Published on April 24th, 2011 | by Paz7
Have you ever made a friend in a very very unusual place? Are most of your friends from work or an activity you belong to? When you are out in the middle of no-where with no one that knows your name you are always looking for a smiling face. Becareful though, you just might find it in the most unusual places. Here Lupita is with Cheeky baby and her mom.
Getting settled in a new place means figuring everything out from scratch. When you don’t know the language, can’t read anything around you and only know a few people in a country of 1 billion it makes you feel like you are starting from below scratch and you are always looking for positive signs….especially warm smiles.
As we walked out our building on our first day we noticed a family sitting on the corner with a sign. It has numbers and words. We can read the numbers….have no idea what the words say. However we were greeted by a smile.
We then noticed them collecting boxes, styrofoam, plastic, and appliances. We had no idea…what their sign said, but with our detective skills we figured it had something to do with recycling.
On day three when walking by we stopped and said; Hello. Why Hello? Because that is all we knew how to say!!! Haahahaha
They have the most beautiful baby girl. We can tell she is a girl because she wears split pants and well you can see that she is a girl. Every time we leave our building we stop and talk. However, we still hadn’t figured out exactly what they are doing on the corner. Please remember we have not learned to read Chinese anytime recently.
So we asked someone I work with what do they do? They pay YOU for your recyclable goods and then they take them to the recycle buildings and sell them for a profit. Huh??? Really. They pay you for your recycle? Coming from the US where you put your recycle in a bin and wait for someone to come and get it, this seemed very interesting to us.
China has a very good system when it comes to getting people to recycle. They pay pretty good rates for people to bring in recyclable goods. This has created jobs for migrant workers. I have to say this is a great way of encouraging people to recycle. Money always has a way of encouraging people.
One day Lupita saw this red ornament on their pile and was so excited. I think it was from Chinese New Year. They gave it to us. As we were walking back into our building our guard kept trying to tell us something. I know he was trying to tell us that they just gave our daughter a piece of someones garbage as a present. He probably said that we shouldn’t take it and that it was old and dirty. He might have even said where to get a nice one. Since we don’t know the language we just smiled, nodded and walked right by. Lupita was smiling from ear to ear.
Every time we stop and talk to our friends, people stop and stare. I am sure it is because they don’t understand how two families from completely different backgrounds and income could have anything in common. How and why were we stopping to talk with these migrant workers?
I think we have the most in common. We both were looking for friendly faces. We enjoy seeing them every morning and every afternoon.
The other night as we were buying an evening snack, Lupita asked if she could also buy one for “cheeky baby” (that is our name for their daughter). Of course we did and gave it to them. They were very appreciative. They had given Lupita a little snacks a few days before and she wanted to return the favor. We were buying pink snacks, so she also thought the little girl would love a pink snack.
I have to admit that their smiling faces make our days that much better.
It is an important lesson to remember that you can find a smiling face where ever you are. Also keep in mind that you could be the smiling face that someone needs some day….no matter who it is. You might make a friend or acquaintance that you other wise would have just past by with a grumpy face. You might have more in common than you realize. When is the last time you made eye contact with your garbage person, or mail carrier? When is the last time you smiled at the teller behind the counter or at a perfect stranger for know reason what so ever.
We have made wonderful friends. We are very grateful. Thanks you Cheeky Baby!