Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I am becoming my mother.

So here I am in London. Landed. Situated. It is my first morning here and what is the first thing I do? I take the tube into Leiceister Square, walk past all the theatres, ticket sellers, Italian cafes, go down into Chinatown and get myself a sesame bun filled with red bean paste for breakfast. I would have gotten a vegetable baozi, as well, but they weren't ready.

I have no real agenda for my time in London, and I'm enjoying it immensely. I am staying in East Finchley, in northern London, with the family of a former colleague from the Korean International School in Beijing. The colleague, Jung Sook, is in London on a state-sponsored scholarship to attend King's College, University of London, and she brought her two girls with her. I used to tutor the girls twice a week, two hours each time, for more than a year; it's very good to see them all again. Last night we had a long chat: The girls are experiencing what can only be described as culture shock. They told me about how her classmates misbehave and shoplift, the boys wear pants so baggy that everyone can see their underwear, and far and away, they are the best math students in the school, so they tutor the other students. They are attending a Catholic school in their neighborhood which they say "is not English! It's Black and Polish!" But both girls seem to be doing well, and they like not having as much homework. They are both picking up English accents, too.

I leave for Paris on Saturday and I will try to post once more before I go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't forget to give your Irish friends a call!

Just 'cause it's raining doesn't mean those aren't tears in our eyes.