New York, New York

My latest trip to the USA was different. Instead of going to Atlanta I was meeting the TAS in New York for a wedding. Our first ‘thing’ as a couple. This trip I was worrying and nervous for weeks before I went. Because this trip I was meeting the TAS family. Now usually I would be fine with this. I would be charming and polite. However his parents don’t speak much English, though that’s more English than I speak Fujianese, Mandarin or Cantonese.
Also his mother already has problems with me. I’m not Chinese, I’m not even American. At 5 weeks older than her son, I am clearly too old. She also thinks I’m too fat.

The original plan was for The TAS and I to spend a couple of nights at his family home and then escape to a hotel in Manhatten for a couple of nights. However his mum played the “We haven’t seen you for nearly a year” card and we were actually going to be spending the whole 5 days at his family home. Home to his mum and dad, little sister, big brother, sister-in-law and baby nephew. A whole house full of people for me to make friends with.

Manchester airport was it’s usual dull self. The flight was a pain, mostly because the family sitting all round me included one young girl who was quite severely disabled. She had a bone anchored hearing aid, which meant my iLoop was useless and my hearing aids just kept screaming when I tried to use it.

Landed at JFK and did my usual running like a mad thing, pushing people out of the way to get to the front of the immigration line. Got through Immigration really quickly, though the guy did keep checking me against my passport photo. To be fair I do look nothing like that particular picture.

Onwards to Baggage claim. I’m stood with a number of people from the Manchester flight. 8 bags come off the carousel. Then it stops. Someone asks the little baggage guy if there’s a problem. He tells us that’s all the luggage from Manchester. Bollocks! I go over to the little Delta desk and fill in a baggage form and they agree to send my bag on. The nice lady tells me I should have it by tomorrow morning in time for the wedding.

With my reference number in hand I head off to the next Terminal to meet the TAS. Only to discover his flight was late. REALLY late. Hanging around for a couple of hours and the display finally changes and he’s landed. Half an hour later still no sign so I call him. The plane is still on the runway. Another 45 mins before he finally gets out. So more than 4 hours after my plane landed I’m finally leaving JFK.

We get to his parents house and there’s lots of smiling at people. I like his sister straight away. As I have no luggage TAS and I pop out to buy basics for the night – jammies, clean undies, toothbrush deodorant etc. We get back to his parents and after a rapid conversation in Chinese the TAS tells me that we’re going out to dinner with his family. All I want to do is have a shower and change into my jammies. So feeling all crumpled and horrid I go out to dinner and smile while more Chinese conversation happens round me and I try to avoid falling asleep in my rice.

The next day the TAS and I go out with his sister. According to her his parents think she’s too fat as well and are not feeding here in an attempt to make her thinner. We go out for sushi and a couple of hours before the wedding we call his parents to see if my luggage has arrived. No show. So now I need to find something to wear to a wedding. A wedding where I’m going to meet most of the TAS friends for the first time.

I hate shopping. I hate shopping when I’m hot. I hate shopping even more when I’ve already done the shopping and have a perfect outfit that Delta left in Manchester! I find a nice summer dress but I need a different bra. Given how fat Americans are supposed to be. It was actually quite hard to find a larger sized bra. After an hour of cursing I finally managed to find one in my size that would work with the dress. Back to his parents house. I change into the new dress ready for the wedding and as I come up the stairs from the basement. His mum starts going off on one in Chinese. I can tell she’s going off on one, even though I can’t understand any of it. The TAS starts shouting back and I look at his sister. “She thinks you look like a whore – too much cleavage on show”

TAS and I beat a hasty retreat to my first Chinese wedding. I tried everything, conch, abalone, jellyfish, shark fin soup, lobster, pork. When the meal was over the TAS and I went to the after party, via bubble tea.

Side note – I am deeply confused by the very premise of bubble tea. Why would I want lumps put in my drink intentionally? Add to this my phobia of small round foodstuffs and my dislike of tea and it’s really not the beverage for me.

The after party was at a karaoke bar. The drink flowed freely and I was drinking vodka with the bride. I clearly had a good time as there is photo evidence of me singing Han San Yat Sang Gan Nei Jau by Jackie Cheung with the TAS. At some unearthy hour in the morning we left the karaoke bar and headed back to his parents. Standing on the porch he realised he had forgotten his key and we were going to have to ring the doorbell and wake people up to get back in. Giggling like schoolgirls he rang and I did my coat up in the hope that covering my ample cleavage would mean we could skip part 2 of me being a hussy. A drunken one now!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. bubblechog
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 17:50:55


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