This morning I rolled out of bed at 6am, tried to fit my head through my pant leg, and tripped over Happy. I grabbed my backpack and a few biscuits for a hasty breakfast, and sped downstairs to catch part of a ride with my uncle.
30 excruciating minutes of traffic later, he dropped me off at the K25 bus stop. I dosed off while standing, only to be jostled rudely awake by a horde of angry obasans racing to be the first onboard the bus. During rush hour in China, the law of the land is PUSH PUSH PUSH. And push they did. I do not want to think about how many times I got molested by sweaty arms.
Finally, I made it onto the bus and waded through the sea of human body parts. 15 stops to go. Disheveled and exhausted, I finally arrived at my destination and embarked on the daunting task to cross the road. 15 minutes later, I was rewarded with my grandparents and their surprised smiling faces.
All of a sudden it was all worth it.
For the rest of the day, I made myself useful and volunteered as their slave/housekeeper/maid. I went crazy on the alcohol wipes and wiped down all door knobs/fans/phones/handles/remote controls. I cleaned around the house, watched (suffered through) Cantonese Opera with them, and enjoyed a lovely lunch together featuring cucumbers from my grandma’s mini garden.
In the afternoon, I bathed my 92-year-old grandpa for the first time. My grandma was exhausted and finally dozed off for her afternoon nap, and for the first time ever I was completely and solely responsible for taking care of my grandpa. Due to complications from his illness recovery, I needed to ensure he was warm and clean at all times. Since he vacillates between moments of lucidity and a state of hazy confusion, I had to teach and help him undress, turn on the shower, bathe him, change him, and instruct him on how to slip back into his slippers. Then I half-coaxed, half-led him back to bed for a ‘beauty nap’. It was a very humbling experience.
Before I dashed out into the vicious rainstorm to return to my current abode, I provided my ‘professional’ massage services to each grandparent. After 30 minutes each, I kissed them goodbye and started my return journey with sore hands and a heart filled with warmth.