Saturday, August 19, 2006

So Close, So Far Away

So much has happened this summer, and still, I haven't done that much. There is so much that should could have been told here, but right now I think I will just briefly touch the latest events. They are what matters anyway.

An hour ago I sent Wen and her mother off to Stockholm, where they will in a few days fly on back to Belgium. Wen's mother then wants her to go back to Beijing with her, preferably for good. It wasn't meant that Wen should stay any longer and her mother's visit was nothing but a concealed way to come over and get her. The realization that I wasn't just some good friend guiding them around must have come as a shock, though I am quite sure there was a strong suspicion perhaps even from the time back in Beijing.

The two of they have a very close relationship and Wen often talks with and about her. With all the trust from her mother, Wen has also had a lot more freedom than most Chinese girls in her age. A believe that much of her mother's life has been dedicated to her job and I believe the reason for this is to give Wen a secure future. A future where she could grow old with her only daughter around. There is even a flat bought and ready for that purpose. I had hoped that we could keep on pretending for a little bit, perhaps to make her first meeting with my family less stiff and serious, but confronted with a direct question my dear Wen wouldn't say a direct lie. After that her mother went into damage-control mode, and any further activity would be dealt with as a delay of their departure and to be minimized.

Not being on her home turf and completely depending on me and Wen for communication still made it possible for us to bring this reluctant little lady around a little bit. She probably would have wanted to take the next flight home, but somehow we managed to tour parts of Sweden and introduce most of my family in a somewhat comfortable manner. We kept anything that could be complained about to a minimum and some of the things just happened to be so good that it couldn't be ignored. Driving around in southern part of Sweden in blue sky and sunshine is very beautiful even if you are determined to be unimpressed by anything not Chinese.

I hope that she at least found out that I am not just a white guy out there looking for some fun, and that I am a person too, even though I'm not a Chinese. I also wish that she in time will accept that she won't be able to control where and how her daughter live her life, though on this point I think I have a lot of Chinese parents against me. I wish she would have understood what things are different here, and what is the same, but that takes an open mind and more than just a few days. These few days was just a huge culture clash in the making, particularly the encounter with my family today. I think it was the best we could have done at the present circumstances, but I am not sure it was enough.

Now I am not sure what the outcome of this will be, but I am quite worried about it. Whatever happens I believe there is a long road ahead of me and Wen, and lets hope it won't be an unnecessarily rough and lonely ride.