So, what can I describe first to make others truly appreciate this experience with me... the humidity? The spiders? No, wait- how about the smells????? I believe there is a perpetual dried fish smell; inside and out. We are getting used to it though, at first Zoe walked everywhere holding her nose and Lily would just act like she was going to faint. She had to stop flopping though because there was no park bench or patch of grass to drape herself on. She had a choice between blazing hot bricks on the right or a pile of shellfish remains on the left; and chose to remain standing with her eyes rolling back in her head.
Let's do spiders next. Kyle says "Take your biggest wolf spider and add about 4 pounds to the body." When one almost landed on John the other day, he exclaimed "Nice!" I disagree. I don't know what would actually happen if you were bit by one, but it can't be much worse than what the mosquitos inflict upon us. They move like flies and don't buzz at all. You don't even know you have been bitten until the itching starts. They leave big welts the size of a nickel sometimes and the kids scratch so much it makes them bleed. When the bite goes away it leaves a small bruise. John seems to get the worst of it.
That's it for anything negative. There are so many positives about this place. The food is terrific... who doesn't like Chinese food???? The kids can eat as much rice and noodles as they want; it's practically free! Everything edible is so darn cheap (except for import foods which cost about the same price as in Canada) and you can eat out for less than cooking it yourself. One problem though is that there are no snacks that the kids recognize- no crackers!!!! Our goldfish supply dwindling quickly.
Zoe can tell you about the "squatties" herself. She has mastered them, including flushing with her foot. (Don't worry, anybody who visits can use the "western" toilets!).
There is so much more I could write about... I need to start adding daily because we see and experience way too much in a week. Just a quick list; Invasive medical exams, hypermarkets (this is truly what the sign says), dvd players that only play half the sound, manholes with missing covers (don't freak out nana), chinese ladies telling you how to raise your kids- in chinese; no ovens, no dryers, no seatbelts, massive hotels and luxury complexes totally empty, women in elevators who get paid to press the buttons for you, children who get out of jr. high school at 6pm, bottled water that tastes like they got it from the pond out back; really, really bad kareoke (sp?) coming up from the beach every night, fireworks in the backyard and lovely friendly people who absolutely love kids and laugh right in my face when they see I have three.
Oh yeah one more thing... yesterday the elevator lady actually started to rub and pinch the skin on Lily's arm. I thought she would faint right there. Anyone who knows Lily can imagine the look that was on her face.
We miss you,