Head of family
Back in Shanghai after some intensive days in Berlin and Malmö. Yesterday I did the lovely (not), 12 hour flight back. I had to transfer in Beijing, and when I stepped on the plane I was walking next to a typical Shanghai family: “mom and dad” (a young, trendy looking couple) and their mom and dad (grandpa and grandma) carrying their (at least) 3 year old "baby" boy. Although I’ve witnessed what I’m about to describe a countless number of times, it still manages to astonish me: The load and heaviness of that (not so little!) boy was totally on the grandparents, meanwhile the young, trendy parents went to sit at another section of the plane. The grandma and the child was seated in the middle section next to mine, and as soon as the plane took off the boy started whining.
It didn’t take long before the grandmother got up, and gave up her seat to him so that he could lie down and sleep across the seat section. But what was she supposed to do then? An old woman, standing on a full plane? Well, she simply sat down on the floor! Year, on that tiny little floor that also acts leg space between two seat rows on an economy class flight. She sat there, half leaning forward, hoping for the little boy to get his beauty sleep. They were like that for maybe 45 min, until the boy sat up, bawling like an animal. Grandma did all she could, but this time the boy wanted his trendy mom, who then had to get up from her comfortable position, and rush over to hold him for a short while, before handing him back to his grandmother.
Why do young people even get kids over here when they so obviously do not want to take care of them themselves? And why are children spoiled to an extent that makes me see red? Well, actually, don’t bother answering that, I know the answers already… deep rooted in history and tradition, yadi yadi. Still. Seeing a grandmother take the airplane floor so that a kid can sleep on a 2 hour flight between Beijing and Shanghai is quite a sickening sight. Just had to say it.