Saturday, August 08, 2009

Xiao Didi And The Watermelon Ball

Xiao Didi is a small boy who lives in the alleyway neighborhood of Saoziying. His family, as we have previously written about, operates a small restaurant that is one of our absolute favorite places to eat a meal in either China or the United States.

Over the course of the year, we have discovered a lot about Xiao Didi. For starters, he is a fanatic about cars. It is not uncommon for a family member or friend to walk Xiao Didi out to Yuanmingyuan Xi Lu, the main road that passes in front of our neighborhood, so he can stand there and watch the cars, buses, and sanlunche whiz by.

Armed with knowledge like this, Z has taken to spending more and more of his cash on small gifts for his "little brother." There was the remote-control car he gave to Xiao Didi a few weeks back. And then, when Z became captivated with the watermelon balls you can buy at convenience stores everywhere, it wasn't enough to pick one up for himself.

~Steve

PS: One day, when we were walking buy a little produce stand outside our building, I tried to make a quick switch, by putting down the watermelon ball and walking away with an actual watermelon. This led to a lot of cracking up on the part of the couple that works the stand. I have to say it felt good to be able to kid around like that. It felt natural. It was one of those little moments where I felt like, yeah, I really am part of this little Chinese community. And all because of a watermelon ball...

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