05 September 2013

Cultural Exchange

I know I have mentioned having a Chinese exchange student.  He is now back in China, going to middle school.  You also heard some of the horror stories involving shitty shifty phone companies and my step-son taking things without asking.  This is actually the flip side; good stuff that we did while he was here.

Back home in China he is an only child without pets.  He warmed up to my little doggies pretty fast.  And for as much as my dogs hate kids, they warmed up to him too.  I laughed when I heard him say to the dogs for yapping, "Oh, you crazy!  Be quiet.  I think maybe you are crazy from Andy."  I laughed so hard, he finally started to catch our sense of humor and tried to make a joke too. 

So I tried to think of fun things for Jackey to do during his very short stay.  During his stay he only got his evenings and weekends free with us.  And one weekend was cut short due to his trip to Disneyland.  But he got to try s'mores at a beach bonfire.  See, even though Andy was 'crazy' he was quite fond of him.  Except that one time.  He wished he had a sibling back home.  While with us he got to enjoy the good and bad of having a sibling.  I am glad they both enjoyed each other.

 I took him to a pool party.  He sat in the corner with Andy like a wall flower.  Until I decided to get in the pool.  Once I got in, my husband and then even Jackey jumped in.  Andy who 'hates swimming', also can't swim, eventually made it into the pool too.  It was hell trying to get them out!  Maybe being outnumbered 4:1 by girls made them shy to get in.  But I know having so much fun was making it hard for them to get out of the pool.

Air-hockey, I don't care who you are, you gotta do it.  And Jackey did it, liked it too!  What trip to a video arcade would be complete without a go at air-hockey and ski-ball?  Maybe my uncles had something to do with my thought on this subject.  But Air-hockey and ski-ball are what remind me of many arcade memories as a kid.

One Friday night, Jackey was showing me pictures of cars he had seen earlier in the day.  I asked him if he was into cars and he said  yes.  Living where I do there is always some sort of car show or other.  So I hopped online and found one close by.  After a 30 minute drive Jackey was in hog heaven!  He NEEDED a picture of every single car he saw.  He especially liked the classics.  For anyone interested I will post pics from the car show soon.

Go-carts were not Jackey's strong suit.  He thought they were too fast.  For his first time he did ok except for stopping; or lack thereof.  The rules are you get three chances.  With each rule infraction you get an 'X' on your wrist band.  After the third 'X' you can no longer drive the track.  When they tell you the rules you are supposed to raise your hand that you understand the rules.  He didn't raise his hand.  So when it came time to stop he crashed into the car in front of him and ended up with 2 'X's!  I called no fair and the twerp was just a dick about it.  So I explained the rules to Jackey slowly and had him give it another go.  CRASH!  Oh, oh!  He tried and failed so the rest of the day he rode with me as the passenger.  The mister and Andy rode together, Andy was just an inch too short to drive.  Drat!  But they both really enjoyed it.  We went back another day and Jackey was able to drive and stop correctly.  So had they not given him a premature 'X' he may have been able to drive on his own the first day.

Racing Jackey at the rock wall climb.  I had the unfair advantage though.  We were both able to make it to the top.  Andy was too afraid to try climbing.  I am sure given some time he will get up there.  He is afraid of trying new things.  So he very adamantly tells us he hates something when he has never even tried it.  It's become habit and we are slowly forcing him to try new things.  Which turn out to be fun and he no longer hates them.

Jackey's version of mini-golf involved roughhousing with Andy.  When he first saw some people playing mini-golf he said, "This game looks like it would not be fun.  It is too slow."  But after the first few holes he really got into it.  Had to teach both Andy and Jackey not to swing their clubs before someone got hurt.... they didn't listen.  Andy accidentally pegged Jackey in the face.  It wasn't terribly bad, but bad enough for them to make the conscious effort to adjust their putting technique.  I didn't get any pictures of us in the bumper boats because the mister wandered off to smoke and I wasn't going to take my camera into water.  Into water around other boats that were actively trying to shoot me with water. 

Pilfered Photo

The last place I took him was the drive-in.  He said while staying with us he would like to see a movie, Despicable Me 2.  I asked him if he had ever heard of a drive-in or if they have them in China.  He said no.  I explained what a drive-in is, the cost difference and that it was a double feature.  He opted for the drive-in and the other movie playing was Planes.  Both were movies I would probably never watch unless I was baby-sitting or something.  He loved the tail-gate party feel of the drive-in; minus the barbeque and shirtless drunk guys of course.  It was a family friendly event.  I did warn him to ask me to take him to the bathroom or he may get lost or hop into the wrong car if he went alone.  I fought hard not to fall asleep during both movies after a long day and binging on tacos.  Those tacos were worth it though.  Andy has yet to experience the drive-in, he ended up in trouble and had to stay home with dad instead of join in the fun.

My husband shared his interest of video games about a week before Jackey went back to China.  He introduced him to Spore and Saints Row 3.  He had played GTA before so I assumed Saints Row was going to be the same.  It's actually worse or would that be better?  Better in terms of how fun and ridiculous the game can be.  Worse maybe in that it is highly inappropriate now that I think about it.  Jackey made it his mission to download the game when he returned home.  China has crap for connections speeds, or so he tells us, because it's taking forever for him to get the game.  At least he bonded with the mister over computers, technology and video games.

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