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    Lost In Relation

    | UK | Aunts & Uncles, Cousins, Parents & Guardians

    (Our family is from several different races and heritages who speak a variety of languages. My parents and I, who live in China, are visiting family in the UK. All of us speak English so that is our main language of communication.)

    Uncle: *in English* “It’s great to see you again.” *in Irish* “How are you doing?”

    Me: *in English* “Great to see you, too. What else did you say?”

    Uncle: *in English* “Oh, you don’t speak Irish.” *in French* “How are you doing?” *in English* “You speak French right?”

    Me: *in French with incorrect grammar* “I don’t speak well. I’m doing fine.”

    Cousin #1: *in Japanese* “Do you speak Japanese?” *in English* “Japanese?”

    Me: *in English* “Uh, can’t speak that.”

    Cousin #2: *in Cantonese* “Cantonese, right?”

    Mom: *in Cantonese* “I can speak Cantonese. But Mandarin is better for my husband and daughter.”

    Uncle: *in Mandarin* “Mandarin is hard.”

    Aunt #1: *in Mandarin* “Not for me. I speak Mandarin fine.” *in Taiwanese* “Do you speak Taiwanese too?”

    Dad: *in Mandarin* “Was that Taiwanese? We can’t speak it. My brother does though.” *in French* “Oh, and my French is okay, but I rarely use it.”

    Aunt #2: *in English* This is very interesting. What languages do we all speak? I speak English, Irish, some French, some Japanese, some Thai.”

    Me: *in Thai* “Hello! Goodbye! Thank you! Please! Good morning!” *in English* “That’s pretty much all I know.”

    (We spent most of our time practicing and learning languages together. Among all of us, we spoke 13 different languages. All of us were only fluent in one to three but we spoke a few more languages with varying degrees of fluency ranging from just a few words to intermediate.)

    Generation Transformation

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Aunts & Uncles, Children, Themed Giveaway

    (My mother, my aunt and I are watching the news.)

    TV: “A transformer has exploded in New York.”

    Mum: “What kind of transformer was it?”

    Me: “Optimus Prime.”

    Mum: “That’s what I was thinking.”

    Aunt: *bursts out laughing* “I’d forgotten what having kids in the house was like.”

    Intelligence Is Wasted On The Young

    | Scotland, UK | Cousins

    (My cousin and I are watching ‘Benjamin Button,’ where the character of the story is born an old man and as he gets older, he ages into a baby.)

    Me: “Did you know that this is actually based on a true story?”

    Cousin: “Oh, my god. Really?!”

    Me: “You’re an idiot.”

    CSI: Toy Story

    | VA, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (My niece is only seven years old, but she already has a bizarre imagination. My brother tells me about an incident while he was chopping vegetables for dinner.)

    Niece: “Daddy, I came out of my room and found a knife in a pool of blood.”

    Brother: *not concerned* “Oh, that sounds bad.”

    Niece: “I think my teddy bear killed someone.”

    (She proceeds to take her teddy bear away and ‘question’ it. Then she returns with my brother’s ‘Babylon 5′ figurine.)

    Niece: “My teddy bear told me that Londo was the bad guy.”

    Brother: “That sounds like something Londo would do.”

    (My niece runs away to ‘question’ the figurine. She comes back again.)

    Niece: “Londo didn’t do it. I know who did.” *she points dramatically at my brother* “You did it, Daddy!”

    (My niece proceeds to ‘arrest’ my brother and ‘lock him up’ in their den. My brother insists this is my fault for giving her ‘Lemony Snicket’ books.)

    Playing With Fire

    | USA | Children, Parents & Guardians, Siblings

    (I am six and my sister is five. I am in the living room with my mother when my sister comes running in.)

    Sister: “Guess what!”

    Mother: “What, [Sister]?”

    Sister: “Guess!”

    Mother: “Just tell me.”

    Sister: “No! You have to guess! It’s a game!”

    Mother: “[Sister], you can tell me or not, but I am not going to guess.”

    Sister: *sighs loudly and looks dejected* “Ohhh kay… The kitchen is on fire.”

    (We rush in to find a grease fire on the stove with black smoke filling the room. While Mom handles everything, my sister keeps complaining about us not wanting to play her ‘game.’)


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