So, recently, my mom has this whole, “I want to find religion” sort of thing going. Not that it’s a bad thing, but don’t drag me along too! Anyway, whenever I go to church, it’s a complete given that I’ll meet new people. Again, not that I don’t like meeting new people, but I find that church people are, well, too nice. There’s no other way to describe it. Once they meet you, they take your arm or hug you instantly, all the while saying, “Welcome, welcome!”
My reaction? Basically, I’m thinking, “Don’t touch me. We just met! I don’t even know you.”
Visiting my family in China was a lot like this, except a lot worst. I actually have never met a lot of my family in China, because, well, they’re on the other side of the world, and it’s difficult to meet people. Then on my trip I meet all these people, who act like they know me, because we met when I was three years old!
The whole time my grandparents were saying that I should get to know these people, because someday they’ll probably rely on me for something since I’m American. What does that have to do with anything? Also, we’re not like close relatives here. They’re my mother’s uncles and cousins or even my grandfather’s cousins. We’re distantly related. Thinking about it, I don’t think I’d rely on them for anything, because:
1. I’m in the chemistry field, and they’re not even remotely related to it, so job networking is out of the question.
2. I don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon, and none of them seem to have any intention of visiting the US.
3. There is no reason to ask other people, who aren’t my parents, for money.
4. There’s no reason to call, because international calls are so costly.
5. We have nothing in common except some thin connection in the family.
It’s just very fake. “I’ll play nice with you, since you’re also playing nice with me.” The minute I leave, I’m probably never going to think about you again, and completely forget your face. It’s the same feeling at church, expect I really have no relations with churchgoers, so this fake premise is okay. But with family… you never know what’s going to happen. Blood is thicker than water, what more can I say?
Part 4/11 in China Adventures 2010