“White lady, why water full of sorrow flow from face?”
I was crying buckets in a mani-pedi place near our xiao qu and the Chenglish expression put corks in my tear ducts.
The Chinese landy handed me a Kleenex and I forced myself to smile.
“Xie xie,” I replied.
While Chenglish can be funny, caring words from native Chinese speakers can touch the heart in ways that a Hallmark card could not.
Take for instance, my friend Dou Dou. She’s a funky yoga instructor who is a blend of the oldest Chinese traditions and the funkiest new age fashions.
And the garlic breath of all of Naples.
We dinner last night and I broke news to her that I would be leaving Kunming in June.
“Your news gives me Panda Eyes!”
Dou Dou frowned.
“What are panda eyes?” I asked.
“Black eyes of no sleep.”
We both started crying, knowing that sad news brings tears, no sleep and dark “panda like” circles around one’s eyes.
Sad but true, I will be leaving the land of the weird, returning to the land of Costco and toilets seats this summer.
I don’t know for how long, but it’s giving me panda eyes.
Here are some pandas created by the little kids at our school.
It’s been a year full of them, from the loss of a panda loving student in a helicopter crash to another student leaving early for health reasons.
But one has to believe, just like the schmaltzy expression, “Every cloud has a silver lining”, “Every black eye panda has a smile.“
Well, at least according to Kunming kindergartners.