三個月的總結 – 3 months summary

Wow, I can’t believe it – it feels like last week I complained about Momzilla coming to stay with us and now, in less than a few days I image (45)will be on my way to San Francisco International Airport departing to Poland and let Sing deal with all the complaints she will have in last 10 days of her stay. She needs to complain in advance as her daily habit, if she doesn’t then some poor guy sharing a seat with her in the airplane will have to listen to her. But I don’t care, I suffered enough and because I’m free at last! Almost.

It sounds like I was happy to go back. Of course I am, I haven’t seen my family and friends since March 2013. Not to mention I’m craving for some good Polish food. I will stuff myself like pig, I’m telling you. Am I sad that she will be gone? You might be surprised, but actually I will be a little. She can be annoying but unless Sing’s not home she’s quite fun to live with. Unless you think about all the hand-washing and everyday swiping-whole-neighborhood ritual – then it sucks. Try running with a broomstick around your area in the morning, when you’re half asleep.

Anyway, I guess it’s a right time to share our conclusions, thoughts and lessons we have learnt over past few months. And this time every single one of us, including Momzilla herself (you don’t experience that everyday!) with a guest experience of Biscuit, the smelly cat. Yes, as a crazy cat lady I speak cat. I gathered quotes from our discussion from last few days and I’m happy to share them with us!


  • As I mentioned few posts ago I discovered more human and fun side of my mother in law. She had fun on playground, swinging and sliding. She said she’s happy which she never said to me before. There were many small situations that made me feel closer to her.
  • Despite everything I admire her how she can do so many things on her own. She spoke no English, yet she managed to pass visa interview and through the border with a stamp valid for 6 months. Last weeks I’ve been teaching her English and she’s making progress. Even when we’re done I see she used a translator and tries to study on her own. She’s very determined, not like most people in her age I knew before.image (48)
  • I don’t like to admit it but she’s a great cook – with leftovers I could only do fried rice but she can make a 3 dish meal from the same ingredients. In Hong Kong I thought ‘Of course, she’s on her territory, she knows what and where to buy. Try cooking abroad’. And I just cannot lie to you: I love it when she cooks, I hardly eat what I cook for husband (he is blindly in love with me therefore his taste buds have disappeared) but when she cooks I do a chopstick-fight for last piece of meat. But my tomato egg is tastier so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
  • She loves my husband more than I thought. There’s no love like parent’s love but she is very dedicated to him, not only in a spoiling kind of way, but when we had some leftovers she won’t eat them for her lunch if she knows he likes them. She will keep them and heat them up later for him.
  • Sing is a spoiled and he likes it. Sadly, but he really is – I’ve noticed he loves the competition between his mom and me. We both want to say ‘You do it better’ in case of cleaning or cooking so in the end he gets all the benefits.
  • Sometimes it’s just better to shut up. I wanted to burst out few times, but I just count to 10, ate my chocolate and let things go. She is too old to change, Sing is too spoiled to change so I just try to follow his philosophy ‘If you can’t change it or do anything about it, just ignore it’. That’s why they argue and I just sit there, enjoy my TV show and pretend they are not in the room.
  • I also learnt the most important thing: even after a huge fight, Momzilla won’t go and talk crap about me, she complains that’s a fact, but instead of making things worse she will try to make us come back to each other. One night we had a huge fight, like one of those where we go out the doors and leave the house, she kept talking to Sing to show what I tried to say (from a woman’s point of view) and asked him to come back home. She didn’t take his side, neither mine. She just tried us to make things right between us. I feel really touched when I think of that day. She is not against me, she is pro-us. She earned my greatest respect because I think a lot of mothers would take their child’s side.

Sing (quotes)

  • Seeing how you (that’s me, the good wife) how you take care of my mom showed me how bad son I am. I always believed in what she said, that it’s her to serve me and take care of me, that nodding my head means more than ‘Thank you’. I try to say ‘Sorry’ more often to her instead of letting things go.
  • I learnt that patience has it’s limits. Once your wife tolerates mother in law there is no chance for husband to do something that’s annoying or he will be dead. I felt like you were about to kill me. Quite often.
  • There is no way in the world I will live again in limited amount of space with the two of you. I made that mistake once and next time we are together I will be sure our bedrooms will be at least 2m away from each other.
  • If anyone makes the same mistake as me I would recommend to update your AV collection because it’s gonna be long 3 months. And believe me – your mother in law will know when you try to approach your wife. Cannot even cuddle because she will know image (46)and she will magically appear in the room. Always. Some kind of radar or something?
  • Even if you’re the only son and a Little Treasure you have no chance against the Uterus Union your mother and wife will have. Did I mention you both always talk at the same time? It’s better to give up, for your own sake. No man has ever won over woman.
  • If you ask me did I learn anything new about my mom? Besides the fact she actually really likes you – no. I know her so well, we always been close so there’s no surprise for me. But it improved my relationship with you, if you survived her and still are married to me, we will probably end up getting old and dying together (Charmer talking about the death again… and you don’t know if I come back from Poland, muahaha).

Momzilla (quotes)

  • Lina is a good wife, maybe doesn’t cook as well as me and you might get kidney problems (From Momzillian to English: that’s Momzillian idiom that I use too much soy sauce when Sing complains I hardly use it), but you won’t starve.
  • I still don’t like fur and everything but I regret not getting you (not getting for her Little Treasure) an animal, when you were young. Cats are so cute. Giant MiMi (no wonder when she feeds her for every meow) makes good companion. Maybe I should get one when I go back? (Can someone call like ASPCA or something?)
  • Young people are too naive trusting washing machines (insert a death stare at me). It might smell nice but it’s never clean enough.
  • Video games are not waste of time. Before you played your games, your sister played hers. Now our family plays together. So fun!

Biscuit (translated from cat, I hope nothing got lost in the translation)

  • You shall not trust Outside Humans. Outside Human dressed in a red cape will try to take you away. I shall sing the song of my people until Mommy or Hairless Food Dispenser comes to rescue me. Meow Meow Meow.
  • Despite being incredibly dangerous, Outside Human in the red cape seems to show appreciation for my singing. If I sing long enough, noms of gratitude will appear in food dish.
  • Outside Human will protect Mommy from being violated by Hairless Food Dispenser. If Mommy is crushed by him I will sing until Outside Human shows up to save her. Outside Human seems to be kind for it’s own kind.

In the end, despite weird complaints, obsession about cleaning and terrorizing love of my life a.k.a. Biscuit, she is quite fun to be with. image (47)Our place felt more alive, I wouldn’t want to live like that but I wish our families live closer, see each other once a week, maybe a month. I would get crazy living a traditional Chinese family model, but being together as a family, doing simple things like playing cards or video games, is really pleasurable. And I cannot deny, even if he doesn’t want to admit it, he is happy to be close to her. O also hope you enjoyed my Momzilla-series.

See you next year, Momzilla.
But for now I will enjoy my freedom, muhahaha.

How is your relationship in the family? Do you think you could stand your in-laws for 3 months? Would it make all of you closer or further to each other? Share your opinions, stories and funny anecdotes :)
Lina has no master. Lina is a free wife, and Lina has come to eat all the snacks and meet friends! :)

至死不渝 – till death do us part

Or Momzilla. But no, no - it won’t be a post about her. Maybe a little bit. I usually joke around or try to laugh about things around me… not today. Why so serious, all of a sudden? image

Let me tell you this. As a wife of industrial engineer I start to see the world in his way. And interracial, intercultural and international relationships are little bit like industrial engineering- you need to find the easiest and most efficient way to make that relationship work. Therefore you plan your future – you ask yourself questions like ‘Where are we going to live?’, ‘Where should we spend next holidays?’ or ‘Whose parents we should visit this time’. I think I can say it’s bit more difficult for long distance couples to make plans for future.

Since we already got rid of problems like ‘What will happen to our relationship, can we make this thing work?’, we slowly settle our next few years: new house, my 9484_0c56comeback to school, maybe even a baby in 2-3 years (no, Momzilla, not 2-3 children). But Sing being Sing cannot make it normal. His future plans are far beyond that point when we might have a child. He already wonders what happens when I die. He told me he thought of it since we started to date (why didn’t I run away?)…
Gee, thanks Honey. That’s… creepy.

The very first time we talked about it was after watching Disney-Pixar’s ‘UP’. If you haven’t seen it, it starts with 8 minutes of love story between Carl and Ellie that ends up with her sickness and death. She was still alive when my brave and emotionally stable at-that-time-boyfriend cried in my arms that he doesn’t want me to die. Even until today anything connected to that 8 minutes, including soundtrack is forbidden unless I want to make him cry and I’m pretty sure since I put a graphic from UP he won’t even read this post. Just imagine your face when Mufasa died and make it 10 times more painful. I even asked him:

- Babe, why do you do that? 
- To make my pain smaller once you or anyone else around me dies.
- So in your mind you didn’t kill only me but also the rest of our families?
- No, not my sister. She’s lucky, she will live longer than anyone.

I know what you think ‘Why?’ and ‘You still can just stay in Europe, hidden away’. Don’t worry, I sometimes felt my husband is creepy, you’re not alone. But then few things happen in our lives including my surgery, few months ago we had a car accident that involved 5 cars (lucky for us it was just a hit from the back in the traffic jam) and a shooting in front of our house not longer image 2than 2-3 weeks ago. The three of us hid in the bathroom, the safest place, and I cried down on the floor that I don’t want to be here and I hate this place.

Those small things made me realize the thing that I tried to deny and joke about, my husband’s fears are not that stupid. Death can come suddenly. I remember when I felt the hit from the other car first thing I did, I looked at Sing if he’s fine. I didn’t know where the hit came from since I was playing with my phone and at that moment I was scared something can happen to him. Everyday he makes total of 50 miles to work and to come back home. When my dad had heart attack my mom was lucky to make it for the earlier bus, if she came with the regular one my dad might not be here today. Coincidence or fate, I don’t know, but I know it can happen to anyone, anytime.

And here we are with our intercultural, interracial and international, far from hometowns marriage problem. If something like that happens, what’s next? Right after marriage my parents moved to South part of Poland, leaving their families 300 km away up North. Today I can see how much trouble for them is to visit the family or go to family’s graves. I remember there was even a period when they couldn’t go back for a couple of years. If 300 km can cause so much trouble, what about us? Polish-Hong Kong couple living in the US. There are many questions we asked each other, what we tried to discuss them. Have you wondered about those:

  • If we don’t have a child, will our families keep in touch?image 3
  • If we have one – how will the contact look like? 
  • Where will be the person buried? My parents want me to be with them in Poland. Sing wants to be buried with me that would mean his parents would need to come all the way to Poland to be with him.
  • If it’s Sing the one to die, can I agree to let his parents take him back to Hong Kong? And if I die, should I join him, as his last will, despite that my dad should not fly for so many hours?
  • Is it fair to expect Sing’s parents to be the one flying since they have more money, more time and less heart disease in the family?
  • If they decide to leave Sing with me, how can he be buried as non-Christian in a Christian cemetery? 
  • If both of us are dead, but we have a child, which family gets the custody? 

I try to see life as it is today and not to worry about tomorrow, but I feel it’s a good thing to settle those matters as early as we can reach consensus. We will be dead, but there will be people in grief after us. I don’t want to give any of my loved ones any more trouble or pain. I also don’t want our families to separate no matter what the future brings. I think that what scares me the most…

Are we the only one thinking about such things instead of ‘carpe diem’? Any advice you would have for us? I’m really curious about your take on this topic. And, oh God, we are pretty weird couple, but hey, that’s just life :)

寵壞的孩子 – spoiling your son

As you might have noticed Momzilla has been my inspiration for past few weeks. image (42)She’s an endless source of  anecdotes, funny situations or frustration. She could have a book written about her, later a movie based on the book and children would play with tiny Momzilla-action figures. She’s a silent contributor to My Hong Kong Husband. Same today – unaware how big impact she has.

In my country we say that no one can spoil you as much as grandparents. Momzilla goes one step further with her life-long motto ‘Don’t raise your son for a husband to another girl, let her deal with it’. That’s how I’m married to a 12 year old trapped in a body of 28 years old man.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband even with all his weird and often childish behavior, but I’m pretty sure Momzilla deep inside denies that his actually a grown up man and still spoils him. Sing is not spoiled, but he is being spoiled. image (40)Quite confusing, isn’t it? She luckily didn’t have much impact on him with all the spoiling she does to him, but it doesn’t mean there was a day she stopped trying.

But what can I know, since I’m not a mother? Maybe one day I will be a crazy Momzilla myself. Because of that, with Momzilla’s experience, we a  made a short guide for girls who might one day be mothers-in-law themselves:  how to raise and keep happy son and make sure he will drive his future wife crazy. Might be useful for guys as well.

  • Don’t teach him any housework. His significant other will be happy to do all the things for him. She should be thankful she can clean dishes that touched Little Treasure’s mouth.
  • If the son learns a bad habit of doing house chores from his friends be sure to show him completely opposite way of doing them. In future, the wife will be so upset with his performance she will do the chores for him.
  • One and only time ask him to buy veggies down the street. Later when he grows up he will use it as an argument ‘I don’t behave like a 10 year old, I had chores!’. a89d6195f8d42f4be949f6c8cd5c8924
  • Your recipes should stay secret. Share them with your daughter in law, but make sure you hide one important ingredient so the food she makes for him will have all the nutrition but will never be as good as yours and you won’t need to worry that your son will break your heart saying ‘It’s even better than my mom’s!’. Profit.
  • Whenever you come to see him, buy him expensive clothes that can only be washed by hands. Lots of them. That will not only prove your love towards your Little Treasure, but will also make him used to higher life standard so he will spend more money on himself. But wait, there’s more! Person who will do the laundry will be your daughter in law, now busy with all the things she has to clean by hands she won’t interfere with your private mother-son time.
  • Overreact whenever there’s a tiny boo boo. Doesn’t matter if he hit a corner with his toe or broke all of his bones. Always overreact, once his alone with his wife he will think she doesn’t care much. Plus it will make him look really annoying in DIL’s eyes. Remember to leave a list of impossible to find Chinese medicines and enjoy your time alone with Little Treasure when DIL is running around the city trying to find it. Then complain about buses’ fares. Double profit.
  • Don’t celebrate anything. Everyday since a birth of Little Treasure is a celebration therefore there’s no need to make any other day more special than the other. Little Treasure Pass that philosophy to Little Treasure and watch disappointed face of his significant other when she hears about it. image (41)
  • Tell him he’s a Little Treasure everyday. Little treasure is the biggest treasure other woman can have so teaching him about the gifts is unnecessary. Future daughter in law should be happy to get anything more than him, since he is already a dream come true and ultimate goal of love life. If your boy disobeys and insist on a gift for his love interest be sure that the gift is to benefit him, not her. Two cooking books in a row should be good enough. Your little prince will be always full and happy.
  • Make him dislike chocolate and other desserts. Let him fall in love with onion and garlic. Besides the variety of the fragrance his future girl won’t be able to enjoy any afternoon tea with him seeing his upset-about-chocolate face.
  • If you made a mistake in your life and your Little Treasure didn’t follow your rules, for example he tries to help at home, run after him and takeover his task. Use force if needed. In the last stadium of ‘Good Husband’ disease you might also need to raise your voice, but sometimes you need to be brutal to the one you love. If he helps in your presence, God knows what he does when you’re not there.

image (39)You might wonder how I manage to stay sane. Don’t worry, Sing helps me a lot, after all the things that happened to me and us I’ve reached Zen or Nirvana or whatever calm state of mind someone can have. I’m like a lotus flower on a calm water. I’m like a train full of meditating monks. I also eat Sing’s part of the desserts so I’ve got that going for me.

Can you think of any other advice for future mothers-in-law? ;) Have you been spoiled as a child? Or maybe someone you know? Share your stories and opinions! :)

心理月經 – period brain or a story about complaints

During last 7 weeks of Momzilla’s staying here we both improved our relationship. image (37)We talk more. Or I should say we do everyday charades to communicate. Language barrier between us gets smaller and we are able to get rid of that awkward silence.
I can even say that we feel quite comfortable in each other’s presence. So why I still call her ‘Momzilla’?

Well, since I can understand more of what she’s saying I can understand that 90% of what she’s saying are some kind of complaints. Smaller or bigger, but there’s no day without complaining. Most of the time, just like my husband, we pretend to listen, nod our heads, do the ‘hmmm’ sound and let her talk, talk, talk. That’s how she was, how she is today and probably after her death she will haunt Sing and me just to complain how afterlife sucks and that we’re not burning her tasty paper-food. I’m used to it, but my life was easier when I had no clue what she’s complaining about.

I’m a patient person, I have a love-needy husband, always-not-satisfied father and forever-hungry cat, trust me – I know what patience it. I also know she’s pretty lonely so I try not to get bothered by her and just let her say things out, but there’s a time of the month NONE of us can handle the tension in the house. That’s where we come to the ‘period brain’.

You may ask me: what is ‘period brain’. According to the Urban Dictionary ‘When bitches be going crazy due to their menstrual cycle. Periodbrain may cause: irrational thoughts, spontaneous crying, extreme anger, random freak-outs, freak-outs over boys, the creation of unrealistic scenarios and just pure bitchiness‘. Sadly, I have to agree, I have it too. Last week I called my husband a ‘butt hole’ and literally cried to him that he doesn’t love me anymore because he didn’t want to buy Snowy Moon Cakes from Hong Kong. Now when I think of it 35USD plus tax for few moon cakes is pretty expensive but at that time I was affected by my period-brain and just wanted that pack. To be honest I still want it but I’m not bitching around about it anymore. To be fair, how a girl cannot burst when a guy says ‘I know you feel bad’… You know nothing Jon Snow! You don’t even get a joke because you don’t watch ‘Game of Thrones’.
Now you know why I laugh when people tell him that he is the lucky one to have me…

2013-08-24-20-06-44I can bet some of you are like ‘Lina, but why you say both of you have the period brains, when your mother in law is in the age she probably doesn’t even remember how it is?’. The answer is simple: I’m having a period that means she doesn’t have a grandchild. Well, to be honest I don’t know how on earth we should even proceed to conceiving one when she’s sleeping behind a room divider and feeds my husband with onion and garlic for every meal. If I get pregnant then I would suggest you look up in the sky, because last time something like that happened we had a new era coming.

So with all the pain of not having a grandchild she has a week long complaint festival and longer it lasts, the complaints get more ridiculous. All until I’m ready again to become an incubator of her dreams. Because of the above I spent last few weeks writing down what she’s saying and made my list of most annoying, bizarre or silly complaints Momzilla made since she’s here. Enjoy!

  • Do you want to make a grandchild? Doesn’t have to be a grandson (in the rhythm of ‘Do you want to build a snowman’ from Frozen). She will approach me while I try to eat just to show me videos of ladies during their labor and when I ask Sing to tell her it kinda kills my appetite and she will start nagging that we’re getting old and sooner I have a child sooner he can get more tax deduction. You read it right.
  • No washing machine can gain my trust. Only hand washing can make your clothes clean. Well, I can walk in my dirty washing machine-made laundry. But I don’t blame her, my husband’s grandma first washes things in hands then puts them to the washing machine.image (36)
  • Bus fare is too damn high! Let’s just walk that 24 km to Sing’s work. We will save 10 dollars and waste 5 hours of our lives. Totally worth it. Don’t mind you can die on the way there. The only fair price is the same amount she pays in Shanghai – 2 RMB which is 32 cents. Don’t be fooled, buses in Hong Kong are quite expensive too!
  • Chinese babies are not pretty. Where do you have your eyes, woman? The only beautiful Asian child is Sing, not even his sister, only him himself. Beautiful, smart, dream of every girl. She gets really upset when she is told that our child might look more Asian than white. It will have only half of the God’s genes so it at least should be blond with bright eyes and chubby cheeks which is the only acceptable ‘cute baby look’.
  • That pork bone has no meat. She would stand LITERALLY for 10 minutes in front of a meat stand in our local Chinese mall and complaint to us and the guy who works there how American malls give no meat on the bones, how bad the soup will be and how big portions are back in Asia. Later she will sit in the back of our car and keep talking about that pork bone. Every single time she will eat the soup made out of those bones she will also complain about the very same thing. It gives around 1h total of complaining about stupid bones. To make it more funny she doesn’t like meat at all.
  • I want to eat Western food but not that. Italian? No, too cheesy and looks like mud. Polish? Too meaty. Czech? Too heavy. Greek? Too raw. And who eats lamb? American? Too much sodium, but burger from In-N-Out is acceptable when starving. French? Is garlic bread french? Nah, let’s eat Asian food. You waste an hour of your life to find what she wants to eat and that’s even before entering the restaurant. You can only imagine how much it takes once she gets the menu.
  • Why people look at me like that when I approach their children? With her granny-needs she approached random
    Luckily, young me matches her standards and gives a hope for a blond grandbaby

    Luckily, young me matches her standards and gives a hope for a blond grandbaby

    people on the street, in shops or in IKEA, stares at their babies for a while and wants to play with them. She doesn’t even have a feeling she should first ask if she can, later she complaints why people look at her like she was a weirdo. Somehow she cannot understand ‘You cannot touch babies without a permission’ – not in English, Shanghainese neither Cantonese. But she will complain it’s not as nice as in Asia (where she doesn’t look at babies – go back to complaint #4)

  • Why do you tip so much? No, Sing doesn’t tip anyone like he was at least 李嘉誠. But Momzilla is used to 10% that is already charged in most of the places she eats in Hong Kong. If it’s not a fancy place she will complain for every tip that is over 10%. Her shanghainese brain has calculator inside, when it goes to counting spending or prices she’s faster than any computer made by a human. If you’re not fast enough to hide the receipt, be prepared for an hour long ride with a 1-record CD ‘Why you tip so much’ by Momzilla and The Gang.

Most of the time I ignore it.  During ‘haunt for red October’ I used to freak out and put my husband in very uncomfortable position between me and her, now I try to laugh about it because two crazy ladies in 30m2 is more than enough for one Hong Kong man.

Do you have anyone like Momzilla in your family? Do you agree or disagree with her? Share your stories and anecdotes, I would love to read them :)

Grace的客串文章 – Guest Post from Texan in Tokyo: Top 7 Perks of Getting Married Young

I’m so honored to present you the very first ever guest post written by lovely Grace from Texan in Tokyo about perks of getting married young. I absolutely love it and I’m also little bit jealous – ‘Why couldn’t I think of it?!’ because when I was reading it for the first time I could relate to it. But see it yourself and enjoy, everyone!

I fell in love with Lina’s “My Hong Kong Husband” blog for a lot of reasons. She has a funny, relatable way of writing, she shares all the ups and downs of her relationship with Sing, and her posts can teach you so much about Hong Kong Culture.

But the main reason I fell in love with this blog was because, deep down inside, I felt like she was just like me.Untitled2

Let me explain- we have the same basic story, with slightly different details.
Both Lina and I got married very young.
Both of us are white, from a “Western country” (she is from Poland, I am from Texas).
Both of us have a husband that is Asian (her husband is from Hong Kong, mine is from Japan)
Both of us have lived in our husband’s home country.
Both of us run blogs where we talk very publically about our life, our intercultural marriage, and our time living abroad.

In my past two years a blogging, I’ve had a lot of people tell me they thought it was irresponsible that I got married so young. People said things like “you’re wasting your potential” or “you will wake up in five years and regret it.”

I think comments like that are a bit rude. People have all sorts of negative stereotypes for “young brides” or “young couples,” but most of the time, those stereotypes are completely untrue.

My husband and I’s marriage wasn’t rash or rushed. He proposed on our one year anniversary; we got married one year later. We had plenty of time to think about it. By the first month of engagement, we had clear six month, one year, three year, and five year goals. We had both graduated from college, he had a wonderful job in Tokyo, and my freelancing career was taking off. We were financially independent.

We knew what we were getting into. I wasn’t pregnant. It wasn’t for the sake of a “green card.”

UntitledThrough my marriage, I was able to write the book “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book” about our daily life in Japan. I draw comics about our life as an interracial and intercultural couple in Japan, about being broke newlyweds in Tokyo, and about being a freelancer abroad.

I am currently running a campaign to fund this book – if you would like to pick up a copy/PDF of the comic book, please follow this link.
I love the fact that I got married young – not only because I get to spend more time with my husband, but for all sorts of other reasons. So I wanted to write a post on My Hong Kong Husband about all the good points of getting married young:

7 Perks of Getting Married Young

  1. You get to “grow up” together and grow old together

Growing up is hard. It can be scary. And even though I’m married, I still have a lot of growing up to do.Untitled3

Thankfully, I have Ryosuke right beside me. He is my best friend. We can talk about our fears and problems together… and of course we are changing. But we are changing together.

  1. Marriage is fun!

I love being married. I love being able to turn down work parties (“My husband and I are going hiking on Saturday, sorry!). I love being able to wake up next to Ryosuke every morning and snuggle with him every night.

I love getting to do “married couple” things like pick out shelves from Ikea, brainstorm baby names, plan biking trips around Japan, and using a game of poker to divide the chores.

  1. We have plenty of time to enjoy married life before even thinking about children.

I love traveling. I enjoy backpacking through foreign countries, meeting all sorts of new people, and trying weird/unique food. However, I also really want to have a large family sometime in the future.

I want four kids; my husband wants three.

And because we got married so young, we’ve had plenty of time to travel, eat crazy food, meet unique people, try a bunch of hobbies, and have fun as a “couple” before even thinking about having children. I love it.

  1. Less binge drinking, partying, and crying myself to sleep

I didn’t date very much (like, at all) when I was younger. I thought it was silly how people would get so invested in a person – to the extent that they lose their own self, their goals, their grades, and their social life.

I didn’t want to be that kind of person… so I chose not to date anyone. And I was pretty lonely. By the time I got to college, I was going to parties once a month, drinking more than I should, and crying alone in my room because no one would love me I needed to be loved.

Then I met my husband. He broke my “no dating in college” rule. And as we ‘grew up together, I became a much happier, more secure person.

  1. The best years of your life are spent with your best friendUntitled5

I’m not sure if your twenties are actually the best years of your life. But I’ve had more fun in my three years with my husband than in the decade before it.

I love my twenties.

  1. It is a nice security net

I am a very anxious person. I used to have panic attacks because I thought people might not like me. Or that they were judging me and laughing at me behind my back.

As I got older, I realized that yes, people were talking about me behind my back. That’s what people do.

And then there’s my husband – he just doesn’t care about any of that. He is one of the most carefree and confident people I have ever met. He doesn’t understand my anxiety… but he has helped me find ways to cope with it.

In the end, my husband has the only opinion that matters. People can find a way to hate anything… and my husband has taught me that it’s so much more rewarding to just “do my thing” than to worry about what other people think.

Even if everyone else thinks the dress I’m wearing looks stupid, as long as both my husband and I think it looks cute, I’m ok.

  1. I get to call him my “husband.”

Untitled4I like saying the word “husband.” I like typing the word “husband” on my blog. I love being able to draw about our life as a “married couple” in Tokyo.

I have no idea why. It’s just so thrilling every time I really sit down and think “Yes, we’re married. Forever. We get to spend the rest of our lives together.”
Thanks for reading! I run my own blog, “Texan in Tokyo” where I draw comics and blog about daily life as the white wife of a Japanese salaryman.
If you’re interested, check it out my book “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book
Or my blog, “Texan in Tokyo
And my Facebook

So what do you think guys? Do you agree with Grace? Do you know someone who got married young? Share your thought and stories! And big ‘Thank you’ to Grace for being part of this blog and her great post! :)

語言障礙 – language barrier

I think I can bet on that aside of culture differences, international relationships mostly struggle with language barrier. Lion’s share of the AMWF relationships I know communicate in English or in a native language of one of the partners, but in 95% of the cases there’s at least one non-native speaker.image (35)

Probably you’ve been in a situation you just don’t know how to express your feelings. It’s especially annoying during the argument, in my mind I have so many good points, I could easily crush my husband with them but I just don’t know how to speak up. Then I make upset face and win anyway, but I wish he knew how brilliant my argumentation can be.
Or sometimes I just go ‘full-blond‘ and ask my husband like I was Peggy Bundy

You know what I mean… Babe, you know, that flat things we put food on?
That’s dining table.

One thing is when it’s only between you and your partner. You can always say ‘That’s not what I meant’ or ‘Give me a second, I don’t know how to put it’ or simply just make up a word or phrase, but it gets really bad when it comes to you and your in-laws.

image (33)My biggest fear when Momzilla came here was that I won’t be talking to her at all. It took us two hours to go from San Francisco International Airport to our home and we didn’t talk at all. Two hours of awkward silence. To make things worst, Sing goes out to work at 8AM, comes back after 7PM – strangely, since she came he has much more overtime at work… That basically gives me 55 hours a week of time alone with her.
At the beginning I tried to go shopping every other day but since AC Transit changed the fare I cannot do it more than once a week. So what two people who technically don’t speak the same language (and I mean have a real proper talk, not writing or using a dictionary) can do?

As you might notice I’m studying, more or less, Cantonese and I’m not a native English speaker, but I can write well enough for you to understand me. My mother-language is Polish, which gives me ‘cute accent‘ – at least according to people in 85C Bakery in Newark, but they might say it since I’m their faithful client also known as the Black Forest Grapefruit Green Tea Lady.
My mother-in-law speaks Cantonese, but with very heavy accent, that I’m the only one who image (32)cannot understand, because she had a 2 hours long conversation with a Hong Kong lady she met on the street. She also reads traditional signs, but she’s native for Shanghainese and raised with simplified Chinese.

Years of living in Hong Kong taught her British alphabet so she has some base, comparing to the relatives in China. I remember once Sing’s outside-grandma had a talk on the phone and had to give us some passport information, but since she didn’t know the alphabet she just described the letters. I lost it when I heard ‘beede’ (sorry, that’s the closest pronunciation I could make) which is ‘queen‘ in Shanghainese. Yes, grandma was describing ‘Q‘ you can find in the stack of cards.

I kinda admire her – she went to Hong Kong with Sing’s father not knowing Cantonese, then she went to Europe to see my family not knowing English. Her flight was cancelled because of the bad weather and she managed to stay informed without our help. She even got a visa to America and passed the immigration with just a letter we wrote for her (if you are in similar situation with your family click here to get a sample of the letter you can give to your relatives). That’s impressive for a 58 year old lady.

So there we are. Awkward and silent. Can’t be worse, can it? All until she picked up a book, ‘Cantonese for everyone’ by Chow Bun Ching – great book given by my dear friend – that includes ‘Immediately Useful Expressions’‘. She went through it, pointed at us and said ‘Me Gwóngjàu Wah, image (31)you English‘. Since that time we go with the rule ‘One day, one phrase’. She stopped to teach me speaking Cantonese, since according to my husband I’m killing it with double-non-native-accent, but she helps me in writing and everyday encourages me to spend little time either reading an articles or working on my handwriting. Momzilla on the other hand made a huge progress.

Would you believe that a woman in her age can be so eager to study? Everyday after lunch she grabs the book and ask me to teach her. She cannot say full sentences yet, we still go with simple words, but it’s just adorable when she walks around the house or our neighborhood, points at things and say ‘cat’, ‘sun’, ‘bus’. She greets my husband with ‘How is it going?’ everytime he comes back from work. Of course she also learnt things like ‘Chocolate no’ or ‘Cold no’, she wouldn’t be herself if she didn’t. Now she can deny my right for a dessert in 3 languages.

The thing I was scared the most actually brought us together. We spend more time together, we have more interaction that also includes sign language. We no longer try to avoid each other. I feel much more relaxed being around her and I feel closer. It also gives us a good laugh, I’m pretty sure even thought she didn’t say that, but I could see a smile on her face when I mispronounce things. It’s a shameful confession, but my Shanghainese pronunciation is much better than Cantonese.  In 2012 I said so many times ‘Don’t know, don’t eat, full’ that I became fluent in those 3 phrases.

So there’s my advice for anyone who’s struggling with the same thing as I did: try teaching them your language, the language you use to speak with your partner or make a language exchange! Any kind of phrase book could work. It can only make things better, even if your relationship with in-laws won’t get better at least you will know more and you might even be able to know if and what they talk about you! Or at least kill that silence, you can always point at something and teach them a new word. I’m so lucky and glad Momzilla thought about it because it’s week 5 of her stay here, and even if she’s sometimes annoying and just being a Momzilla, I start to feel I will miss her once she goes back to Asia.

At the end I want to share my favorite mispronunciation by Momzilla. Luckily she cannot share with you how bad my Cantonese-speaking skills are, but I’m pretty sure she could say the same thing about me. God bless there is no need for voice input on the phone and I can just write things because I would be screwed! In the end I think it’s super-cute and sometimes super-funny!image (30)

  • Take care – taker
  • University – newspaper (to be clear – she still doesn’t know a word ‘newspaper’)
  • Cat – catSSSSSS
  • Mainland – Maidan
  • How – wh…, term used to describe a prostitute…
  • Question – cusion
  • Island – iron

Was a language barrier ever a problem to you? Any funny or interesting story you can share? Can’t wait to hear them! :)

Good Chinese Wife書評- review of Good Chinese Wife

Probably most of the countries has its own version of phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover‘, but in this case the beautiful outside hides very interesting and valuable story inside. 10254139_739975989381075_1896661005_n

Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong by Susan Blumberg-Kason tells the story of the author, how she moved to Hong Kong for her studies and where she met a man from Mainland China who was supposed to be the love of her life. Susan and Cai fall in love, get married but soon after things start to slowly fall apart. Even moving to the US and having a child doesn’t change the situation. First thinking it’s just all caused by ‘culture differences’ she tries to be a perfect Chinese wife and makes excuses for his behavior, complaints,  no support from his side, until one day she finds a strength to get out of that toxic relationship.

I’m not a professional writer neither even a native English speaker but I hope I can put my thoughts about this book here. I took it very personally for few reasons.

First of all for last couple of years I also tried to be a Good Chinese Wife, but just like Susan I almost lost the real me. She gave me strength to step up to my mother in law if I didn’t like her behavior.

Second thing is most of her story is settled in Hong Kong and San Francisco/Bay Area – places that for last few years been my home. When I read the book I pictured her story with the memory of those places I have today. I even once told my husband while driving through San Francisco ‘Susan used to live somewhere around here’.
Even more – Susan makes it even more personal by posting her old pictures on her personal page (click here) and Instagram (click here) so you can have a look on her infamous San Francisco’s house or her wedding venue in Hidden River. I read many books in my life but it’s the first time author let me be so close to her and let me see her world, not only leave me with words and imagination.

Third and most important thing is the book itself is in my opinion an eye-opener. For people who  think, just like Susan’s ex-father in law said ‘愛屋及烏 – Love my house, love the crow on it‘ which basically has a meaning like English proverb ‘Love me, love my dog’. If you don’t like something, don’t force yourself or try finding excuses but stand up for what you believe and want. Happy marriage is made from two happy people, not from one tip-toeing around hoping the other will be happy.
For those who cannot draw the line and hide behind ‘It’s just a cultural thing, it will be better in future’ – it might be, but the other person has to want the change. You cannot love for both of you. go1
Or for people like me, sometimes being ‘Cai’ – I used to complain to my husband how I dislike living here, but then I thought of my husband as Susan and me as Cai. Was he sharing the same feelings as her? Was I so heartless and I didn’t think enough of someone who supports me everyday?

It’s all possible because the story of her life is so well written. Despite of language barrier I didn’t have a problem not only reading her memoir, but I easily could feel her emotions. When she was happy, when she was worried, when she was scared, I could feel all those emotions inside. I read the book 3 times and each time I could feel the same thrill.

If I had to pick my favorite part of the book it would be… everything from the beginning to the end. But the part that is still stuck in my mind is when Susan decided she needs and she wants to make a change. You can read about a change from a sweet, young girl who did everything to make her husband happy, even if it meant giving up her own happiness, to a brave, self-confident and happy woman.

That’s why I cannot call her story as a ‘love story without happy-end’. She made huge changes in her life, grew up, set an example for women in similar situation, yet she still was able to give her son a normal, happy home. Not every woman can make it.

Who would I recommend it for? Everyone. For someone who wants to read a love story that is not another ‘Harlequin’ book and has a plot twist. For someone who wants a little bit of action. For those who wants to know more about interracial and intercultural relationship. For those who need some strength and encouragement to finally get out of a relationship that slowly kills. Or simply if you just want to read something interesting.
But maybe not for husbands: mine read it, loved it but now he’s using Cai as an excuse for situations like

Babe, I want chocolate
It’s 2 A.M., go to sleep
You’re a pig. I will never cook for you again. Tomorrow, at least.
Then read the book again and be thankful I’m not like that

But jokes aside - there’s everything for everyone in Susan’s memoir. I hope it will turn out to be a huge success because stories like her’s deserve it. Maybe in a year or two I will be able to re-read it again, this time in my own language.
Susan, 多謝你寫一本偉大的書, thank you for your great and inspirational book. I wish you lots of success.

Susan-Blumberg-Kason-author-photoAs for you, my dear Readers, you can win your own copy in giveaway organized by goodreads.com or order it online on:
Barnes & Noble

About the author Susan Blumberg-Kason spent her childhood in suburban Chicago dreaming of the neon street signs and double-decker buses of Hong Kong. As soon as she was old enough, she moved there to study. Her memoir, Good Chinese Wife (Sourcebooks, 2014), recounts her years in a Chinese family as a wife, daughter-in-law, and mother.

奶奶是一個女巫 – my mother in law is a witch

As you may (or may not) know I had a pleasure to meet my husband’s parents just month and a half before we got married. They knew about me, but we never really spoke to each other so it was pretty shocking for them to have an extra person in the family. Non of us had time to get used to each other. It’s been little bit over two year (yes, next Sunday Sing and I will have our second wedding anniversary!) but I cannot get over one feeling: my mother-in-law is a witch!image (25)

No, not that sexy-Chinese demon-witch, neither a witch from European fairy tales. Cross out witchy-mom-in-law from Polish jokes as well. In fact her look is pretty innocent and when she laughs you could even think she’s nice. As a matter of fact last few weeks she’s less annoying than my husband, but going back to the main topic: why I think she’s a witch?

In those past two years I’ve noticed there are weird things happening whenever we are about to meet or we see each other. Those thing don’t only happen to me but she also has impact for the environment. Let me show you some of the examples.

  • Weather gets crazy. Hong Kong people are used to having typhoons every now and then, but T10-typhoon is not really common. Just few days after we got married T10, Vincent, hit Hong Kong. I guess her sadness over losing son had a little delay. But it wasn’t the first time – last time T10 hit was in 1999. That was the same year Sing got his first Internet connection and discovered his first ghost-girl love, Hilary Duff. Also, back in Poland, my hometown Wroclaw is cold during the winter time but it’s not really often when the weather gets under -15C during the day. I don’t know the reason but whenever my husband went there during the winter time he never had a  chance to feel so much cold. Actually, if that’s a fact, I might now be a candidate to the Nobel Prize: Momzilla and her influence on global warming.
  • Animals are dying. That’s pretty sad but in 2012 when Momzilla came to visit my family, few days before her departure image (27)my beloved dog died. Yes, of course she was 14.5 years old which for dachshund is a lot and she was sick already for a while but I think she knew what’s happening. It wasn’t only her – the time Momzilla mentioned she wants to apply for a visa to visit us in America I found a dying bird in a backyard. Since she’s hear we also had a dead opossum right in front of our doors and I found a dead skunk. They all knew.
  • Spiders, spiders everywhere. I’m afraid of spiders, not just scared but I literally yell like I was hit by a car. They are disgusting, have big butts and way too many legs. Not to mention they are just little spies of devil walking around the world – I see no other reason why they would be created. And guess how many spiders I’ve seen last week? Four, including one in the shower (!) and one in our so-called bedroom. I didn’t want to put the picture, but you just need to see how big those bastards are. Maybe if those were the tiny ones I can easily smash with my slipper, but NO – let’s make sure daughter-in-law gets a heart attack when perverted spider watches her taking a shower.
  • Bruises all over me. First I thought that maybe I’m sick. Then I thought I might be actually dying. Later, after not sleeping for a whole night, I thought it was my husband who causes all those bruises when he dreams of being a horse. Seriously, no other explanation – either he’s a horse or Usain Bolt. Now I think it’s all because of her, maybe she’s making some potions. Or maybe I just need to be more active around the house so I don’t look so lazy, therefore I hit myself more often and look like I had a meeting with Mike Tyson. Good that at least I still have my ear.
  • Cats can sense paranormal activity. And evil. Biscuit is not the most active cat you will ever meet. To be honest, she’s one sweet lazy-ass, the only time she’s active is when she hears the food being moved. Aside of that maybe she will catch a fly or two, but most of her time is spent on the bed/floor/surface that allows her to lay down and sleep. Since Momzilla is here not only Biscuit has been active and running around. Whenever she tries to take kitty on her arms, Biscuit starts to meow and her pupils get huge. Unless Momzilla has some snack in her hand – Biscuit would sell her soul to the devil himself for some dried squid. Or maybe she has already done that…
  •  She has healing powers. Besides of course the power of hot water that can cure anything. Most of you 9on-coincidence-i-think-notprobably has seen a typical Chinese knife that looks like the owner was about to butcher someone? My mother-in-law has one too, luckily she still test it on me, but she cut her finger once. It wasn’t just a mark, but a deep, deep cut. I remember Sing and I almost got a heart attack, we left her with father-in-law and went straight to pharmacy downstairs for 雲南白藥. Did she went to a doctor? Nope, she just covered her finger, put some H2O2, maybe sprayed her finger once or twice with 雲南白藥 and she doesn’t even have a scar in that place. I hit my knee and I have a 3 cm scar there.
  • She speaks some kind of evilish (not elvish). Or simply Shanghainese, a language of the Dark Lord, Lord Vader and Momzilla. Often heard by witnesses of the exorcism. I can bet a slice of Black Forest Cake that it’s a fact – if you ever heard Shanghainese you would know I’m right and I would get fat with all the cake. ;)
    It is also said that witches talk to themselves and she does that too. I mean, she probably talks to her son but he chooses to ignore it and all I see is a woman in chair talking and talking and talking. And even talking more. But I have to be fair, I talk to myself as well. Maybe she’s changing me into witch?!

Those are just few examples based on ‘How to spot a witch – XVII century guide’. Coincidence? I think NOT! American Horror Story, season 3, live in my living room.

Just in case: I don’t really believe she’s a witch, I guess it’s just stress makes me see more things happening around me when weimage (26) are about to stay together. Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to them, but since I always try to be perfect and ‘the best’ in her eyes it gives me a lot of pressure and my own mind says ‘Look, she has to be a witch. Or at least she’s cursing you. Trust me, I’m the same brain that told you if you eat a watermelon seed it will grow in your stomach. It’s all legitimate, I tell you’. Yes, it sure is and I’m a woman with a witch-in-law and a watermelon baby. Actually it would explain why after a meal I look like a Michelin commercial…

Do you have anyone like that in your family or around you? Or maybe you’re the unlucky person? Share your stories! :)

催生 – baby-mania

I cannot speak for every Asian family, but I can talk about my husband’s crazy family.

img-20130725-wa0000As a married girl I’m judged not only by my ability to take care of the house, in-laws and husband, but mostly I’m seen as someone whose destiny is to become a mother. In Sing’s family there is something I would call a ‘birthing standard‘ because I really don’t know how else I should describe it. For female you should at least have a long term fiance by the age of 25 (lucky for guys, there is no limit for them, they are the preservative to keep females young by marrying them). Checked. After a year of being married I should AT LEAST be pregnant. Of course with a boy, so the nutritious water won’t go to someone else’s farm.

This July it will be our second wedding anniversary and I’m not even close to call myself ‘mommy-to-be’. It’s not that I don’t like children and I don’t want to have them, it’s just at this point of my life I can play with them as an auntie, I can take care of them, but once they burst out crying – I’m leaving. That works like a birth control, because whenever our friend’s child is crying later that evening I’m like ‘Go away you sperm-bomb, today we cuddle tomorrow I’m pregnant‘. I just want to live my youth, accomplish things I wished to try, make our life more stable, besides Sing and I want to catch up with the time we’ve been in long distance relationship and we couldn’t just simply go on a date. If I get pregnant then OK, it won’t be a disaster, but neither of us thinks it would be a good idea to have a baby right now.

But it wouldn’t be so easy, would it? In our love triangle (me-Sing-Momzilla) there is one person who really, really, REALLY wants a new person in the family. Since you know it’s not me, neither Sing you can expect who is craving for a grandchild. Why am I even writing about it? Because few days ago she reached the age of 58 and went on full ‘future-grandma’ mode. She wants a grandchild so badly it leads to many weird, creepy or funny situations I want to introduce to you.

  • Auction. One baby, who gives more? Momzilla gives two babies. Will there be more? I see 3 babies in the back. Some people go to art auctions and use money. Momzilla has an auction, but instead of money she uses babies. Can you imagine I bargain with my mother-in-law about amount of children? You can only imagine how we show on our fingers the possible result, but it wasn’t that funny when she wished I gave a birth to 3 children… at once. So I don’t need to suffer that much. Well, if they have my hubby’s head size if one of them can make the way out the rest will just slide out. Add my big nose and huge feet and I will need a surgery.
  • YouTube videos. Remember when I was worried I will have nothing to talk about with her? I thought the problem will be solved when I introduced her to YouTube, write her down phrases to look for like ‘babies and cats’ or ‘funny babies’, but it actually created a monster. Grandmomster, I would say. She can watch those videos for almost 11 hours. Recently she found out a channel of Filipino-American couple and their daily life with a baby. From time to time she calls me to the room and shows the gesture of how she would pull the baby’s cheeks.
    According to morphthing.com this is how our baby would look like

    According to morphthing.com this is how our baby would look like

  • Creeper in the shopping mall. Or pretty much everywhere else. Momzilla has some special baby preferences, according to her Asian babies are not cute. Of course besides Sing, he is the most adorable child ever made. She likes the blondest babies. Is that even a word, the blondest? Anyway more blond the child is, more chances she will just suddenly stand and stare at it. I had to take her from IKEA’s children section because I was afraid someone will call security.
  • Expiration. In our family perfect age to give a birth is considered as 25, I’m ‘already’ 23, so sometimes I hear ‘expire’. Of course since I’m the person who will be pregnant she cannot say it about me – she says things like Sing is getting old (this year he will be 28), but I think in her heart she thinks like that about herself. Even if I give a birth at ‘the perfect age’ she will be 60. Less time with a grandchild, less strength to play and take care of. So everyday besides constant hearing a baby’s laugh out of her tab I see how she shows pregnant belly with her hand and says ‘Lina, BB’. Not like it gives me pressure or anything…
  • Pre-post-pregnancy surveying. As doing all of the above wasn’t too much recently during every meal she asks Sing to ask me how women in Poland take care of themselves before and after pregnancy, do we have a month to recover like in Asia, do we eat any special food, was my mom OK after giving a birth to me, who takes care of the child, doesn’t it damage the mother if she does things by herself, do you take a bath in Poland after you give a birth… and there’s like a billion more of that kind of questions. If you want you can share your experience with pre/post pregnancy period in the comment section! :)
  • Happy daughter-in-law is pregnant daughter-in-law. In my previous post I wrote that I’m getting along with Momzilla. It was even suspicious to me why she lets me win in the cards. Not only win, she will even make Sing lose just to see satisfied look on my face. She complains less, she doesn’t mind me eating Quadratini. I can even stay in my PJs until the very late afternoon and nothing will be reported as a complaint. And then I found out why – she knows that the only person who can give her a grandchild is me. I mean technically Sing has a sister, but let’s face it – she’s an elder Shanghainese lady, of course son is her #1, he will continue the family’s line and nutritious water will stay in our farm. I really love that phrase. So in order to hear ‘Na is pregnant’ she sacrifices herself. I’m not even mad, I’m impressed.
  • You give me a grandchild, I give you anything you need. Besides having an auction she recently tries to bribe me into having a baby. After countless arguments I why having a child in this moment wouldn’t be a great idea, I tried to be the most reasonable and asked my husband to translate ‘Mom, our life is not stable, we’re on a visa, we rent out a tiny flat in the house. It is not a good environment for a baby to grow up’. Cannot argue with such a good argument, can you? Oh yes you can, if you are a Momzilla. Since that day video-free time she spends on looking for houses in San Francisco, in Chinatown she collects those real estate magazines and browse the Internet. I guess my ‘I want to give a birth when we go back to Hong Kong’ somehow didn’t reach her ears…
  • BB, MiMi. I don’t know if it’s her grandma-instinct or she just doesn’t know how to handle or carry a cat, but recently she made friends with a Traitor, a.k.a. Biscuit. Traitor noticed that Momzilla doesn’t recognize when the kitty is hungry so any kind of meow is an occasion to get fed. In return Momzilla pets her and sometimes try to walk around with her in the arms, but she ends up holding Biscuit like it was a baby, moves her shoulders like you put a newborn to sleep. It’s cute, hilarious and little bit creepy at the same time. Especially if you could see Biscuit’s face.

My conclusion? Who has uterus has the power, even over Momzilla. hunxuebaobao8Now I only need to figure it out how should I have blond, green-eyed triplets, not like my husband’s dark hair and dark eyes made it already difficult. But jokes-aside. I think despite all of the pressure she gives me, she will be a great grandma. I’ve seen her with our landlord’s baby and I’ve seen by her actions she has a lot of love she would like to give to someone. But, at least for now, she has to show it to us and Biscuit.

Has any member of your family ever give you a pressure to have a child? How did you or how would you react in that kind of situation? Share your experience and opinions. Hopefully it will help not only me but also other people to handle it :)

和奶奶生活一週後的感想 – first week with Momzilla

Some of my new readers might not noticed the fact I’m Polish and Polish people love jokes about mother-in-law. Polish mothers-in-law can be really tough on their sons’ in law, so no wonder they come up with so many jokes about monsters-in-law. Just to make you little bit more familiar with Polish sense of humor, check those out:

Mother-in-law comes to visit daughter and son-in-law. He opens the door:
image (20)-O, mommy! How long will mom stay with us?
-Until I make you bored, son.
-So you won’t even come in?

What are ‘mixed feelings’?
When mother-in-law has accident in your car.

Man comes to the police station to report his mother-in-law was missing.
-When did she disappear?
- 3 weeks ago.
- Then why you’re reporting it now?
- Because I couldn’t believe in my luck.

You just can feel that love. But someone you don’t read about Chinese mothers-in-law and they are pretty good source of in-law jokes, at least mine is. And the one that belongs to Crazy Chinese Family (click here to read some awesome posts). She is THE CRAZY. Both of us got blessed with very specific moms-in-law. I already wrote little bit about her in my post ‘Tiger mother in law‘ but never really explained why my friend and I started to call her Momzilla. She deserves the title, believe me.

She’s really hard to please. That’s the most famous story I always tell and laugh about: in Hong Kong we went to eat out. I ordered a sandwich, they had hot dishes so it was obvious their food will come later. I started to eat mine, then they joined me. You don’t really have to be a Sherlock to figure out that I finished much faster than them. She later complained to Sing that I ate too fast which caused him a loss of face (!), but she also complained he ate too slow. Now we try to finish exactly at the time she puts her chopsticks down.

image (19)Try cooking for her. She doesn’t like meat, but she likes burgers. She likes fish, but won’t buy one unless I say ‘Sing would like to eat it’ so when we go shopping I’m like ‘husband likes it,  take it!’. She wanted crackers, I put them in the cart, she takes them away. Sing joins us, does the same thing I did and now it’s perfectly fine. Same with cooking – she doesn’t like this, she doesn’t like that. Fresh veggie is too fresh, spaghetti sauce is too creamy. My favorite quote is when she got little bit sick few days ago and her comment about chicken soup was… ‘it’s too chicken’. How should it taste then? Like marshmallows?

She steals my love. And I don’t mean Sing, she will always be his mother so I know that there will be situations he has to be on her side. But trying to bribe my Biscuit with food and snacks? Oh, hell no. You stole my husband’s attention, you stole my spot on the couch, you stole my seat at the table, you did the same thing with the car – I feel like a baby being in the back – but using treats to get my cat’s love? After my dead body. Or maybe I shouldn’t blame her? Who could resist those tiny chubby cheeks and gentle meowing. Sadly, Biscuit is a traitor.

Sometimes she doesn’t know how to behave. My polite behavior to her is abnormal or simply stupid. When we cross the street and I nod my head to say ‘Thank you for stopping’ to the driver she complains to Sing ‘It’s their responsibility, why thank’. I also clean after myself when I eat out. I stack dishes together, use a napkin to clean around – I’m not a messy person, doesn’t matter if I’m at home or outside. Besides I know people working in the restaurants have already a lot to do, at least I can make it little bit easier. But I still don’t know why she once called my throwing garbage at McDonald’s stupid – maybe that’s the culture difference everyone’s talking about. I’ve been told in Asia there are people hired just for cleaning the table, but I don’t like to leave a mess behind me, not to mention now we reside in a Western country so it shouldn’t shock her so much.

She could get us into trouble, just 2nd day she came. Don’t get her wrong, she’s an older lady, she never really seen black image (18)people in her life so all her knowledge is based on movies. And movies are based on the stereotypes, so when she went to the bus in our area seeing 6 black people at once she almost freaked out. She even used a phone to tell me ‘Lots of black people, afraid’. Do I have to say what skin color had two big men sitting behind us? She slowly sees how untrue was the image she knew – personally those people are one of the nicest I’ve met, the only bad experience I had was with a white older guy. Kinda ironic?

Everything is unnecessary. Drying rack? Unnecessary. Another shoe shelf (because her little prince got too many pairs of shoes)? Unnecessary. Little pleasures like milk tea? Unnecessary. How about first aid kit? Don’t buy it, it will bring you bad luck and injury. It really bothers my everyday life because I cannot get what I want or need, I need to first think 10 times if it will cause a fight or complains.

She talks. Talks way too much. She talks so much she had a sore throat. Or maybe she did this on purpose, I wouldn’t bet she didn’t. Anyway, she can go constantly from the time she wakes up until the very end of the day. Sometimes I rest on the bed, preparing to sleep and I hear her calling Sing’s name. Even at that time she’s well prepared to talk. Now he pretends he’s asleep. One of my dear Readers suggested I should turn on the radio for her, but then she might want to concur with the radio host. What if she get’s a job and working visa, then stays with us for longer? I don’t even want to think about it!

Honestly I could go like that for hours (changing into her), but that wasn’t my point for today. I’m pretty sure I will find a lot of things to complain about during those 3 months, I won’t lie about it. But I must say that my first week with Momzilla, despite all of the above, made me closer to her. Without Sing for most of the day we spend time alone. At first it was really awkward and silent.image (21) I tip-toed around the house not to wake her up and spend less time with her. Then she noticed my books and that I study Cantonese, instead of Shanghainese now she talks to me in Cantonese, she will talk to Sing in Shanghainese but then turn to me and change right away to Cantonese. She turns on TVB or other channels she can find in Cantonese. She even started to help me with pronunciation while my husband only helped me with writing and reading. That opened both of us for a talk, well it opened her a bit too much for talking, but it’s not so silent in the room anymore. She even asked me to teach her some English, it’s pretty fun. At least for me ‘windy’ is ‘Wendy’ and Biscuit changes into Biscuits since she says ‘cat’ like ‘cats’. When we cannot understand each other there’s always Google Translate and hilarious translations. She does things she didn’t do before – allows me to take care of household, when in her mind probably she thinks she can do it better. She even lets me take care of her. It might not mean anything to you, but for me it was a big step. That means she got close enough to me and when I think about it I’m almost crying. I even saw her childish side when we went to the park and she started to play around on the playground like she was 7 again. After all she said ‘Na, I happy. But too wendy‘. We went from enemies to quite close people. It took me almost 2 years of marriage and that’s one of my biggest accomplishments in life. I knew she had trust issues to outsiders, even to some family members and I broke through the wall that was between us. And believe me or not but she even helped me to win in Mahjong. Not a tiny, itty-bitty win, but 3 winds, 3 middles and a pair of fortune. Even when we play cards she tries to be fair to Sing and me, in the past she would do absolutely anything to let Sing win. I guess I’m slowly part of the family in her eyes. I’m really curious what those 3 months will bring. Either I will go back to see my parents with tears of sadness since I have to leave her or it will be tears of joy and ‘Master has given Dobby an airplane ticket. Dobby is free‘.

Have you ever didn’t get along with a family member but later you got close? Any advice you could give me? Keep your fingers crossed for me and stay tuned because I’m pretty sure sooner or later I will make another post about Momzilla! :)