Showing posts from May, 2013

One Year, again.

This morning Michael sent me a text with this image:

Now I know most of you reading this won't understand the significance, so I will draw your attention to the Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie bronze pin on the left. That is a one year pin, given to employees of the Walt Disney Company after their first year of service. The next year pin doesn't come until five years of service. Michael and I had a good laugh over this text, because this is actually Michael's fourth one year pin. Over all, he's got over 15 years of cumulative employment with Disney around the world, but every time the project he's working on ends, he moves on to non-Disney projects outside the company. And then the next time they open a theme park somewhere in the world, they call him back again and he starts from zero, earning his one year pin all over again.

I have a one year pin of my own somewhere in storage in a box somewhere in America. The interesting thing is that all the people I started…

Golden Arches

"But Mom, an ice cream cone is only 3 RMB!" 
In Macau, McD's was somehow a regular part of our life. A meal with the kids every week was normal, whereas in the States we may have gone a couple years without a trip through their drive thru. But my husband worked nights in Macau and was fed dinner at work, and cooking just for kids and yourself is wholly unsatisfactory. So cheeseburgers on the cheap it was. I rarely said no to the ice cream cones, even if we weren't eating anything else there. At roughly thirty cents a cone, it was crazy to pass it up.
In Shanghai, we went four months before we made our first trip to McDonald's, and it was only because it was hot and lunch time and every other dining possibility was packed with people waiting for tables. So I begrudgingly got my hangry children (hangry = hungry + angry) burgers and fries to scarf down. The cost was higher than Macau, just like everything else here. I don't think we've been back since. I…

Wascally Wabbits

When I've said before that you can find anything on our street if you just wait long enough, I never imagined pets. But today the door-to-door bunny sales lady was out, doing some brisk business with the local kids streaming out of the elementary school on our block. At least I hope these little puff balls are meant for pets... One never knows in China.


Just opened my electric bill for the month and found maybe the most disgusting advertising insert to date. Nice start to a Monday... A spiky-poo-thing jumping on a trampoline. I don't even wanna know...

Edited to add: So I also posted this on Facebook and my friends erupted with questions about what it was. So I emailed it to one of my local Chinese friends, who got back to me right away, telling me it was a sea cucumber. A very popular ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which has properties that can help with any number of things such as low sperm count to frequent urination, as well as diabetes and being too skinny. I guess I better stay away from them, as my problem has never been being too skinny! You can read more about them here. And now that I know what they are, I can tell you that I have seen them in a dried state quite a bit around Macau and Hong Kong, where pharmacies that specialize in TCM are on every corner, with their wares on display in the window. I&#…

Share the Hair, 2013

Hello friends! We're back from our week in Macau and Hong Kong, where Michael worked while the boys and I played. It was a strange and interesting week and I'll save the stories for another day.

While we were gone, Mother's Day came and went (happy Mother's Day to you Mom and Carol, and to all you Mamas out there!), and my friend Rory published her annual Mama and Me Share the Hair post on her blog, Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care. This was the third year my oldest son and I participated, and I told Nathan (almost 13) that this would probably be our last year. He was absolutely flabbergasted! In fact, actual tears sprung to his eyes and he said he wanted to do this with me forever. Wow. Alrighty then. It's funny how something that started off as a one-off has become a treasured tradition for my squirrelly boy.

Rory's blog was started specifically to share how she used hair to bond with her adopted newborn daughter, now a kindergartner. It has been fun to bond w…

String of thoughts

Yesterday I visited the dermatologist at the local hospital to get a painful little something removed from the back of my leg. My pale, sensitive skin + Shanghai's weird air/water/pollution don't mix well (same goes for my sinuses I guess). I brought some reading material, a very old but new-to-me book.
I think perhaps it wasn't the best book to be reading in a hospital setting. But I will say this, my entire bill at the local Chinese hospital, including seeing the specialist, lab work, and two prescriptions, came to 34.8 RMB, which is less than $6 USD. If I'd gone to the international expat clinic which occupies the same building, ten floors higher, but utilizes the exact same doctors for the most part, the bill would have been at least twenty times higher. It's nice to know I have that option, but I'll save it for something more serious. Or not. I'm getting used to the Chinese way of treating maladies. As I was leaving, I passed the Jaundice Clinic and t…