Thursday, February 12, 2009

ketchup

I just got home from hiking the mountain. I was worried about going because the air has been so dirty lately (you really can't imagine just now nasty unless you've spent time here in the World's Factory) that people have been having a difficult time getting up the mountain, people have been having asthma problems who don't normally have them - it's really been bad. Last time I went - Tuesday - I couldn't see very far from the top at all, just this brown haze. Today, though, it was nice and windy and must have blown away some of the crap because I could actually see Hong Kong across the water and I only had to stop for my breath once. It was a great little trip.

We were in Singapore and Bintan, Indonesia for Chinese New Year 2 weeks ago. One thing we really noticed was how you can see stars at night. They were so beautiful. You forget just how awesome they are when you can't see them for the brown, smoggy air...

Our vacation was lovely. Singapore is a very clean city-state - we refer to it as "Asia Lite" because it's still very Asian, food-wise and fashion-wise and many, many people speak Mandarin there. But it's also clean, there is toilet paper and soap in the bathrooms. It's nice to go there. Then we took a very choppy ferry ride to Bintan, which is part of Indonesia. 4 of the 5 kids we had with us were throwing up by the time it was all over - so were many other people on the boat. It was a rough ride. We then found out that the hotel we stayed at gives you tummy medicine for the return trip - smart! If we ever do that again remind me to bring my Dramamine! We had a nice, beachy vacation and the Club Med (which is older and run-down but functional) had a kids' club that included a Circus School. Both my boys walked the tightrope and flew through the air with the greatest of ease on a trapeze. It was pretty cool. Tim and I were beach bums. Not too shabby!

The other night Ella woke up miserable and crying and crying. About an hour later (still crying and writhing about) she spiked a 105F fever. It was pretty scary. The thing about a situation like that here is that you can't just hop into your car in the middle of the night and drive to the nearest emergency room or children's hospital. First of all, no car. Second of all, what are you going to tell the people at the hospital if you don't speak Chinese? It's a bit of a scary situation. I've actually heard that if you do have an emergency and need to get to the hospital ASAP you should call a cab because ambulances are notoriously slow. Yikes. Luckily, in this case, my neighbor had come over to borrow some kids' Motrin a few days earlier and I knew there was this high fever thing going around. Otherwise I would have been freaking out. And did I mention that Tim's in the States this week? yeah...

I've been spending time with my friend's 2 German Shepherds lately while he is out of the country. He has somebody feeding them and cleaning up after them but they need some love and scratches so I've been making friends with them. Some of you have known me long enough to remember Moses my rottweiler. I loved that dog! Well, 3 kids later I have doggy fever again! I'lll keep you posted on that...

Sorry I haven't blogged in so long. I've become addicted to Facebook and it seems so much easier to write a little one-line blurb about what's going on then a whole paragraph. But I need to keep doing this so you know about the brown air, the lack of stars in China, the wierd little health-care situations you worry about living abroad, and the fact that I WANT A DOG. Thanks for checking in - I'll keep this up. I'm learning guitar so maybe I'll start writing songs and put them here for you to critique. Just kidding - I know I won't do that! Thanks for checking in on us!

5 comments:

Beth said...

Oh, how I remember those smog-infused days! Owen even came down with pneumonia because of it!

heidy said...

so glad to read your blog again! I do so love facebook as well! love seeing your pictures on there. sure glad Ella is doing okay...hope no one else got sick.
while you guys are enjoying the beach, we are taking off to go snow skiing again this weekend!
take care Michelle!

Barb said...

I enjoyed reading your blog! I was just asking Greg if he knew what the medical situation was in China for expats so you answered my question in your blog. That would be tough for me. I'm glad it worked out with Ella and you knew that something was going around...whew...

I can't believe the smog siutation there...YIKES...

Dog fever, huh? We were actually discussing getting a third dog until I put my foot down because I'm the one that takes care of all that entails...I almost caved, but held strong..did I mention we have two guinia pigs now as well? I do love all our animals though and I can't imagine my life without them. I am never truly lonely when everyone is at school and work. The unconditional love is like no other (o:

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,
I talked with your mom at church the other Sunday and she said she even has a Facebook account! I really feel out of date. I guess I am going to have to get one to keep up with you. I read your blog regularly. Stay in touch.
Greta

Meredith said...

Ooh, I can totally hook you up with a great cockapoo/labradoodle breeder stateside if you want!!