By ◆ Juppie on Sunday, January 17, 2010 @ 12:20 PM


Recently, my household had two visitors. One of them was a guy who lives in Shanghai who is here in California on a business trip, and he was a university classmate of my mother. And the other one was my grandma's friend's son, who is currently studying in San Francisco for his master's degree. Both of them came at the same time.

The younger guy, the one who resides in San Francisco, always insists on using an honorific to address my mother. (I guess you would call it an honorific, but I'm not sure what it should really be called) He previously used the title that means older sister, but that seems nonsensical seeing as my mom is the same age as his mom. So he changed to saying a word that means aunt after her name instead. My mom says that he can just call her by her name, forget the honorifics, but he still went with the aunt word.

I remember when I was younger, still in elementary school, my aunt, uncle, and cousins came over to stay at our house during the summer. I was really annoyed by having them around at that time. For one thing, they kept calling me by my name followed by the word that means older sister. I never understood it because I'm not their sister, so I insisted they just use my name, nothing else, but it was pretty hard for them to manage that. I guess in Mandarin and the Shanghai dialect there isn't a way to address your cousin. Or maybe cousins are considered to be like siblings.

Also, there was the time that my cousin was threatening to turn off my Gamecube. I was afraid he would really do it. I sat on him so he wouldn't be able to touch the button. However, this was very traumatizing to him (maybe I was really heavy and cut off his circulation?) and he ran to his mother saying I had hit him. I denied it, but I wasn't able to explain myself since I wasn't fluent enough in Chinese (and at the time, I couldn't speak French; my aunt's family lives in Paris).

My mom said my cousins would grow more mature with time, but they haven't improved all that much. A few years ago, I went on vacation to Europe and visited my aunt's family in Paris. The cousins were irrepressible as always and insisted on sitting next to me in the car and playing my Nintendo DS. (I think they have their own DS now, though) One time my cousin sneezed on it, which was really disgusting. Anyhow, if I didn't sit next to them in the car they would throw a fit. (I didn't want to put up with their antics so I sat in the back next to my grandma and mom, meaning to take a nap, but not managing it)

My family has been considering another vacation to Europe, except we want to see different places there, like perhaps Barcelona, Spain, or Italy (though people say Barcelona is better...Hmm. If you've been there, let me know what you think). We'll probably be taking a cruise since we haven't been on one since I was still in elementary school. It'll be in the summertime, which is best for me, as I won't be stressed from school. Unfortunately, if I go to Europe I will have to visit my cousins. My mom got annoyed and said that I could just go home early and not stop by Paris, while she visited her sister, but then I can't really fall asleep if my mom isn't there. I guess I have a mother complex.

On to other matters. Today, it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so both my dad and I had the day off. (Most people are still working today, because they usually get Presidents' Day off, but my dad's company is an exception.) We went to various places, like REI, Any Mountain, Jamba Juice, Whole Foods, Petco, and Petsmart. I was looking for a hat to buy for Yosemite because apparently it's going to be cold and the one place you can lose heat the most easily is through your head. I was meaning to get one of those with earflaps because I thought it'd be better for keeping my ears warm. (They have to be fairly warm. When my ears get cold, I get headaches.) I picked one hat from REI and one from Any Mountain and decided I would let my mom make the decision since I have no idea which one I like better.

I haven't been to Petco for a long time because there used to be one in my town but it closed down years back. I noticed that there was a section with animals to be adopted. (Petsmart also has one, but they only have cats...At least usually.) There were two rabbits, some hamsters/mice (I didn't pay that much attention, I'll just call them rodents) and I think probably a cat or two. I was watching a particularly energetic rodent (I'm guessing it's a dwarf hamster?) named Boggle. He was behaving rather curiously. Sometimes he would get onto his wheel and start running, then he'd get off, and get back on and change direction, and sometimes he would run like crazy, but other times he looked kind of bored. Very interesting. I read on his description that he likes to take food, piece by piece, to his plastic castle, and stash it there for later.

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