Monday, April 02, 2007

Baba Mama

my parents in law have become a very important part of my life and a cause for its great enrichment. Here is "mama" (be sure to say it in Chinese using the first tone for each ma).
They are extremely resourceful people and have filled their empty days and empty apartment with all manner of discovered treasures and entertainments. During the winter when rivers, lakes and ponds were frozen over they discovered a hole in the ice that was teeming with goldfish. "Baba" (fourth tone fourth tone) supposes that someone not wanting their goldfish any longer put them in the pond and they multiplied. whatever the reason for their presence in such large numbers baba mama decided to fish for goldfish.

and take some home.

there is a high turnover in the apartment building complex where we live and this results in a large quanity of rather high quality trash. baba mama are quite perplexed and dismayed at this evidence of consumer culture and wastage. "Don't American's know how to fix things? How is it that they can just throw things out like this?" they query incredulously. They now have a collection of 7 vacuum cleaners and couple of sets of dresser drawers, bookshelves, lamps, tables, piano stool, pottery and potted plants... the list is really quite extensive indeed.
Mama washes and disinfects the treasures they find with great care and diligence and Baba repairs wobbly furniture items and vacuum cleaners. They have their tales of astonishment to tell at the end of a day of treasure collecting--"they threw this vacuum cleaner out when all that was wrong with it was that a sock had gotten stuck inside...just open it up, take the sock out and the vacuum cleaner is as good as new!" One of these days I suppose we will hold a garage sale or something and see if we can sell those treasures that Baba Mama are willing to part with.
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2 Comments:

Blogger Pieter B. said...

Amazing, this culture. I can so relate to your in-laws, and I do repair things myself (please tell them that there are a few other people in this country). Love your blog!

9:53 PM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger sashwee said...

What a great resource! Your ps-in-law could become gurus for the whole simple frugal life movement. You must keep us posted on their adventures.
xox

12:29 PM, April 14, 2007  

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