Walking for the sake of walking
It has always been my habit to get to a place ten or fifteen minues earlier than I need to -- to me, showing up right on time shows you don't give a damn -- a few minutes late and you are really pushing yourself into damnation. Say I am anal but it shows I care -- coolness is a vice and not helpful in most situations -- I would rather not be helped by people who are too pleased with themselves.
However, there may be times when you should not be too early. For instance, once at the preschool, I came early, unknowingly, and the teachers were annoyed at me for interrupting the class as Tony was pulled out. When I am there, Tony can smell me so I do have to time my appearance to the minute. As well, if I get to the preschool late, and Tony gets upset at being the last to be picked up.
Yesterday, I arrived in the area of the preschool twenty minutes before Tony could leave, and so I decided to walk the area, in an aimless sort of fashion, to burn the minutes. And so I found myself walking down pathways that foreigners normally don't go. At one place, I had to go either left or right, and so I hesitated. This old women then pointed in a rightward directions - why I couldn't ascertain. Leftwards look interesting, and so I went that way and hit a dead end. Going in the direction indicated by the women I came to a bridge that would have taken me to park had I chosen to go, but I had to go back to the direction of the preschool. Along the way, I passed some workers who all stopped what they were doing to stare at me.
It is hard to wander in China inconspicuously.
Tony said "Thank you!" to me yesterday after I did him a nice turn. As I reported, he said "Xie xie!" to his mother, the day before yesterday, after she gave him a cookie.
No seat on the bus
This happens a lot to Jenny, but never to me, until yesterday afternoon. Carry Tony onto a crowded bus, and I can always count on someone yielding their seat to us. But, as I say, It didn't happen yesterday, and I could only but be amazed that my wife could hold Tony for so long. I lasted about twenty minutes. I stood with Tony near an able-bodied man who I thought could be counted on to yield his seat -- he didn't. I even tried to crowd him in, Tony's feet in his face, so he would get the message, but nothing. I was then hoping for some quick stops from the driver so Tony could inadvertently kick him in the head. All the while, I was telling myself to be cool and that lord knows, I had probably done a selfish thing like that too and not yielded my seat. And then an old woman sitting behind the able-bodied man yielded her seat to us -- I then proceeded to tap the able-bodied man on the shoulder so he could give his seat to the old woman -- he would have, but she refused.
I can't do much about other people's behavior, but I wondered if I was right in thought and actions.