These are the chicken legs that were included the one time I tried to order a whole chicken from the local market, and my husband told them to cut it into pieces.
I was hoping for nice whole pieces, separated at the joints.
Wings, legs, breast, you know, Tyson style.
Every single bone on that chicken was whacked two or three times, smashed up with lots of juicy marrow, and the head and feet were nicely set aside in their own little bag.
Being a delicacy and all.
Our kids were roller blading in the basement of our complex the other day with friends, and suddenly the guard and the manager came and yelled at them to leave.
As they were scurrying away the manager pushed and kicked one of our friend’s kids in her backside.
They were petrified and we ended up having a meeting with the kids.
They told us, “he kicked just the way the teachers at school kick the kids who misbehave.”
“Yeah, and sometimes they hit kids with a stick.”
“And call them big stupid head.” (or something like that)
So our kids are witnessing teacher-student violence several times a month (at least) and here it is somehow considered acceptable.
The whole thing with the manager was resolved over the next 24 hours, but it was not without some very tense moments and difficult emotions for adults and kids alike.
The manager ended up coming and apologizing to all the kids for his behavior, which is highly unusual in Chinese culture because kids typically are not treated with that sort of dignity.
He also offered us adults cigarettes.
Not a shocker, since our complex apparently has many retired tobacco executives living here, and our apartment is called “Golden Leaf.”
Silly me, I first thought it was a reference to the golden leaves of autumn.
But it was an eye-opening insight into culture, once again.
That this culture considers that sort of behavior to children completely acceptable in many contexts.
These moments leave me so completely overwhelmed and I don’t even know how to react, sometimes.
There are other conversations I’ve had this week, about one orphanage who doesn’t want us to foster more kids or let any more be adopted because that would mean the orphanage staff would lose their jobs.
Or the doctor who told one of our hospitalized foster child’s parents that they should prepare for her death, that they had done everything.
In fact she was turning the corner from pneumonia.
And my friend who works in a big hospital where the doctors routinely do questionable tests on pregnant women and inject random IV meds and then state that they must abort because of the things they just did.
We want to raise our kids with certain values of dignity and respect no matter who the person is.
And I am compelled to respond in this counter-cultural way, with the compassion of Christ and viewing them–even the villains–as worthy of dignity and respect even when I feel soooooo frustrated with certain aspects of the system and the faces who represent that system.
I cannot do this, have the right attitude, without God’s help.