The kids and I went to the Kerry Park Side Mall today. We took the apartment shuttle so I was spared the fun of a taxi. The mall is a large five story building with a hotel attached to it, although only three levels are shopping. There are many restaurants and even a grocery store that specializes in imported foods. It is only ten minutes by car so it will be a great place to stop for some of those hard to find American things.
We had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen, which the kids really loved, and it gave us a view of the blue sky. Not something we have seem much of since our arrival.
We went to a Noodle house for dinner tonight, Chinese fast food. The kids had fried chicken and some of our noodles while Lucas and I both ordered noodles, or as we would call it in the US, soup. It was ok, but the noodles I had at Master Kong on our housing visit was much better so I will have to see if we have one close by.
After dinner Lucas took Lily to the Nike shop for sneakers, one of the few places that sell skis, I mean sneakers, in Lucas's size. Charlie and I headed to yep, you guessed it, Carrefour. I picked up some chicken, fruit and veggies since I was out of almost everything. This shopping every few days is going to take some getting used to.
Another things that is going to take some getting used to is the attention my kids get. Westerners, although pretty common are still something to look at, and kids, especially blond kids are of great interest. On one taxi ride Charlie was waving, and when I looked to see at what, I see two men smiling and waving at him from a store. The other day at Carrefour when Lily tried climbing into the cart, a Chinese grandma saw her and just picked her up and plopped her in. That same day at the check out a Chinese grandpa with his grandson is chatting with Charlie and Lily and trying to get his grandson to say "hello". They mean no harm and it is very obvious that children are precious to them, but it is just very different from the States.
Something else that I've learned is that the taxis which come in many different colors are actually not just random colors. The color on the taxi denotes a hierarchy, green being the best, then white, yellow, blue, and then red. Good to know, but not always helpful when you need a taxi and only a blue or red shows up. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed that we get our own car and driver next week.
Before I forget, Lily will be starting school April 1, which is mid term, and instead of BASF paying the full tuition they will only have to pay half if we wait the couple of weeks. Although I want her in school as quickly as possible, it seemed silly to pay the full tuition when it is just a matter of weeks. Hopefully with the indoor play area and the shopping malls I will be able to keep her occupied for the next few weeks.