Saturday, February 21, 2009

Uncle Shu Shu

We call our gate-keeper "Shu shu" which means "uncle" in Chinese. He's kind and greets us everyday (numerous times) with a smile and a joke. His favorite joke is to pretend to give your mail to some other foreigner even though he knows it's not their mail. Then, when the foreigner realizes its not his/her mail, Shu shu will smile and say he knows. Then, he will tell that foreigner that their momma doesn't love them and that's the reason they don't have any mail. It's a long standing joke, and it never gets old (well, okay it gets a little old sometimes.) But it's really a great joke for all of us as we don't know a lot of Chinese; we can all pretty much understand that joke.

When we receive a package, Shu shu is also the one who holds our package and has us sign for it. One time when I went to pick up my package, I could see that he had meticulously written my name in English beside the slot where I was to sign. It looked like something a second grader might have written, but I was very impressed because Shu shu has never studied English much less English writing. I asked him if he had written my name himself, and he shyly nodded his head. I praised his English hand-writing and of course, he deferred my compliment, but I think secretly, he felt happy with his hand-writing.

The other day, we were eating at a restaurant near our apartment, and Uncle "Shu shu" happened to be there with some other people. He came over to our table and offered his glass of "water" to my team-mate. She took one whiff and could tell it was clearly hard liquor. She smiled and told him he was a little naughty. Then he laughed and went to sit back down. Even though he teases us, we all really like Shu shu, and I think his wife (who works the noon shift at the gate) very well might be an angel.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

I enjoyed your story about the gatekeeper. I'm glad his wife was there when you got your quilt. Hope it is keeping you warm and feeling loved.