Wednesday, March 24, 2004

going to grandma's house

i went to visit my grandmother today. it's funny when someone says that they're going to visit grandma, you imagine one of several things. 1. their grandmother lives in some posh nursing home and is wheeled around by a nurse everyday, ala grosse pointe blank. 2. their grandmother lives in some nice little old mansion filled with antiques. 3. their grandmother lives in some nice little old house filled with antiques and the entire inventory of Country Clutter (a store that really does live up to its name) - from 1970.

well, my grandmother doesn't fit any of those styles, but then again, who in my family fits some stereotype? my grandmother lives in east oakland, in a tiny little apartment with my aunt and her husband plus my uncle (got it? three other people). she's the nicest person in the world but at the same time, i can tell she's a strong woman.

so i called her up this morning to tell her, in my rudimentary vietnamese, that i was coming. i didn't tell her to prepare anything or to do anything. i just called to make sure she would be home when i would be around. when i come in, she starts giving me wonderful food that i haven't had in awhile and then talks to me. i haven't ever really talked to her and it was wonderful. though i can't ask too many questions, i got to talk to her about my cousin who is getting married next year in Vietnam, my upcoming trip there, my schooling, the snow in boston, etc etc. it was nice.

as i was walking around the apartment, i realized little things. she still boils her water. though she doesn't live in the greatest neighborhood, there is no good reason for her not to drink water from the tap. however, she continues to boil it, as though it's going to give her dysentary, which it would if she were in Vietnam.

there is a washer in her apartment, but no dryer. just seems odd, to just say, "oh, you have a washer in the apartment" without the qualifying, "and dryer." luckily, we live in sunny california where the sun shines more often than not and they can dry their clothes outside.

also, she watches american tv, instead of silly vietnamese soap operas on videotapes, which is nice. she was watching the cooking channel, so i asked her (halfway knowing the answer) if she tries to make the stuff herself. she just tells me that it's entertainment and she just likes to look at the food. plus, she can't understand what they're saying or the ingredients, so she just watches. then she says that what the woman on tv is making looks good. i tell her it's a ham and cheese sandwich and it's rather easy, proceeding to tell her how to make it, knowing that she neither eats ham nor cheese.

it's stuff like this that makes me think of how much i love my family. though it was a random visit and we only talked about a little bit, it was nice just to see her. so, everyone out there should call their grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, father, mother, sister, brother, cousin, etc! get that nice warm feeling inside of you. who knows, you might be better off for it.

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