The down­side of play­ing goose­berry

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - TWO CENTS - By Lisa Lee

Ihave been play­ing goose­berry or the “chap­er­one” ever since my sis­ter met her then boyfriend and now hus­band five years ago. My sis­ter and I grew up to­gether and are very close, so we went on many trips to­gether. She took her hus­band on our most re­cent trip.

We had planned to go to Egypt, but it did not work out, and we de­cided to go to Fu­jian Province in­stead. Her hus­band had been busy at work, and it was a great op­por­tu­nity for him to have a long hol­i­day.

It was a bad de­ci­sion to travel with a cou­ple, even if they are my sis­ter and brother-in-law.

It’s not be­cause they are lovey-dovey. Un­like other cou­ples, they don’t dis­play af­fec­tion in public places. It’s be­cause of their fights. It was re­ally em­bar­rass­ing.

For the first two days in Xi­a­men, Fu­jian Province, ev­ery­thing was all right. On the third day, they be­gan quar­rel­ing from time to time.

One night a big fight broke out on the way back to the ho­tel. We were staying at a home­s­tay-style ho­tel lo­cated in a small hu­tong and lost our way. My sis­ter had let her hus­band lead us with smart­phone nav­i­ga­tion, and he di­rected us to a dark lane, claim­ing that we should pass through it.

My sis­ter dis­agreed, say­ing it might be dan­ger­ous be­cause it was too dark in­side. Then they had a big fight on the street, yelling at each other. I was em­bar­rassed and didn’t know whose side to take.

In the end, my sis­ter’s hus­band and I had to chase af­ter my sis­ter as she ran back to the ho­tel. She ran very fast and many times went the wrong way. I wasted a great night run­ning on the street with an an­gry cou­ple and was ex­hausted when we reached the ho­tel.

Within half an hour they made up. I was wor­ry­ing about whether the trip would af­fect their re­la­tion­ship when I heard them laugh­ing and chat­ting like they never fought. I breathed a sigh of re­lief, but the awk­ward­ness never went away.

The good times didn’t last long. Two days later an even big­ger fight broke out over a triv­ial mat­ter. My sis­ter’s hus­band was open­ing the win­dow in the ho­tel room when his fingers got caught in the win­dow frame.

He was fu­ri­ous and shouted at my sis­ter, blam­ing her for push­ing the win­dow wrongly. My sis­ter shouted back in a louder voice, and I was sure that the ho­tel man­ager, other peo­ple in the ho­tel, even peo­ple in the neigh­bor­ing ho­tel all heard.

I kept silent. My sis­ter kicked her hus­band out of the room and forced him to look for a room by him­self, which he did.

The next morn­ing was also wasted due to the fight. We spent the en­tire day in the ho­tel; they had a long con­ver­sa­tion, and I played games on my phone. Al­though they made up again, I was too tired to wit­ness an­other fight.

I will never let them take me on a trip in the fu­ture. I would rather stay home and play com­puter games alone, which is bet­ter than play­ing goose­berry.

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