Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's a family affair

"Royal" visitors out of their comfort zone

Forgive my absence, but I’m hosting a delegation, much more important than all those royalties and ministers I met last year, and it’s taking up pretty much all of my free time: yes, of course, my parents are in town!

The world’s cutest (in my eyes!) mom and dad landed a few days ago and are keeping me busy with all kinds of funny questions and comments about everything. Yesterday when I had to go to work they called me when I was in the middle of a meeting:

-Hey, we are standing in a crossing and we don’t know where we are.

-Eh… right. Now, do you see any names of streets or anything around you?

-Naaah, it’s kind of confusing to tell you the truth.

-I see…

Not to mention the fact that my mom constantly seems to be forgetting that I don’t actually live here as a tourist:

-So does the hotel breakfast have any yoghurt?

-I don’t know mom, I’ve never eaten it.

-Yeah, but what about normally over here?

-I don’t normally stay at hotels in China…

Dad, on the other hand, is more of a silent observer, although every now and then he springs to life with one of his genius comments:

-Look! They are all riding electric bikes! And then they recharge the bikes! And if they want to speed up they pedal… This is fantastic! Why don’t we have these kind of electric bikes back home? How come you’ve never brought one home with you?

-Eh… dad, they are kind of heavy and big…

-Yeah but they are fantastic! You HAVE to bring one of those to Sweden at some point. Actually, my birthday is coming up….!


The other day they told me they wanted to see an acrobatic show that my sister and her hubby raved about after their last China visit:

-Sure, but we’ve already seen it. Do you mind going by yourself? I'll help you get the tickets and everything...

Long, pregnant silence and hurtful, accusing eyes.

-What am I saying?! OF COURSE we should go together!!! I don’t mind watching it again!!!


On Wednesday night we will depart Shanghai to visit a new place for all of us. I seriously cannot wait, as it’s getting hard to come up with new things to do in Shanghai (this is mom’s fourth China visit and dad’s second). However, mom and dad are, of course, slightly worried:

-We saw on the news that there are storms in southern China!

-Yeah, so then it’s good that we are not going to the south…

-But up north there are sandstorms!!!

-Not where we are going, I’m sure.

-How can you be sure?! I’m sure that there will be sandstorms. We should pack umbrellas. Do you have a spare one that we can borrow?

-If it makes you feel any better…


(Wanna make a bet with me about those sandstorms? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. And no, we are not going to Inner Mongolia!).

Before we leave, however, mom and dad will come and visit me at work, something that they have prepared for and been excited about, for a very long time. They have even packed special outfits that they are going to wear when walking into my office. I got all touched and teary eyed when they told me.

-Well of course, mom said, as if it was the most obvious thing ever. When coming from so far away we are ought to make a good impression!

Awwww! Can you love two people more?!


Unknown said...

Oh yes, your parents are your VVIPs and much as they may find 'odd' happenings, I'm sure you are the perfect host.

Anonymous said...

your parents are soo cute!
and you know the older they get the more cute you will find them. maybe cuz we start to look at them in a different way.( missing my parents)

Anonymous said...

I envy you, Jonna. You have very cute (in the good sense and because of their ages maybe) and unselfish parents. I grew up in China in the 60's and 70's. Never had a relationship with my parents because they were sent away due to various political campaigns of that era. Parent-child relationship is the most precious commodity ever. Treasure it.

Anazei said...

I can see why you left Sweden. But even the other side of the world, you still can't get away.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Keatt -not perfect... but trying to be!

Anonymous 1 -yeah, they are!

Anonymous 2 -Trust me, I do. I'm sad to hear about what happened to your folks.

Anazei -Never said I wanted to get away from them. Living abroad is not a choice because of escape for me, it's about doing something that I enjoy.

ewaffle said...

This is an absolutely lovely post. I hope your parents know what a delightful and loving daughter they have--actually I am sure that they do.

Hope all of you have a great time--and avoid the sandstorms :-)

Unknown said...

"Awwww! Can you love two people more?!"

Nope! I even got teary eyed. =o)

LOVE this.

Unknown said...

Great post, Jonna.

Anonymous said...

Delightful post..thank you!

Jonna Wibelius said...

Thanks u guys!! They just left today and we had an awesome time! Photos and stories coming up tomorrow!!