On How to Properly Instruct Old Chinese Doctors to Use Emojis chapter 8

Chapter 8

61.

Auntie Chu called for everyone to eat and as soon as Mr. Wang sat down, he resumed his aloof attitude, listening to us talking and laughing without saying a word himself.

But after Wang Dequan amiably pointed it out, I had already noticed that he actually wanted to speak several times but always stopped because he wasn’t able to cut in.

It was a bit hard to bear. We weren’t discussing anything special, just talking about each other’s families and other household things. Was it so difficult to speak?

He held back for half the meal and finally when I mentioned my dad’s experience as a soldier in Henan, Mr. Wang lit up and found an entry point.

“Henan, Henan is good.” Speaking with an authentic native dialect, he quite happily said, “Then we two can be considered half fellow villagers!”

62.

Auntie Chu gave him a piece of ribs and gently said, “Eat your dinner. Will anyone think you’re a mute if you don’t speak?”

63.

Mr. Wang gazed at her expression, then lowered his head and silently grabbed the ribs in his bowl.

Wang Dequan, that unworthy son, turned a blind eye and calmly brought a spoonful of soup to his mouth.

Auntie Chu turned to me again and genially said, “Xiao Du, don’t be so polite, eat more food. How is Auntie’s cooking?”

No Auntie, I heard it.

Don’t think you can pretend it was a hallucination just now.

So Mr. Wang didn’t say anything not because he was a tsundere, but because you forbid him from talking, wasn’t it?!

Following that, I helplessly watched as Mr. Wang refused to give up and attempted to rebel several times, but he was mercilessly put down each time. In the end, he couldn’t help but burst out and slap the table.

“What’s wrong with Henan people? What’s so shameful about us?! You just look down on us Henan people! I can’t even talk to the kids!”

“Ah. No one said you can’t.” Auntie Chu gave him an indifferent glance. “What do you want to say?”

“I… I… No, I didn’t want to say anything.” Mr. Wang paused, quietly withdrew his hand, then shifted his butt to the other side. “Xiao Du, eat some more. Do you have enough rice? If you don’t, then you can get more.”

64.

Mr. Wang, a famous Chinese doctor, came from the Henan countryside and in the 80s, he got into medical school through his own struggle. He studied under great teachers, married a beloved wife, and reached the peak of his life.

There were just two habits he had his whole life that were difficult to change. One was that he was extremely talkative, and the second was that his putonghua1 was bad, so when he was happy his local dialect would start jumping out.

Because of this, he was ordered by his wife that when his son-in-law visited in the future, he was not allowed to pull me aside and start nagging endlessly. He was to stay as quiet as a chicken and act as an otherworldly man.

—The above-mentioned.

This was what Wang Dequan later revealed to me.

65.

“My mom didn’t mean anything else by it. It was just that it was your first time coming over, and she was worried he would say something foolish and scare you away from coming over again.” Wang Dequan smiled as he sent me to my apartment entrance.

“How could that be?” I morosely walked beside him. Let alone not coming over again, right now I simply didn’t want to leave him. As soon as I thought about the fact I would have to wait quite a few days to see him again, my heart felt empty. Love was simply sticky, and you had to say, who invented the phrase “stuck to each other like glue”? Each word was truly apt to the bone.

We arrived at the entrance.

“I’ll be leaving now.”

“En, I’ll help you call a cab.”

“No need, I called it myself. It’s cold, you should go back.”

No one moved.

“…”

“…”

“There’s a park nearby. Do you want to go for a walk?” Wang Dequan asked.

The park was covered in glittering snow and ice, full of parents who had brought their kids, laughing and playing.

I crunched through the still smooth snow, leaving footprints. I suddenly remembered something and turned my head to ask Wang Dequan, “It’s not like I discriminate against other regions so why didn’t you explain this to your parents earlier?”

“Why would I need to explain?” He was unconcerned. “Don’t mind them. They’re always bickering. It’s been going on for decades. My mom has a lot of things she dislikes about my dad. His local accent, the fact his hometown’s poor, he likes to eat garlic, he always squeezes the toothpaste from the middle, and he doesn’t know to dump the garbage when it’s full.”

I said “huh?” showing I couldn’t imagine it.

“She hates them like hell, but outsiders can’t say one bad thing. Last time, when I was in elementary school, someone mocked him and called him a country bumpkin. My mom went to their door and brought out the literary skills of a Chinese teacher to scold them for half an hour without a word of repetition or using one swear word.”

I applauded. “Ms. Chu is a heroic woman. She must be very intimidating when calling people out. It’s a shame there’s no chance to see it later in life.”

“Actually, I didn’t personally see it. I heard about it from someone.”

“… Oh, okay.”

“But seeing the way you were insulting people at karaoke last time, I thought, this must be exactly the same as her that time.”

The words I was going to say after immediately stuck in my throat.

“So, there is no who dislikes who. There’s only whether you’re willing to tolerate each other or not. Life is iron sharpening iron2 and people sharpening people. Sharpening each other is just a lifetime.” Wang Dequan coughed. “Baby, I also have many flaws and many parts of myself that are hard to tolerate. But do you want to… want to…”

His ears were a bit red.

“… Move in with me?”

66.

“And then what? So you just turned him down?” An incredulous look appeared on my mom’s face.

“Eh? I just thought it was too sudden so my brain didn’t process it for a while… If you just casually agree to live with someone, wouldn’t that be a bit undignified? Besides, I’ve been living at home since I graduated. If I suddenly moved out, I was afraid you wouldn’t be able to take it…”

The main reason was that at the time there was a little brat who had been quietly following us, then suddenly waved a stick and shouted, “Oooh! Baby! Do you want to live with me!” He hopped around as he screamed, then zipped away.

It was humiliating. The atmosphere was thoroughly ruined, and we were unable to continue discussing this topic.

The more I spoke, the quieter my voice became, because Ms. Li Meili seemed like she was already going to faint.

“Lao Du! Lao Du, come help me—” She shook her hand. “Your son, your son, I can’t manage him anymore.”

My mom supported herself on my dad’s arm and exasperatedly pointed at me, “He’s not a child anymore, but he’s not independent at all and still living off of us. How did I not see earlier that he was such a mama’s boy… How could anyone want him in the future… He deserves to be single for life…”

“…”

Mom, don’t you happily take the living expenses I give you every month?

What about the promised obedience to me because of the unfortunate experience in my childhood?

You’ve thrown your elbow 800 miles away3! Was I still your favorite goose?!

“Of course. No matter what, mom will always love you the most. It’s my love for you that leads to these problems,” my now calmed down mom said.

The next morning, I was shut out of my house in the cold along with two suitcases.

66.

I felt sorrowful and indignant, as well as a bit excited as I called a taxi, reported Wang Dequan’s address, and went to shelter at his place. He had his own house and normally didn’t live with his parents.

As soon as I got out of the car, Wang Dequan had long been waiting for me at the doorway.

“Auntie called and explained things to me.” He helped me drag up a suitcase. “Your mom said you have an irregular lifestyle and asked me to supervise that you correct it to avoid suddenly dying one day or prematurely developing disease.”

“Hey, isn’t that too much?” I pulled the other suitcase, freeing a hand to run through my hair. “I only ask that I don’t start balding early.”

“Then go to sleep earlier. Don’t keep using up that little kidney essence.”

“No, that’s too hard. My late sleep compulsion4 is already beyond help.”

“Late sleep compulsion?” Wang Dequan meaningfully glanced at me. “Don’t worry, I promise I’ll turn it around for you.”

At the time, I thought he was just joking.

After arranging my things in the second bedroom and going out to buy all my daily necessities, we each minded our own business. The New Year holiday period was coming to an end, and work was preparing to get back on track.

He would make dinner in the evening which was porridge and small side dishes, then I would scrape the bottoms of the dishes clean. Then, we would scrub the dishes together and go downstairs for a walk. Everything was too good to be true.

However, as soon as it reached ten o’clock, he would cruelly pull me from the computer, forcefully disconnect the WiFi, and hurry me to the bathroom to wash up.

How ruthless, even disconnecting the WiFi!

I was certainly bad at disobeying orders.

… But I still had data.

67.

Once I finished brushing my teeth and washing my face, I opened the bedside lamp and laid in bed as I secretly looked at my phone. The door suddenly clicked open and Wang Dequan rushed in like a ghost.

“Having fun on your phone? What’s the point of you going to bed early?” He looked down at me with a “what else can you say?” kind of expression.

Fuck, with such a just and forceful night attack, was this still the Wang Dequan I knew?

I was caught red-handed and felt utterly disgraceful. I hurriedly closed my phone and assured, “I’ll sleep now, it’s just that my biological clock relapsed for a moment!”

“You can never change until you start to change.” Wang Dequan said, “Don’t try to talk your way out. Hurry and sleep. I’ll watch you.”

If you want to watch then just watch.

No, what did he just say?

As for the viewers here, I know you’re all certainly going to think the wrong way.

Yes, my first thought was also, was he was going to jump onto the bed, forcefully hold me down and say with a wicked smile, “I’ll. Watch. You. Sleep.”?

Hehe, you people with dirty thoughts and vulgar interests, can’t you be a bit more pure in the face of a great doctor’s heart?

He pulled over a chair from the desk and directly faced the bed. He sat upright, pulled the desk lamp over, and had a medical record spread on his lap as he calmly said, “I’ll leave once you’re asleep.”

He said he would watch, and he was really watching.

Watching.

Who would be able to sleep like this!

I was forced to hand over my phone and pray to God to send this uncle away.

68.

Speaking of this, after I moved here, I seemed to have been cut off from my phone ever since.

I couldn’t go on my phone during dinner or before bed. During work, I had no spare time to go on my phone, and it was rude to look down at my phone when talking with someone face to face.

Even when I took too long in the bathroom, Wang Dequan would remind me to be careful of hemorrhoids.

For a serious phone addict like me, it was simply a disaster.

It wasn’t like I didn’t use it entirely. I sent my friends and colleagues messages and looked up recipes when making dinner, the kinds of normal things Wang Dequan would also do. He just didn’t like spending large amounts of time indulging in recreational pastimes.

And how could I have the nerve to hold my phone all the time watching variety shows and playing Hearthstone?

Although it was incomparable agony, in order to please Wang Dequan, I was actually able to grit my teeth and give up my phone addiction. After all, I didn’t want his impression of me to be a lowlife otaku.

It simply felt great to feel like I had sacrificed for love.

… But how hadn’t Wang Dequan noticed yet? I wanted to beg for a hug.

69.

Truthfully speaking, for two people with different backgrounds, personalities, and upbringings to live together really was a big challenge.

Wang Dequan’s lifestyle was self-disciplined to the point of rigor. In other words, it was completely senior citizen-like. I liked him, so I had no choice but to adjust my lax pace and work hard to merge with his path.

He woke me up at seven o’clock every morning (allegedly this was because in the winter you had to “go to bed early and wake up late to wait for the sun5”. This gave me a lenient bedtime, but once spring began, I would have to wake up even earlier) to go with him to the public square and learn Tai Chi. When I returned home exhausted in the evening after work, it seemed like I didn’t even have the time to relax before I was already supposed to go to bed. On the weekends, we’d most often go to both our parent’s houses, and we’d most often walk around the park or clean. Normally when we were able to eat at home, we had to buy the ingredients and cook ourselves. There were fewer opportunities to eat out because Wang Dequan said it was unhealthy. There were no movies and no outings. When he was idle at home, he was always so quiet it was as if he didn’t exist. If he wasn’t in his bedroom, then he was in his study, dealing with large cases day after day.

It wasn’t just one day, one week, or one month. It was like this from here on out. Can you imagine it?

Sometimes I almost felt like I was living in a model opera6.

No matter how godly Wang Dequan seemed, only when you’ve personally spent time with him day and night can you feel his complete and stiff lack of interest in life.

Most recently on Valentine’s Day, a day where roses filled the streets, covering the sky and earth, I didn’t go to work and had been busy at home since the afternoon, preparing a candlelit dinner for him. In the end, Wang Dequan was discussing a medical case with a colleague and didn’t return until midnight. The moment he walked through the door the first think he asked was why I hadn’t gone to bed yet.

I wasn’t saying this to complain at all.

The formalities of Valentine’s Day weren’t actually important, and one dinner was also nothing. Of course work was the number one priority.

It was just a bit of a shame that I didn’t have the opportunity to take out the rings I had secretly bought.

That day, I had originally wanted to make use of the atmosphere to propose to him.


Translator’s Notes

  1. Putonghua is the standard form of spoken Chinese that is based on the Beijing dialect.
  2. An expression that refers to how when two iron blades rub against each other they become sharper and more efficient. It refers to how when we meet someone in life, we sharpen each other and improve as people.
  3. An expression that means favoring/helping outsiders instead of your own family.
  4. In Chinese, the term here is literally translated as “late sleeping OCD” and is used to refer to people who are aware they should go to sleep but they don’t want to, a type of procrastination.
  5. I’m pretty sure this is said in order to preserve yang and warmth in the body.
  6. These were a form of Chinese entertainment during the Cultural Revolution that dealt with contemporary topics and featured proletarian protagonists.


On How to Properly Instruct Old Chinese Doctors to Use Emojis

On How to Properly Instruct Old Chinese Doctors to Use Emojis

论如何正确指导老中医使用表情包
Score 9.2
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2017 Native Language: Chinese
My mom assured me that my next blind date would be absolutely exceptional. We talked on WeChat, then he sent me an emoji: “To our friendship, cheers.”

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