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Panda, a common typing and binding worker in State Grid for 21 years. Own a bachelor degree of Chinese Language and Literature, and a certificate of teaching Chinese. She is pursuing a Master of Chinese Classical Literature in HuBei University, and studying the novels of Ming & Qing dynasties.
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Kong's Choice——The Tests From Our Own Heart    

By Panda
2878 Views | 9 Comments | 3/26/2014 4:12:23 PM

He even bought the colorful cocktails to drink for a good night's sleep.

Sometimes, you must face the essentials of a problem. Doing this will give you more courage than hearing from others.  You must stop listening and dithering and do what’s right in your own mind.


I have an earlier blog “Cheng Du: Son’s home, Wide and Narrow Alley, Freelance Photographer”, where I mentioned that Kong moved into a rented flat with his classmate as soon as he graduated from University of Cheng Du. He was quite at ease there. I was very pleased with his flat. I stayed there only four days and had no intention of cooking at home.  I just helped him clean the flat and looked around in Wide and Narrow Alley by myself. When Kong shot outside, he would make a phone call to ask me at noon what I wanted to eat. He was afraid of his mother being hungry. Kong took me to eat in several streets since every street near by his home had food, Chinese style, western-style, everything.


After graduating from university in Cheng Du, Kong hadn’t used my money for six months. He had bought an Ipad and some other delicate small stuff by himself. He was well dressed and when he walked in the streets, acquaintances would say hello to him. He also told me when he was free, he could take me to play some places in Cheng Du. I said: "Show me some houses. You like here so much, let's buy an apartment here."


He was furious: "You think I can pay for a house? My customers are students, no big money, I just make 3000 yuan RMB a month, only enough to eat and drink. You and grandma are all the weak-minded in our family, always thinking of buying a house all day. You want to know whether or not I have a girlfriend. I tell you, ‘That person has not appeared.’ Even you are less than a stepmother!"


I asked calmly: "Did your stepmother come to see you?" He said that was half a month ago, "She had just asked a few words at lunch in the same restaurant as now, then went to see my home here. She gave me ten thousand Yuan RMB, I rejected it. But you come here to clean my flat."


I said: "That’s right to reject her money. Any responsible parents would consider buying a house, especially a family with a boy. Your father knows that you have graduated from University, so he pays you money for the last time. Really boring."


Kong said again: "Do you think I'm going to stay in Cheng Du always?” I asked: "Do you want to go back to Zhu Hai?” But he said: "I want to go abroad." I asked: "Which country will you go?" He said: "I had hoped to go to Japan to learn animation, but now I hope to go to France to learn photography." "Have ambition! What time will you start learning French?" He said: "After I deal with some pictures in hand. I must go back to Zhu Hai at first and clear up works. Then I will go back to Cheng Du, the flat is rented until the middle of December, I will back to Wu Han to learn French in early December."


The child has a rebellious personality, but is very attentive to his major. He persistently loved painting on the computer all day in the dormitory when he was a freshman and sophomore. During long summer holidays, he went to Shanghai on a two-period illustration class. They had a photography course in junior year, He went back to Wu Han on winter vacations and bought a Nikon D90 camera by mom’s support. That opened the floodgates. There were works published on NetEase constantly. Last January, the camera was updated for Nikon D800 and he bought an old film camera on Tao Bao net.


He would like to work in Guangzhou NetEase Company, but he wasn’t admitted after the exam, so he worked as a freelance photographer. He has a certain writing ability and can take his own shooting experiences and appropriately put them into words. His articles were published by some web sites until some magazines asked him for the works.


This obstinate character gave Kong an upright quality, never cheating in examinations, very measured with girls. When I was at home in Zhu Hai in Spring Festival, I received a postcard from a girl in Cheng Du. It was a picture of her, on the back wrote: "What time will you be back to Cheng Du to play with me?" No name was inscribed on it. Perhaps she didn't want parents to know who she was. Grandma asked him: "Do those magazines give you the payment?" He said: "of course. Who would give them works without money?"


A lot of college students and graduate students have to pay for editing and layout of their graduation papers before they are published in China. Even university teachers have to do so for their professional evaluations.


Yesterday evening, I went to bed at eleven o 'clock. I was awoken from sleeping by Kong. He opened my door and asked: "Where's the bottle opener?" I had to out of my bed to find it for him. He even bought the colorful cocktails to drink for a good night's sleep.


He lives together with me now so he can learn French in Wu Han University every day. At one meal he can eat two bowls of rice, I was very happy, but not for long. Sometimes I have cooked dinner, and he hasn’t come home to eat. I looked for him to stay at home this weekend to cook a meal. I was ready to please him with dinner but he didn't even look at the food on the table on his way out. I said: "Is this how you treat mom?" He said: "I just want to go around, there is no other meaning." I gently said to him: "I made some dishes. Don't you want to eat together with me and share your cocktail?" He also said softly: "You can drink it if you want.”


Before Kong come to Wu Han, my sister asked him:“Do you want to rent a flat near Wu Han University?”He chose to live in mother’s home, The distance away from the Wu Han University is five bus Stations. Our good friends lived in Wu Han University. Teacher Yan invited us to her home for dinner, I said to Kong: "Auntie Yan came from Shang Hai. Their Shanghai dishes are very delicious. If you like, you can have lunch and dinner every day in her home. I can pay them for your meals in her home." He was not willing to go to Yan’s home. It seems my meal quality is not the problem. Sometimes he doesn't want to eat at home, what he wants is to relax outside or as drink coffee in the cafe and do homework there.


I know Kong is an independent boy, but I still insist on cooking every day and making our home clean and tidy. I think that if he is willing to eat more food at home, he is moving towards maturity.

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#2014-03-26 16:56:55 by anonymous9484 @anonymous9484

In English we have a word 'smother' contains the letters 's' and 'mother'.
A mother can smother her son!

He is a free spirit and talented - independent yet being around you...but maybe you do not see!

He has an artists' soul - it must be tortured to create great works! He is not worried by money and the accumulation of wealth is distasteful...he is young and idealistic, yet to feel the bite of responsibility...but he sees it coming!

As you say, he could go to many places and live away from you...but he doesn't! He shows signs of tenderness and concern but you choose to hold onto the disappointment!

So, maybe from a male's perspective...
- You are rightfully proud but also spying on him!

- you are sticking your nose in his private relationships and this is unwanted

- you are 'fussing' over him when he doesn't need it... yo come for a holiday and clean his house?'

- you are publishing his work and your private disappointments in a public forum. He can be identified easily by his peers and by future employers - is it wise to be doing this?

- You have given permission to publish your own words but has he given permission to re-publish his arts?

If his friends find the articles online and comment to him about why he is so horrid to his mother?

- You are having strangers comment on a personal moment, between mother and son!

I can only say, if my mother were doing the same, I would be more than a little upset with her! I mean this respectfully - what damage are you doing to your son and the relationship with him?

We agonise over our decisions and relationships with others...but they are private agonies! We do what we think is true and correct - but betrayal of trust is not easily forgiven... be careful where else you look and what else you write and what comment you make about a young man having a few quiet drinks at home!

#2014-03-26 17:37:12 by dancingshoes @dancingshoes



#2014-03-26 19:25:15 by anonymous9486 @anonymous9486

@Panda - putting aside Kong's rebelliousness for a moment, he said some interesting things. He said he liked to travel and he yelled at you for wanting to purchase a house. This shows the difference between the old and the new generations. In the past, the big dream was to own a house. That is the old way of thinking. This new generation of kids wants to travel the world and not be tied down to any one place.

#2014-03-26 19:50:32 by Barry1 @Barry1


Thanks for these further insights into your relationship with Kong, Panda. I always enjoy what you say, no matter what the topic is.

I notice by the way, that your English writing is getting better and better. I take my hat off to you for this accomplishment, as I always am mighty impressed by anyone who demonstrates both the intellect and the determination to master two languages, rather than just one. Congratulations, Panda! (clap)

You said,

"He even bought the colorful cocktails to drink for a good night's sleep."

I'm intrigued by the pretty bottles shown in the photo up above - are these alcoholic drinks or simply flavoured water? I hope they're not alcoholic as the last thing Kong needs to do is to get into the habit of becoming half sloshed every time he wants to have a nap! (d)

For those Chinese ladies out out who are unfamiliar with the term, "sloshed" is Western slang for "drunk".

By the way, if you need someone to rip the metal bars out of the windows in Kong's room and then patch up the bolt holes and paint over them, I'll be glad to do this myself as I hope to be in the Wuhan region this coming June.

Maybe then I can also have a heart to heart talk to Kong, telling him what an extremely caring mother you are. This may help make him pause to reflect upon some of his less desirable actions and behaviour toward you as described in your last blog article here.

Best wishes to you, Panda. :)

#2014-03-27 12:24:01 by panda2009 @panda2009






#2014-03-28 11:31:59 by Barry1 @Barry1


"We agonise over our decisions and relationships with others...but they are private agonies!"

Very interesting words, thank you, Anon9484.

I can see your viewpoint here but may I act as a devil's advocate for a moment?

If a mother chooses to vent her reminiscences, conversations and feelings about her child, I feel she should be entitled to do this. Quite obviously, the mother in this case (Panda) is a very caring person and no venom or ill will of any description is intended.

Au contraire, by opening her private interactions up to public scrutiny, two potentially quite valuable benefits can be gained.

1. Through the written release of her feelings, this helps quell the internal turbulence she inwardly feels. Her prose may act as a release valve for her emotions - surely a good thing?

2. Consequent upon her article, sincere and good advice from others can also be gained. Readers like you or I can reply to her, often giving views and ideas that perhaps she may never have previously considered. Gaining such arms length advice from people not directly within the swirling maelstrom of emotions generally would be beneficial, if proffered sincerely, in good faith?

So whilst I accept that such interactions between a parent and child to SOME people may be regarded as private and confidential matters, not everyone necessarily need feel this compulsion for anonymity, discretion or reticence.

To go further, I think it'd be a dull old world if everyone felt as you do, my friend. I enjoy reading personal thoughts, feelings, words, appetites and desires. Sure, to certain reserved (and no doubt, quite respectable) people like you, they may be "private agonies", but I regard them more aptly as information sharing. Perhaps even informed entertainment, if given with this goal in mind.

It thus depends on which side of the glass fishbowl you're sitting in. Are you the goldfish within the bowl - or the spectator on the outside looking in? Both sides are fine. Both are legitimate. And both have a right to exist without threat of condemnation or censure, providing that what's written is done so ingenuously without malice, either overt or covert.

#2014-03-31 22:47:10 by sandy339 @sandy339

I don't know why kids nowdays seem impolite, I don't know what is wrong...
Maybe we are all selfish and self-centered, Hope they could be considerate to others, especially to family soon. My dad always says kids will be nicer when they grow up, I just hope so.

#2014-04-01 16:32:59 by Barry1 @Barry1


"I don't know why kids nowdays seem impolite, I don't know what is wrong... "

The answer to this in my view is their upbringing, Sandy.

Largely due to the one child policy, MILLIONS of children in China have been spoilt, treated like little kings or princesses.

If a child is doted upon and treated like this - not being given enough discipline during their formative years - especially when he or she exhibits rudeness to others and is allowed to get away with it time after time - then as a young adult, the same behaviour will manifest.

The problem is it's hard to bring up a child with sufficient discipline, especially as a single parent. No one likes to punish their kid, after all. It's much easier to take the easy way out, giving them a gentle slap on the wrist when they act up, when in actuality, they may have deserved something much more stern than this.

The adage that "one must be cruel to be kind" is very appropriate here. A parent who has treated their child TOO kindly (ie with not enough discipline) is actually doing them a serious disservice. Sad but true. Just look at the MILLIONS of spoilt rotten Chinese kids and young adults out their now, to see what I mean.

#2014-04-01 20:09:26 by panda2009 @panda2009

They are all Angry Greens.
My son and I went to my sister's banquet last night, just a buffet in revolving restaurant of Ramada. He flat out stuned me. He left me at the door to the hotel, went to other places, and rejected to hear my sister's calling. When I backed home a while, he also backed.My mother told me that he often didn't attend dine together when he grew up.
He is polite sometime. When he backed home late, he would ask me sleep soon.Anyone in family need help, he is willing to respond.

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