An Open Field to be Heard Off in the Distance or Up Close! ~ An Expat's mid-life Musings in Nanjing,China
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Happy Easter ~ The English Zone
Every Friday at the Ford Motor Research & Engineering Office in Nanjing a class entitled "The English Zone" occurs at 12:00 noon. Employees who want to know more about the USA or other Western cultures meet to learn a few more tidbits and practice their English skills. This is lead by Morgan, a young lady who grew up in Howell, Michigan about 45 minutes from our home in Livonia. Gordon was invited by Ling Ling Li to attend Friday's session. She was delighted when he agreed to come. Arriving late from a meeting he walked into a conference room that was packed with about fifty employees. On the whiteboard were words like Easter, bunny, fortydays, etc. Obviously the lesson for today was "Easter Customs in the USA." Morgan welcomed the latecomer to the room and asked him to share how he celebrated Easter back home. He began by telling them that with grown children the customs have changed but when the kids were little......and out came the Easter Bunny story. Easter baskets with springtime toys, jelly beans, chocolate eggs & chocolate bunnies were hidden and Allison and Garrett had to find theirs in the house first thing on Easter morning. His audience smiled with delight imagining the childhood excitement. He explained that through the years the Easter Bunny became quite sly in his placement of the baskets. One particular year Allison could NOT find hers. Brother Garrett, three years younger, was already drooling jelly bean juice on his jammies and playing with matchbox cars but she was near tears and clueless as to where to find her treasure trove. Subtle hints revealed that this year the Easter Bunny hid the basket in the OVEN! Gordon's audience howled with glee for two reasons. One because of the dramatic build-up with which he told his story and two because 98.8% of Chinese households do not own an oven to begin with! With everyone still captivated he told them about the family bedecked in new Spring outfits attending Church with all it's Triumphant Trimmings like the Alleluia Chorus and Easter Lillies. They smiled and clapped when he finished and went on to dye Easter eggs. Morgan's mother had sent the Easter egg dye and wax crayons from Michigan for the next phase of the lesson. The Big Guy, still holding court, picked up a dry hard-boiled egg and marked it with a crayon. They watched so that they too, might have the technique necessary to accomplish their colorful result with the wax-resist. Childs play, of course, but interesting for first timers. He jumped up and went to lunch leaving Morgan with the newbies. Gordon relays that the Chinese counterparts who attended "The English Zone" on Good Friday 2011 "oohed and ahhed" over each others eggs & displayed them in their office cubicle that afternoon. No doubt the egg went home and so did another little tidbit about the USA and our customs.
Ling Ling Li sent this with this message:
"Happy Easter, Gordon. You are the best!!!"
Happy Easter Everyone from Nanjing, China! Thanks for Reading,