The 20 floor elevator rides up and down from our apartment can be quite the comedy. There is not much uneasy staring at the floors, not many stifled coughs or forced nods here.
On our way out to play yesterday, a woman familiar to L and R knelt to stroke their hair and have a chat. We see her at least once or twice a week in elevator or around the complex. She started with the usual “How cute. Such curly hair and big eyes.” Consider the one-child-policy in China, the perms, and eye-lid opening surgeries. L and R responded “ayi, ayi,” meaning aunt in Chinese. She smiled and asked them to say it again. This hyped her up for more conversation.
As others joined us on the ride down the woman explained to everyone that I don’t speak Chinese, but that the children do. An older woman asked if they were twins. The first woman confirmed it. “But they are not dressed alike, how can they twins?” she asked.
The older woman then announced, “this one has much lighter skin than that one.” The first woman explained how he looks like his father, and she like her mother. We are quite sure these are purely skin-colour based observations. We hear it often, including how lucky he is to have the lighter skin from his father.
As the doors were opening on the ground floor, the first woman asked ME the ultimate question. In Chinese. “Which one is cuter?”