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.

12 comments:

john said...

Culture clash is always the most difficult thing for people to deal with I think.. But it just takes time I think and hope Johan.

Anonymous said...

Hey Johan,
I'm sorry to read that. I'll keep you all in my prayers... whether you want me to or not ;-)
hugs, Kathryn

Peter said...

Best of luck Johan. I had a few thoughts in the same direction myself. I cross my fingers for you and Wen.

Jetsetjunkie said...

Don't really know what to say, but good luck J..

Uma said...

I actually have some updated stories here.. I met Wen both yesterday and the day before yesterday in Stockholm.. and it was really hard to get her out..

First I met her the day before yesterday, which seemed to be pretty okay for her mother at first, but probably since I was not very careful with the conversation and talked about for example taking Swedish courses here in Stockholm, her mother got quite angry with me.. Wen told me that she even thinks that im the reason that she stays in Sweden!!!

Yesterday I got a sms from Wen in the morning says her mother forbids her from meeting me again so we probably won't be able to meet again.. I thought it was riduculous so I asked her if it is possible to say that she is gonna meet a Swedish friend of hers so I could ask my friend to pick her up.. Wen didn't want to lie so she asked again nicely so her mother finally allowed reluctently.

Her mother first followed her to a café to meet us (me, my bf, and another Swedish friend of mine) and seated herself there staring at us saying nothing when we began to talk. Later she followed us to another restaurant kept staring at us saying nothing. I wouldn't talk about anything I wanted to talk about with her so I asked her if she could be alone with us just for a little while.

Her mother first insisted that Wen should go back to the hotel together with her since in her opinion we 've definately met enough, she also told Wen that she really doesn't like me and doesn't like the idea about she staying longer with me. I realized that so I said all my friends here really like her and would really like to talk a bit more with her blablabla and tried to persuade Wen's mother to let her go.. Probably since we had 2 more people there who had nothing to do with their fight so she finally let Wen go for another 1 hour and a half,again,reluctently.I'm almost sure that if my bf and another friend were not there, she would never let her meet me alone..

That's how we got to meet eathother alone for one hour and a half and I have to say I think it was horrible that Wen doesn't seem to have any freedom. It is even in Europe. Imagine how it would be if it is in China! It would be just like a prison, even though Wen is already 23 which is a age in my opinion people are supposed to meet whoever they want, live wherever they want, and do whatever they want to do without the parents aside.

I wish you guys good luck and I hope her mother doesn't do anything extreme so Wen could stay in Europe for a bit longer.. Tell me if you guys need any help with the possible moving to Stockholm (finding a place or whatever), I'm always glad to help.

Edward said...

Hey man! Seems like parents are a pain in every corner of the world, huh?? I am in Gothenburg as usual anyway and if get your lazy ass moving and show up here some time I'm gonna have the beers in the fridge and the sauna hot for you when you arrive. :-P

Don't worry, life and death are the same anyway, this is your karma, Johan! Wakarimaska?? (Sorry, just finished watching Shogun again...)

E.

Anonymous said...

Hey, hang in there! Maybe showing how serious and dedicated you are to Wen and this relationship would help you to get along with Wen's mother. My husband, a Swede also, went through a similar tough experience until my parents fully accepted him!
Jia You!!

A beijinger and a swede happily in SF.

Really! said...

How interesting! This dude is publishing such personal things on the internet. Think about it. Why on earth did he do it?

If Wen has any self-respect,this should be the end of any relationship with this old John. Nothing good will ever come out of this. People and things just get old and ugly.

If Wen go back to China, she still has a chance to dignity and well being.

Edward said...

Looks like you've got a new troll on your site... Hahaha, congratulations!! ;-)

E.

Johan said...

I have to thank you guys for your encouragements. It is a quite difficult time, but we are trying to do the best of it. I think we'll find a way through it.

Cheers
Johan

Johan said...

'Really! the troll' is quite infamous in various China related blogs (example). Perhaps best to ignore his humour liberated shit.

Uma said...

He posted some shit on my blog too, don't understand what this guy is thinking about...

Is he Chinese?