He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Confusion Galore

Dated 17th Feb 2011
Valentine’s

Nope, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s. It’s not part of my husband’s culture and after I became a Christian I just decided not to celebrate it anymore.  However, I do enjoy observing other people celebrate it. Love does make me smile.  A friend in FB video-taped himself playing a love song on the piano for his girlfriend and posted the vid on FB. I thought that was really sweet! :) Well, happy Valentine's to those who celebrate it!

Language Check

I was ordering food for my younger daughter in McDonald’s when I asked if their “Chicken Selects” combo comes with chips. The girl taking my order looked at me with a blank look and then I realized. “Oh, French fries, I mean,” I said. When we were in S’spore and M’sia before, my husband would always refer to them as “chips” and my children and I would insist they are "French Fries.”  We thought he was being weird.  He said that’s how they call it in England. (He studied there for his undergrad.) So, when we went to NZ and everyone was calling it chips, we thought, ok, so the English people really call it “chips,” as in “Fish and Chips.” So, we got used to calling it “chips” and now that we have  come here, er, we have to revert to “French Fries” again.  BTW, my younger son misses fish and chips and THE meat pies in his school lunches!!! I was hoping there will be meat pies here but um, no - maybe if we hunt for them hard enough.

School Nostalgia

We had checked out two potential schools for my younger daughter i.e., special needs child, last week and it seems she has gotten the hang of going to school and riding public buses. So, this week she had been asking me whether we were going to school and / or riding the bus. Well, good on her, today we did go to a third potential school for her and bingo! It’s the right one for her. She met her would-be classmates and teachers and we filled up the necessary forms but she won’t start until after their one-week mid-winter recess. So, that means she starts only on the 28th Feb. Also, probably because her older siblings have started school, she also seems to miss going to school and she’s been asking me about her classmates and all her teachers in her former school in NZ, and whether she will see them again. So, I had to explain to her that she won’t see them anymore because we’re so far away; at least 18 hours of sitting on the plane to get there. Tonight when we were in Manhattan she asked, “Is this near Bruce McLaren? See Nathan and Hannah? See Imogen?"  She’s still not really sure exactly where we are. When we first arrived here she thought we had gone back to Malaysia because she was asking for guavas to eat. Lately, whenever her older sister asks her where her older brother is, she says, “In the US.” :-D

Names and Borders

Now we have some major trouble with our names. Our children all have both Chinese and English names but because they were born in different places the order in which those names were written are not the same. For our older son’s case, being born in Japan, there was no “space” for his English name in the registration form at the Malaysian Embassy in Japan. So, his English name has never been in his birth cert. It’s more just an informal name for him but everyone knows him by that name. Then the two middle kids, being both born in Singapore, have their names written in the Chinese convention which is surname first, followed by  two Chinese names and then the English name. But for our youngest who was born in Malaysia, the registration form required her name to be written with her English name first, then her surname and then her two Chinese names. Because of these variations the clerk at the US Consulate in Auckland wrote their names and surnames  according to the order they were written and now our youngest's surname consists of her English name AND her surname! So, that makes her surname different from that of her siblings. Will people think of her as our adopted child then???!!! And me, I am another major fiasco case because by convention, in M’sia and S’pore, women don’t change their surname when they marry. So, I have always used my maiden name as my surname even after marriage. Although we were married in the Philippines we never had my surname changed because we lived in M’sia and S’pore for a long time. My husband didn’t want his friends to think that he married a "cousin" of his, that’s why he didn’t want my surname to be changed! By itself, this has caused a lot of confusion whenever we’re outside of S’pore and M’sia. For instance, whenever I went back to the Philippines and the airline or bank people would see my passport and find out that my surname was still a Filipino surname, I would get those “knowing” looks and I knew they were probably  thinking I was just a mistress or “living in” with my husband!  Fortunately, times have changed in the Philippines and women now have the option, and more are opting for it, to keep their maiden name even after marriage. On the other hand, it seems times have not changed in NZ.  In fact, I won’t be surprised if some people there thought I am an unmarried woman. For the Kiwis, they get to tell whether a woman is married to her “partner” or not by looking at her surname. If her surname is different from that of her children’s they presume she’s unmarried! Oh well, cultures, borders and names!! I have told my husband that if we were to stay in NZ I will have to change my surname to his, or people will always think I am still single!! He said there’s no need for it since I’m already old. Well, now that we’re in the US, we get the chance to change our names when we become citizens someday.  So, hopefully, that time we’ll be able to rectify our names and we’ll all have the same surname! Meanwhile, it’s confusion galore! O.o >.< @.@

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D