National Sibling Day, a glimpse of what happens daily in this house, by Sunny Shih, CIEE Palma de Mallorca
Name: Sunny Shih
Semester: Business and Tourism Spring 2013
School: George Washington University
Happy Sibling Day everyone! May everyone have a wonderful day with their brothers and sisters, same mothers or not. I am an only child at home, the apple of my mom’s eye, and forever the guinea pig of their parenting methods. To my parents’relief, I turned out somewhat normal, in spite of only-child stereotypes.
Here in Mallorca, I have two siblings in my host family. Andreu is turning 8 soon, and Caterina is 4. It’s awesome being the oldest, these two follow me around like I am the coolest person they have ever met. And I never get castigada, either, because I have more years of experience playing the game. I’m glad that they are comfortable around me now; I am always asked to play, even though I never win at Pokemon cards. Read below for the things that happen in this household:
1. Gangnam Style. I swear that this family-student pairing is meant to be; I finally found someone who is more obsessed with Gangnam Style than I am! Andreu doesn’t walk, he does the horsey down the street while yelling oppa gangnam style. It is his all-time favorite song.
2. They fight to sit next to me during dinner. I have never felt so popular in my life. Most of the time Caterina loses, so she whines until Carmen (my host mom) pulls up an extra chair on my other side.
3. They’re extremely curious about my culture and my background. One of my first nights here, Andreu asked me to teach him how to write my name is Chinese. I was very impressed:
4. Arts and crafts happen a lot here. One time, Andreu made a giant ant out of clay, and then showed me a picture that he drew of a guy vomiting, urinating, and defecating at the same time. Unfortunately I only have a picture of the giant ant. Yesterday, we took turns drawing the family; Carmen, Vicente, and I all ended up being trees.
5. Daily question: Can I play games on your phone? They whisper it when the parents aren’t around, because usually they’re not allowed to play with my phone. If one catches the other on my phone, he/she runs to their mom and tattles.
6. They’re not afraid to try new things. Once during dinner, I was given a bottle of Tabasco and another bottle of green hot sauce. Andreu pours both all over his food, then spends the rest of the meal running around in the living room as if his pants were on fire.
7. It’s cute when they sleep. Caterina is the only kid I’ve seen that asks to go to bed because she is tired. One time, she was sulking and curled up under the dinner table, and then fell asleep. Under the dinner table.
8. Here’s a picture of Vicente (my host dad) carrying Caterina like a sack of potatoes because she was too tired to walk uphill. We were in Estellencs, a town in the Sierra de Tramuntana (UNESCO World Heritage Site) where they have a summer house.
9. We play the restaurant game with the Hello Kitty kitchen. “Is there anything for dessert?” I asked Caterina. “Yes, we have fried chicken,” she answered.
10. Fashion shows and dance recitals. And serious concerts at church. Last night, Andreu pranced around with his sister’s underwear on his head. Then he added his mom’s jewelry. Then the lipstick. Then the toothpaste behind his ear. Grand finale? Both of them running around the house naked. Caterina performs ballet for me while I eat, and can sing an entire song in English from memory. On a more serious note, Andreu is a part of the boys choir in his school, Colegio de San Francisco.
Everyday there is something new in this house. I can’t tell you how lucky I am to have this hilarious family around. Once again, happy Sibling Day, and I hope you give yours an extra hug today!
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