agreeable, bubbly, who agree to everything they say and then some, and are lively and energetic. You know that you, cynical, reserved and negative, would be lucky to rank anywhere in the top 5, and that the mere fact that they even invite you there despite all the unhappiness you bring is nothing short of a miracle.

Around 10:30 at night you make up an excuse and say that you’re tired and want to go to sleep. One day down, more to go. You check that all your body parts are still intact and functioning, then congratulate yourself for making it through one more day. With dread, you think about the next one. And then the complaining voices come again, talking about you and your mother, and you sleep a fitful sleep interrupted by dreams filled with anger and fighting.

******

Why did I write such a downbeat, negative post? Firstly because I’m a downbeat, negative person, and secondly because I’m going to find myself enduring approximately 7 days of these sometime in mid-August. The prospect fscking fills me with fscking joy.

Holy crap, I fscking love my relatives. Almost as much as they fscking love me.

I guess this is the point where you realize that 1) I’m terrible with relatives, 2) I don’t mix well with old people with traditional values and 3) I’m too aggressive for my own good and am too unafraid to express it.

So…all in all, thanks for reading? 🙂

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