So a few weeks ago it was time for the once-yearly, week-long field trip for the kiddoes in Zachary's age group at school.
Even from the time we knew that there was going to be a field trip, James and I knew that at least one of us would be going as a chaperone. This ISN'T because we're nosey parents who can't stand to be apart from their children for even two seconds, but IS because we literally can't even fathom sending a child's Diplomatic passport with its only Diplomatic stamped visa** out into the wild with countless other passports and visas (presumably in a huge, communal passport bucket?), whilst simultaneously sending one of our plague/sickness/injury prone children out into the big, wide, no-western-medical-care world without one of us being there.
[**Seriously, can you IMAGINE if that thing got lost? It's not like you can replace it/the visa at a local Consulate or whatever.]
And it's not like James and I had to draw straws to figure out whether he would go or I would go. I mean, please. People with penises (penii?) are WAY, WAY more easily toted around China than people without. Furthermore, *I* have never moaned and whined about how I desperately wanted to tour every last inch of China and how I've been here in Chengdu without having gotten to yet like SOME of us have.
So, yeah. James went on the school field trip with Zachary and Zachary's school classmates while I stayed home with Matthew, because only the jr. high kids were going that week. James took days off of work, paid his hotel/flight/train/meal costs, and left me behind for a week in order to SEE THE WORLD.
Or, at least, the Chinese part of the world.
AND THERE WAS CHINA:
Waiting for them in all its glory!
They flew out of Chengdu and flew to a different part of China (because China is big, yo!), and the first place they went was the Shaolin Temple.
Which basically is a big, huge, GIGANTIC school where boys learn to kill people by using lots of different scary weapons.
Now, James is going to come home from work and read my blog and be all No it's not, it's the birthplace of martial arts! And Kung Fu! and... and then he'll talk all about what it really is and that's all great. But I'm sorry, when he came home from his trip and I downloaded all the pictures he took, it looked to me like the place was basically teaching boys how to use lots of different weapons to kill people.
Because the Shaolin Monk Warrior Guys know how to kill you with long poles:
And they know how to kill you with machetes and chains:
And they can fly around in the air upside down and kill you with disc thingees:
And there are so many of them and so many different weapons that there's pretty much no end to the ways that they could kill you:
That when you tour the monastery, the young practicing students stretch out as far as the eye can see:
And it's all so very not like an American junior high or high school, you know?
Because while all those well-disciplined Chinese junior high/high school guys were training and such, my American junior high son was...
... busily trying to make sure that there was at least one excellent photo of him with a water bottle suspended in midair, kind of like a UFO Flying Water Bottle:
So, yeah. If a well-trained Chinese Kung Fu Death Force comes hurling itself at my American son, they had darned well watch out for that water bottle, is all I'm saying.
(Insert here how different American and Chinese kids and schools are, etc.)
To be continued...