5/22/10: Lima, Peru
It was the best of times, it was the best of times again. That’s what happens when you’re taking a year off to explore the world, and family comes to see you as often as if you lived next door. First we introduced you to Dad, the Shaquille O’Neal of the Curry family. One week later there was The Real Steve Curry, of beef jerky and Simulating Steve fame. Both of these arrivals were hyped up with countdowns, blog posts and frequent conversation between Zhou and me. But those aren’t the only two family members who have come to visit us in Peru. There’s a third, even cooler person who’s made her way here and until today she hasn’t received her proper due.
Meet Amy X. Zhang. The X isn’t filling in for a missing middle initial like it would be in Zhou X Zhang (although Zhou never uses this moniker, as it breaks up the rare double Z initials). With Amy though the X is legit: Xiang. (Don’t you wish the Zhangs named you too?) But a sweet middle name isn’t reason enough to get a mention in the famous NHC blog (didn’t want to get your hopes up, John Chilidog Jones). You also have to come see us. Today Amy did just that.
Before I go on, here’s a few reasons why we were incredibly excited to see Amy: she’s the best little sister either of us have ever had, she’s a much better writer than either of us, she’s still in college which by default makes her life interesting, she’s a black belt, her email updates are fantastic and we need to follow up on many of the subjects, she’s willing to brave the bugs and rain of the Amazon just to see us, and every 19 year old girl should want to be her because she’s just plain awesome. However, the problem is that she arrived less than 20 minutes after we left Dad and Steve so it didn’t give us much time to anticipate. We simply said goodbye to Dad and Steve at the Lima departures then walked about 50 paces to the crowd awaiting the arrivals and then this happened:
Z: There she is, I see her!
K: That’s an old lady.
Z: Oh, I just saw the top of her head. Wait, there she is!
K: That lady is white and she weighs about 400 pounds.
Z: Is that her over there?!
K: That’s a guy.
Z: Oh, it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen her. I guess I’m not sure what she looks like.
Eventually though Amy did show up, and Zhou correctly ducked under the ropes and ran to give her a big hug. I followed close behind, and pretty soon thereafter I got to thinking about how the dynamics of this upcoming week would differ from the those of the two spent with my family. I came up with the following list:
- Amy is basically the same height as Zhou (although she might point out she’s a fraction of an inch taller – I’m not sure if there’s that competition between sisters like there is between brothers), so I’ll be over a head taller than the rest of our group.
- I will have the best mustache. Good thing Adam Morrison isn’t here though, because even he would have me beat here.
- There will be no more references to Cool Runnings, or Joey Votto, or The Simpsons, or Ohio State, or even LeBron James. Wait – that’s not entirely true. I will still reference them, but no one will acknowledge me.
- No one will awkwardly wonder how we’re all related. With Dad and Steve, we were three young Asians and one older white guy in a cowboy hat. Didn’t make much sense. Now we’re clearly two sisters and a brother.
- I will carry most everything because there is no mule-like younger brother to do it for me. Haha, who I am kidding – I carried everything anyway. Only before Steve had no excuses (although he liked to blame the altitude). Amy and Zhou have a good excuse: no pockets.
- I won’t understand any conversation. Amy and Zhou like to talk about books, and even though I’m a reader now I still am 19 years behind both of them. (Yes there are rumors they were reading straight from the womb.)
- I will be the third coolest person in the group. Surprisingly though, this is a step up from being the fourth coolest.
- No one will have sand dune races with me any more. Steve and I fashioned five different kinds yesterday: the forward uphill race, the backward uphill race, the all fours uphill race, the downhill belly flop race, and the downhill jump. He won the first three, and I won the last two. I included this bullet last because I wanted to post some pictures.
But – get ready for the cheesy ending… wait for it, wait, here it comes! – even though things are changing, one thing remains the same: Zhou and I will be with people we love, and we wouldn’t trade our family visits for anything in the world.
(Adding to the “cheesy” ending: I would actually trade these family visits for the same family visits plus a chili cheese dog. Man I miss those things.)
Picture of the Day: I lost the uphill races because I was tired from carrying Zhou up the dunes.