by, June 23, 2012 at 04:13 PM (462 Views)
At one point she complimented me on my Georgian, I think I may have blushed, I told her I only knew about a hundred words, but they seem to be the ones I really needed. I assured her that when she had been here as long as I have that she would know far more Georgian than me. I then used that as an opening to ask here what other languages she spoke. She told me she knew a little Spanish from high school and some Cantonese, but not a lot. I asked her why that was. She told me her mother wanted her to be totally "American" and her step-dad did not speak it, I said something like "typical white guy" She giggled at that and said: "Yeah, good guess." At this point my mind was screaming "banana, banana, banana"
Which is quite possibly the worst possible thing I could utter, but the malice within my mind was held in check once again. Besides, putting aside the offensive nature of the term "banana"
Yellow on the outside, white on the inside. The truth is, thats what I have always been programmed to love, beautiful, glasses wearing, musical loving, Asian American women. One cannot escape one's fate. Having said that, I also know now the importance of liking people for who they really are, not just some collection of attributes that I seem to adore in the abstract. Fuck that part of my mind, it is not the real me.
After a few hours my feet had begun to hurt, I was wearing my dress shoes, not boots, see I actually had really only planned to go to the bank and get some "Magti" cards, but after seeing Alison, I decided to go shopping, in the hopes she would want to go with me. Now I was paying for being right about that. I started favoring my left foot and Alison seemed to noticed. We talked about getting some food, but then decided not to because of the time. I asked her if she knew where to get the bus back to Boriti, she thought she did, across from where we got out. I explained to her the byzantine arrangement of where to get "the right bus" and took her to where the buses all said they were going to "Tbilisi" but could be taken part of the way to our destinations. Here is the one time knowing Nugo came in handy, I knew all the drivers there, four by name, I introduced Alison to them, explaining to them that she was another American and would need to take a bus every once and a while to Boriti like I do to "V-town" I did my best to convey that I hoped they would do this for her, like they have for me. One seem to understand my point, asking me in Georgian if I liked her or something like that, I responded: "Ho, ho, dzalian deni"
Which means "Yes, yes, very much." It was weird watching Alison during this exchange, this is maybe the first time I have been on that side of such an exchange in a language other than English.
For the first time, I hoped that it would take a long time to get a bus and that the bus ride would be slow, no such luck, still, it was nice to hear her talk as she chattered away about her mother, who she currently hates, seeing her real father in China, how weird that was, she was dissappointed how much he reminded her of her step-father, Peter, who she did not really dislike but had never really been close to, he worked all the time and now that her mom and him were separated, she did not think she would know him anymore. I talked about my own experiences of "step-parents" one good, one bad. I hesitated to mention my dead father, stay away from big things I kept telling myself. Her stop came to soon, I asked the driver in Georgian to stop and when she went to get off I handed her a piece of paper with my number on it, telling her to give me a call if she wanted to go to town together again, or you know, to just talk, she took it, smiled and said goodbye.
That was a week ago, she called last night, we talked for hours, I did talk about my father, she told me about her parents, how they had been students in the USA, but her mom got pregnant and wanted to stay, she seemed to think her mom did that on purpose so that she would not have to go back to China, her dad had wanted to go back and though he did initially stay, he eventually went back to China after a few years, abandoning her and her mother. She did not seem to blame him too much though, she made her mother sound very domineering. Her mother quickly remarried though, a business partner of her dad's, Peter. I asked her if she had a Chinese first name and she told me her middle name was one, she never uses it and her mother had not even wanted her to have one, part of the whole her being "totally American" thing. As she talked more about her mother, I finally put my foot in my big mouth, sort of. See, right now she hates her mother, but I do not believe this will always be so and I tried to look at what she was saying about her from outside of just agreeing with Alison. The truth is, her mother sounded admirable to me and I told her so, I said something like:
"You know, what your mother did was pretty courageous, going to another country, having a kid and deciding to stay here on her own, with you, sounds brave to me."
A long silence followed, then she said "I guess so."
I chose then to mention my father, how much I fought with him when he was alive, how much I miss and admire him now that he is gone. My hope being that I had put in perspective what I said about her mother, who knows. We'd been talking for hours when she mentioned that her mother was planning on taking a trip to China soon. I asked her if her mom would see her father, she thought she would, even though they both seemed to still hate each other, even after all this time, I said:
"Really? Must be love, to hate someone for so long" She actually agreed with me, joking that maybe they would get back together, I said "Stranger things have happened, especially if she is still beatiful." She laughed and said: "How'd you know she's beautiful?" I said: "I've met her daughter." There was another long pause then she gave a breathy sigh and asked me about my upcoming vacation in the States, she misses them already, not Orange County so much, but you know, the USA, by that point we had been talking for over 2 hours, it was getting late, so we both said good bye. If she does not call in a week, I'll give her a call, but just once.
This is already all really going to my head, thats why I had to write this, I do feel a little better now