Saturday, May 24, 2008
When we got to our hotel (The Disneyland Hollywood Hotel - VERY NICE) we were told that we had been chosen to be MOVIE STARS for the day - I was hoping for huge things like leading the parade, maybe a new "movie star" wardrobe...but the perk turned out to be the use of a lovely Toyota van to cart us around to the front door and pick us up at our leisure. That was really nice, actually, to just hop into our a/c van after a HOT day at the park.
We spent the evening at the pool, taking a break only to eat supper in our suits. Goofy came to the pool and actually played in the pool, splashing around with the kids, a few times. It was pretty cool. I don't know what his costume was made of but it did NOT look comfortable. The kids had a ball with him, and Ella was actually brave enough to "high-five" him.
Today we'll be heading to church and then lunch with our dear Hong Kong friends. They just had a baby girl on Mother's Day! It will be our first time seeing them since she was born, though I don't think they'll be bringing her. People here tend to keep kids in the house for the first few months of birth - it's not uncommon to get chewed out in Cantonese or Mandarin for having a baby out in public that looks too young.
Then we'll head back to China for another exciting week of school, work, and play. Probably not as exciting as last week with the Elton John show, but exciting regardless, I'm sure.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
So this morning Ella started scratching her hand and complaining about itching. I looked and, sure enough, there were a few little blisters there. She also felt feverish and was tired. So, I took her to the doctor right away this morning to get her checked out.
The doctor blames the media for the panic. She also talked about how common this illness is in the States and in Australia, where she's lived and doctored (Australia), and how kids do not die from it there. She said she doesn't know what those children died from but it wasn't hand foot and mouth disease. Her theory is that it's possibly some Chinese herbal remedy gone wrong, or maybe dehydration. She said Ella's case is very mild but to keep her home from school until the blisters go away. When I asked her about the boys she said that, ideally, infected kids should stay away from other kids. She said "Well, I'll tell you to keep them separate, but good luck with that." She figured they're probably already immune to it or else they'll pick it up but she wasn't especially worried. She made me feel so much better! So, now you have the rest of the story about the China Childrens' Virus, at least according to my lovely and talented doctor.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Ella has modeled a few times, and Alex has done it once. I have some really nice catalogs with their pictures in. Lately Ella's been saying "NO!" when we get a call so I don't know if she'll do it again. But, the last time she did it it must have been a nice job. There is a huge billboard in the main children's clothing department store here with her on it! Several people have told me about it so today I went to check it out.
Department stores are much different here than in the U.S. They are usually two stories tall, although sometimes many more. There are different vendors that cover only a certain area, and they don't have anything to do with the vendor next to them - they are in direct competition. There is no common accounting system, either. So, if you want to buy something, you agree on a price - haggling is getting less and less productive here - and they write up a "fa piao" or receipt - all in Chinese, of course. For all I know it could say "This stupid foreigner just bought a load of crap for a ton of money. Ha ha ha. Smile nice at her, now." But, I digress. Then you take your piece of paper to a cashier - there are usually several set up around the floor. You pay the cashier, who then gives you more paper, duly chopped, and your change. You bring the new pink piece of paper along with the cash receipt to the vendor, who by now has bagged up your purchase and will hand it to you. It's a whole lotta hassle but that's the way things are done here...the old-fashioned, labor-intensive, paper-heavy way.
Today I couldn't help buy the dress she's wearing in the picture and said (in CHINEEEEEESE) "That's my daughter." They chattered on about how beautiful she was and how she looks like me ("Buy more stuff! Buy more stuff!") and then I left to take pictures of Ella's billboard.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Today we went to Hong Kong for my Mother's Day. Had an excellent church service, with communion and everything! Then we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for my Mother's Day Rockin' Lunch. It was fun and everybody ate well...it was nice to be back there. They have this pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw and baked beans....aaaaaahhhhh, it's a little slice of American paradise right smack dab in Asia. Very nice.
Did some shopping and picked up Tim's beautiful new suits. Took a cab home and had a quiet evening here. Great Mother's Day!
This morning we took a ferry to get there - they have started using these little old ferries that they normally use for the airport to go to the part of Hong Kong where our church is...last I heard, they were going to cancel our Sunday ferry altogether, so I was glad to have a ride to church! Well, this particular ferry had an interesting bathroom. I am sure you've heard of Asia's famous "squatty potties" which are basically a hole in the floor. Rarely do the bathrooms here have toilet paper or soap, but they have water and a bathroom attendant to "clean up" (with what, though???). To make things even ickier, people don't flush their paper here, the put it into the wastebasket that is in every bathroom. Gets a bit smelly really quickly. Anywho, this was a squatter, but it was a squatter on a BOAT so I looked down and saw water rushing under me. Nice to find out just how clean the Hong Kong harbor really is....ick. It did have tp, which was a nice touch, but no wastebasket and no, no soap. Luckily one learns quickly to carry tissues, gel and wipes wherever you go! It was one of my more interesting Asian potty experiences...
So, we start our week. This weekend our Women's Club is hosting a James Bond-themed end of the year party ("License to Chill"...very cool) but I don't think I can find anything to wear on such short notice. Probably we'll have to skip it, although Tim would look so handsome in his new suit! We'll see...have a lovely week!