I’ve been trying to keep up with this weekly, but I didn’t write one last week. I didn’t do anything last week. NOTHING! When the temperature averaged 102 degrees with the “real feel” of 113, I was rendered useless. Walking to work and back took every bit of energy I had, and by the time my weekends rolled around, I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t even take out the garbage. I think the intense heat coupled with the highly air-conditioned work place (where I have to wear a sweater) was just messing with my immune system and wearing me down.
This week was even harder than last week for some reason. I couldn’t sleep at all. I went to work like a zombie. If I had been in America, I definitely would have called in sick. Here, they deduct my pay (way more than what I make in day) if I don’t have a doctor’s excuse. The last place I’m going if I’m sick (or tired) is the hospital. The cure for many things is rest, and you can’t get that if you have to take a taxi to the hospital, and wait in line forever to see a doctor.
The heat is keeping a lot of people from doing things, but the mall where I work has been packed, even on off days at off times, because Chinese people NEVER use their heaters or air conditioners. They think it’s too expensive. I keep mine on 24/7 and it costs me less than $50 a month. (On the other hand, they will easily spend that a person for a meal in an expensive restaurant). So they come to the mall and public places. You’ll see kids riding scooters and bicycles, people walking dogs, and old men sleeping on the floor, as if this is some sort of indoor park.
This is when I realized, I have sidewalk rage. It’s like road rage, except it’s when you are walking. It is the lack of consideration or the complete unawareness or indifference to your surroundings that makes me want to punch people. Like people who exit a store that you are walking past, and then stop right in front of you to look around because they don’t know where they are going next. Or someone who suddenly decided to start chatting on their phone at the foot of an escalator, so no one can get on until they look up and move. Or a group of eight people sauntering on in no particular direction, with no way to get past them.
I was talking to a student of mine about his homework, and we had to discuss problems in society. The first one he mentioned was noise pollution. So we talked about how annoying it is that people honk their horns all the time, and loud people in restaurants, stuff like that. I said that used to drive me crazy downtown. And I said that I didn’t understand why people honk. It doesn’t make anything move faster or change anything. He said the drivers are just expressing their frustration. I said, a baby trying to nap, a student trying to study, or me trying to read, we don’t care about the driver’s frustration. It’s just disturbing with no logic behind it. And he said, “I never thought of the other people who would hear it.”
BINGO! This is the problem. This is the problem with people smoking near doorways. They don’t care about all the people who have to pass by. This is the problem with living in the largest city in the world filled with only-child “emperors.” They are never taught to think of others. All these young men don’t look up from their phones on the subway to see if an elderly person or a pregnant woman might need to sit down. I’d blame their parents, but since their parents didn’t raise them, I guess you have to blame the grandparents.
Nanny’s here are often grandparents. I think I have had one nanny who was younger than me. Just one, our last one that didn’t like cats. And I see how they raise children , and things become clearer. We had a nanny once who used to bribe Raine with candy just to walk up the stairs to get to our old apartment. If she doesn’t want to stay downstairs by herself, she will walk. We see grandparents at the park chasing toddlers around and forcing spoons of food at them, so much that a child never learns, “I’m hungry,” or “I’m thirsty.” Then they don’t know how to listen to their bodies. And when they do listen, they don’t know how to control it. If they have to pee, you just stop right there on the sidewalk or in the mall and pee on the ground. There’s no “Hold it till you get to the bathroom.” There’s no pulling down pants either, because, as I explained before, toddler pants are split. I see way too much baby junk in the summer.
And then there’s grandma food. I told my nanny that instead of just plain steamed broccoli, she could mix it with stuff, and I pointed to mushrooms and bacon I had on hand. So, for three weeks, everyday, I get broccoli, mushrooms, and bacon. I’m not sick of it yet, but one day, I will be. She makes these kind of scalloped potatoes, that are different, but good. We never had a nanny make potatoes, so I wanted to make sure I tell her we like them. Every day, for three weeks, I get scalloped potatoes. She’s not the only nanny to do this. Once, Raine told a nanny she liked jelly sandwiches. You can imagine what she ate for months, until I found out.
I have had to explain to this nanny (and every other one) that it’s important to eat a variety of foods. That we like a lot of different foods. And that we need to get vitamins and minerals from lots of foods. I have seen on the news here, an 18 year-old girl who grandmother only fed her chicken nuggets because that’s what she liked, and now she’s in the hospital with all kinds of deficiencies. (I’ve seen many of these types of stories, that’s just one).
At least this nanny likes our cat. I really think this is the best thing I ever did for the girls. I never realized how important having a pet could be. They love him to death. And he is so cuddly, friendly and tolerant of all of the girls’ playing. I don’t know why I didn’t think of getting one sooner, but he has greatly enhanced this house and happiness of my girls.
So this was a bit of rant, but I think the heat is getting to me. The heat wave is supposed to break tomorrow, so I hope I’m in better spirits too.