Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stop Staring!

The K family did some grocery shopping one afternoon.  They went to  a supermarket, the Hui Shan Tesco near Casa K, but in two parties.  The original plan had been for all three members of the Kaulins Family China to depart the Casa at 3:30 p.m.  However, Tony, the youngest of the Kaulins family China, had an urge to go out earlier.  He said "outside!" many times.  His father Andis, the nominal head of the KFC, thought then it was a good idea to get Tony out of the house anyway, so T&A left Casa K at 240 p.m.

Andis, ever indulgent of his son, agreed to carry the boy on his shoulders to the Tesco shopping complex -- the boy never asked his mother to do this because she would not put up with his begging.  (The process of putting Tony on Dad's shoulders was referred to as one-two-three by Tony)  Andis also gave his son a five jiao coin so the boy could buy a lollipop from a small shop on the way.  Near the shop, Tony was let down without protest, and his father watched him jaunt  and skip-run happily to the small shop to get the lollipop.  It pleased his father more to see Tony conduct the transaction himself.  Tony then ran to his father and said "One-two-three!"

Andis then carried Tony to Tesco.  Tony enjoyed himself, Andis not so much.  During the journey, Tony had an unfortunate habit of holding the sticky lollipop too close to Andis's hair.  As well, local passers-by gaped at the xiao erzi being carried on laowaide baba's shoulders.

Tony had one thing on his mind as they walked to Tesco.  He was thinking of the toy car he assumed that his father was going to buy him.  Dad, not aware that of Tony's desire, wanted to go see some new businesses that had opened in the mall behind the Tesco,.   So when Dad deviated from the path that lead to the Toy Department at Tesco, Tony became very angry, shouted "Buy toy!  Buy Toy!", and bucked on his father's shoulders.  So to the Tesco Toy Department they went.

Tony said "Here we are!" when they arrived at the shelf where Match Box and Hot Wheels cars were on display.  Tony got to choose the toy he wanted.  He rejected the first ten cars shown to him: bulldozers, souped up VW Bugs, and low-rider hot rods, and others.  He displayed good judgement and taste, his father thought.  Tony ended up choosing a yellow GM Mini School bus -- this was in fact what his father thought he would do.

Tony, his agenda satisfied, let Dad decide where to go next.  Thus, Andis was able to see the many new shops that had opened in the Hui Shan Tesco Plaza.  T&A saw that many new clothing shops and restaurants -- nothing really interesting.

It was about then that the second party of the Kaulins Family China arrived at the Tesco Plaza -- Jenny came via the family electric bike.
Together, the K family went to the food court, ate Wang's dumplings, and then proceeded to Tesco to buy some groceries.  From the rack at the entrance, they took two shopping carts -- one for carrying Tony and one for purchases.  

The carts became separated as Dad pushed Tony to the bicycle section of Tesco where Tony happened to see  a mini toddler car.  Tony climbed out of the cart and into the car.  He sat in the car for ten minutes trying his father's patience.  The first time Dad asked Tony to leave, Tony refused strongly.  But after another five minutes, Dad decided to pull Tony away, consequences be damned.
And what came way was a struggle between laowai father and son, and a tantrum by the waiguo erzi that attracted a crowd.  Tony very much didn't want to leave the car.  Andis was not so much picking up a little boy, as a whirling dervish of arms and legs.    Andis got miffed at Tony and the onlookers who gaped like people without the discipline to avert their glance.  Andis, carrying Tony to the cart, looked one of the onlookers in the eye, and at him yelled  "stop staring asshole!"   Andis then put Tony in the shopping cart and tried pushing it away until Tony tried climbing out of the cart.  Tony was straddling the rim at the top of cart before Andis pushed him back in.  Seeing the same onlooker still staring, Andis repeated the cursing.  Finally able to get Tony away, Andis surveyed his surroundings and saw that a big crowd of perhaps fifty people had watched A&T struggle.  Andis hoped that they hadn't understood his cursing though they may have picked up meaning from his tone.

Rejoining Jenny, Andis then felt sheepish, and asked himself how long he had been living in China, and told himself that he should be used it, as most times he was.

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