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December 31st+23rd 2,050


Happy Nián-Mas!


Today is Gift Days and what treasure I have received! First, this journal, given to me by Meh-Ma and Wài po . It is made of real paper, and they gave me a pen to write in it. Meh-Ma has written on the first paper ‘To Rosa, a glorious writer yet to become’. I have been practising my letters and have been drawing them out like they look if I would type them. I spent a very long time trying to figure out which hand I should use, but I think mi derecha works best. I write so slowly, but with lots of practice, I know I’ll get faster!!


And now I can be a real writer, like my Meh-Ma, and make wonderful stories like she does.


Papa and Mama have given me an apple for Gift Days! I have only ever seen one on Chaina’s teleplayer and it looks just as delicious in real life! I haven’t eaten it yet, I want to save it, but Papa says it won’t last very long, so I should eat it while it is still sweet. I tried putting it into the Sus-Modi, but he quickly stopped me and told me it doesn’t need modifying and that I should bite into it ‘raw’. I felt so stupid. I will eat it tomorrow. Right now, I have it sitting next to me and I can’t stop staring at it. It is so shiny and red. Papa says he used to pick an apple right off the tree and eat it right then and there! Dios mío! I can’t believe him!


The greatest present of Gift Days is what Papa gave to Mama!! He gave her a real, old-fashioned bath-tub! It was delivered 2.3 days ago, and I believe it is really heavy! The men who delivered it came, right at Rain Time, and had to take cover when the rain started. I believe they waited a full 15 minutes until the rain stopped; and one man got a splash on his arm, but Mama looked and said it was only a slight burn. They hauled the bath-tub inside and put it on the lounge floor, and it is so bright and white! Taì piàoliàng lè!!


I had to ask Papa how the bath-tub works, and he told me that when he was a boy, they would fill the bathtub with warm water, and sit in it, naked, and wash! I laughed so loudly at that! To wash yourself with real water, and to get wet, only to dry yourself again?! And he said that in those days they did not have the Talc-Shower and told me that having a ‘bath’ is a luxury.


The real gift is that he has acquired water to put into the bath-tub! Mama was so surprised and started crying about how many credits he spent. But he told her that he had been saving all this time so that she could have a bath again. Next week the water will be delivered and they will heat it and put it into the bath-tub. I can’t believe that people in my father’s days would waste water like that! But Mama is so happy, I want to be happy with her, and maybe I can see what it is like to have so much water around. Maybe I can even try it! Dànyuàn rúcǐ!


My hand is tired from writing, but my letters look better. I will practice more tomorrow night.


 


Glossary


Nián-Mas – combination of Nian (Chinese New Year) and Christmas


wài po– (Chinese) Mother’s mother [grandmother] (外婆)


Meh-Ma and Wài po – Rosa’s grandmothers


mi derecha – my right (as in ‘my right hand’)


Chaina (pronounced ‘Kenna’) – Rosa’s best friend


teleplayer – like a TV


Sus-Modi - Sustenance Modifier


Dios mío! (Spanish)- My god!


taì piàoliàng lè! (Chinese) So pretty! (太漂亮了!)


Talc-Shower – a dry shower, which uses air, instead of water, to clean.


Dànyuàn rúcǐ! (Chinese) I hope so! (但愿如此!)


 


[Edited to correct the Chinese that cloudycloud so helpfully suggested!]

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