Yep..I was made in China! I was born and raised in China until I was about 8 years old, when my parents and I landed here in Washington state. Do you know what else is usually made in China? Toys! Lots and lots of toys! So...why was it that growing up in China...the biggest toy making country out there...I didn't own a single one to play with. Sad isn't it? Ahh...but don't judge too hastily!
I was born under the one child policy which limted most families to just one child per household. Since I didn't have sisters or brothers to play with, my cousins became my best friends. Growing up, all of our families were fairly poor. To give you an idea, when I was born, the apartment we lived in was the width of a queen sized bed. The length of the room was probably also the length of the bed itself plus imagine if you had a bench at the end of it. My mom, dad and I shared that room together. Our makeshift kitchen was in the hallway along with everyone else's and the bathrooms are all public. One on each floor.
But I digress, growing up without many toys because my parents couldn't afford them meant we had to get super creative with how we killed our time. I had a bunch of cousins that lived within a few blocks of me, so we'd always play outside. One thing we loved to do was we made nets to catch fire flies. Or, we'd play Chinese jump rope for hours on end. But around this time of the year, close to Chinese New Year was where the fun times began.
Not only did Chinese New Year mean spending tons of time with family, it also meant fireworks and my favorite, CONFETTI!!! Confetti will be all over our neighborhood streets after the festivities. I loved all the beautiful shiny pieces of paper and the different colors it came in. They were hard to come by for me so I wanted to preserve them somehow. I also loved kleidoscopes but, of course, couldn't afford one, so I hashed out what I thought was a brilliant idea. I'd collect all of the confetti I can find, find a piece of glass (usually broken alongside the street from a coke bottle), dig a hole next to a tree trunk, place the confetti in the hole, put the glass over it, and cover the hole with the dirt I dug up. This way, I can come back later to look at the beautiful colors through the glass.
OK, so if you've read to this point, you now probably had to re-read my last paragraph because you have no idea what I was doing or thinking! But, as sad as it was, THAT was my little treasure I created. Nowadays, my hubby makes fun of me and oftentimes will bring up confetti. He says my eyes widen in excitement if he says that word (and they do!!!). My first toy ever was when I came to the United States. It was a hand me down from my dad's colleague's kids...a pink stuffed my little pony. It had pink hair and I'd comb it to perfection. I treasured it as if it was the most expensive toy in the world. For the longest time, all I had was that pony, and now that I think about it, when she was alone, she had no one to play with. Not like Woody and Buzz! :) In a sense, I had an one child policy...poor pony! I eventually adopted other hand me downs though, which made life as a kid much more fun! But I still miss those innocent confetti days. Life just seemed simpler.
Seattle Center - Summer 1989