Well I took most of our clothes down the street - guess what, they have a Chinese laundry here! Actually, several of them! I think I told them not to dry clean our stuff and I think they told me it would be ready tomorrow at noon. I will update you on whether that is the case and whether we ever see our clothes again!
The laundress carefully inspected every item down to our smallest articles of underwear and noted to me every stain, no matter how small or how embarrassing! I think it was in preparation to hit me with a big bill, which it was, nearly $45 US for a huge bag of laundry.
Today was more Chinese study and teaching courses which were both very interesting! We did a speaking unit on "survival Chinese" about asking the price of things, then we did some writing practice. A sample of my writing practice is below. I had to post it here because the teacher actually said I had good handwriting! This was the first compliment I have ever had on my chicken scratch :).
Then we had a Chinese teacher come into class who gave us more pointers and told us the taboo subjects not to talk about - the usual subjects; politics, religion, sex.
Peter started the day playing soccer with the other teachers in the course here, most of whom are very recent college grads. They invited Peter to play soccer with them and he was so excited! I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that Peter was the only one with a soccer ball! I got him all suited up tonight with new cleats, shin pads and socks, all for under $20 US! Peter was THRILLED! He came back drenched with sweat due to the humidity - he looked like such a jock!
For lunch today, we went to a Hot Pot place. The woman pictured is Alexis. She just graduated college and will be going to Hangzhou with us! She speaks some Chinese, much more than me, so it was very helpful to have her along!
Anyway, the idea of the hot pot is this:
- Order a big bowl with 2 types of soup; spicy and not spicy, and put them on hotplate in the center of your table
- Order a variety of raw meats and veggies
- Cook them up in the soups.
- Fish out the stuff you just cooked with your chopsticks and eat, also dipping in various sauces before you insert the goods in your mouth.
- Go back to step 3. and repeat until you are stuffed!
This is a lot like fondue and the kids had a great time doing this.
Jack, being the Master Chef mixing up sauces at the table.
Sophie must have done hot pot before we got her because she was thoroughly bored with the experience as you can see here. Either that or she was wiped out from playing with the other kids all morning.
Here's a picture of Sophie at the restaurant the previous day. As we are walking to lunch she always falls asleep, and becomes even heavier than what we call her - a sack of potatoes.
Tonight we stayed in and ordered some pretty authentic tasting veggie pizza from a local "Papa Johns". The guy who delivered it accepted my $$ and delivered some long soliloquy in Chinese as I smiled and nodded knowingly, but I had no IDEA what he was saying. He was somewhat insistent, but I told him I didn't understand and he went away eventually. That's been my strategy a lot lately. Nod knowingly until the other person goes away :).
One of the other teachers found "The Simpson's Movie" bootlegged on the street and bought it for the kids which they are watching tonight, much to my chagrin. I told them it would be their last movie if they started talking like Bart Simpson! It was a good carrot though to get them through their math assignments today, so they are sitting in front of it tonight for a much deserved rest.