Wednesday, May 6, 2015
"I Like Yer Country!"
A while back I was sitting in the waiting room at the U.S. consulate waiting to renew my passport. Because I had been "stripped" of everything at the security entrance, I just had to sit and people watch. I was handsomely rewarded when a bowlegged gray-haired caucasian guy in a Big Nose Kate's Saloon t-shirt (see above picture--although, in full interest of honest disclosure the shirt actually read: Big Nose Kate's Saloon--"The gal that loved Doc Holliday and everyone else."--Tombstone, Wasila, AK). He stepped up to the service window and turned on the charm to the unsuspecting young Chinese clerk.
"I like yer country!" he began. "That train was fast!" Apparently this gentleman had come from another part of the Sichuan province to conduct his business here in Chengdu. Like the good snoop that I am, I cocked one ear in his direction. (Note to reader: Play along here and see where it takes you.) I got the following clues: "You need proof of being single? And proof of who I am going to marry? I can go and get her. She's across the street. So basically what I'm writing out here is that I'm a single man?"
This was pretty good stuff! I had it all laid out in my mind. And also like any good busybody, I couldn't resist further interrogation after he left the window. I learned that besides being fairly amiable, he was an oil worker in the fields of Alaska. This Chinese gal and he had met on the internet, corresponded for a couple of years, and now he had come to make it all legal!!! She had a teaching contract to fulfil in a remote part of the province somewhere. He was needing to return to Alaska, but they would be conducting their marriage in this long distance manner for an unspecified time. Whew... I wished him well and left the consulate. It wasn't until I'd retrieved my belongings and was headed back to the bus (no doubt the image of this new couple firmly locked into my imagination as I shook my head) that my subconscious literally screamed in my ear--"HEY, HE'S ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENT FROM YOU AND PACO!!!!!" I stand corrected...