Cultivating cross-cultural diversity sometimes seems as easy and natural as making Russian salad by following an old family recipe. Each ingredient contributes its own unique flavor and texture while bringing the best out of the rest. The outcome is delightful and worth every bit of effort.
Other times cross-cultural living can be as tricky as assembling a nuclear bomb while blindfolded. When the bomb explodes, it's usually in the shape of your own head!
Still other times, this bi-focal life is downright hilarious. When you add the multi-generational layer to the cross-cultural mix, things can get quite out of control.
Case in point - back in December, I purchased a Kindle Fire for my parents as a Christmas present. It’s been my mom’s long-standing desire to have Skype and unlimited access to communicating with yours truly and her grand-kids on this side of the ocean. We understood that it would be a stretch for my technologically challenged parents to navigate a tablet, but the deal was too great to pass, and time was on our side. Practicing their touch-screen skills while under our roof would surely help them get a hang of it.
The gift was unwrapped, the beginner enthusiasm was off the charts. We hugged and kissed and toasted to the future unfettered intergalactic communication. We were off to a really good start.
I encouraged them to take every chance to play with it until they feel comfortable using at least it’s basic features.
Few days ago, I took our son to his violin lesson, and left my parents at home. While I was away my e-mail got flooded with Appstore purchase order confirmations...
Client for imo?
Not all free, mind you. I was about to jump on our son, the usual suspect, for downloading all these useless apps, but he had an alibi. He was with me!
When I got home, my mom was beaming, Kindle in hand.
I spent the rest of the afternoon with Amazon customer service, cancelling the orders, cleaning out the app mess, in a word, re-defining "Parental Controls". The Amazon Customer Service guy got a kick out of the last bit.
Ha, ha, ha... he said, Parental Control… but for PARENTS!
At least I know they feel comfortable with Kindle now... or, maybe, not quite yet.