September 08, 2009

Goings On

These weeks find us settling into a new schedule with Ari in school, our schooling and more regular office hours in our MCC volunteer positions. With so many things to juggle, we've been forced into regularity, which is actually quite a good thing.

When we were looking at our options for putting Ari in school, we saw that many kindergartens actually function as a sort of boarding house, even for kids as young as two. They stay all week and go home for the weekend. As such, putting Ari in school for a half day includes breakfast, snack and lunch. We assumed it would be a lot of rice, noodles and vegetables, but since some kids are there for every meal, I suppose they want to add variety. And variety they have!

Here are some free samples:
- five flavor quail eggs
- five flavor bean curd
- congee with red date
- dried small shrimps and purple seaweed with cucumber soup
- chicken liver in "brown sauce"
- calcium congee (the nutritionist in me is very curious as to how much Ca there is per gram of this congee and what chemical form it is in. Of course I shouldn't be surprised since they are many interesting nutritional fortifications here. Like sugar fortified with zinc. I've done a lot of reading on fortification and have never seen that one before)
- peach congee with pine nuts
- bean paste bun

Suddenly it seems like Ari might look chubby for the first time since he was a baby.

In other news, the other night a security guard was so enthralled by the boys that he took his hat of and gave it to them. This is a very typical security guard hat around here. But until we had one in our house we hadn't realized just how 1939 Germany they look. Especially when James wears it!

Speaking of James, we have time for a funny story. James was under the impression for a while that the word for receipt was mai pian. So when he took a taxi recently, he told the driver that he was waiting for "mai pian" before he got out of the taxi. The man looked at him strangely, but James eventually got what he wanted. He got out of the car and thought nothing of it. A week later we were studying together and the word for receipt came up, fa piao. James was confused and told me the story of the taxi and what he had said. I started laughing, because I suddenly remembered that my teacher had told me that mai pian means oatmeal. So James was there calmly telling the taxi driver that he was waiting for him to give him oatmeal before getting out of the car!

This last picture is me trying to look as much like a scary Fraulein as possible. Unfortunately, I don't look all that scary, except for the fact that my eyes look differently sized and I am suffering the effects of my recent cold. Oh well!

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