It's hard to describe.
Life here is incredibly ordinary....and incredibly unusual. Most things take three times longer to do than I think they will. Except if I allow enough time for whatever I need to do, I usually end up in places early.
So...Monday and Tuesday of this week.
Monday was visa renewal day. We sent Elisabeth off to school, thinking that the school would drive her out to a main road and she could catch a taxi home around 1:00. Except that when I called the school, they said that the van to take her to the main road was unavailable and that I would need to taxi out to the school to get her. Which meant that I had to get the baby to the ayi much earlier than I thought. So I packed things up, took the baby over to the ayi and miraculously found a taxi to take me to the international school. I knew there was construction on the road to the school but I didn't know the road was completely torn up and that we needed to use another road. Somehow between my taxi driver's maneuvering, we got to the school. I asked the taxi driver to wait a little while I got Elisabeth. She agreed and then took us back to our apartment. We then taxied to the university where Paul is going to teach and they took us in a van to the People's Security Bureau. It sounds intimidating but we have found the people there to be really nice. We waited in a room crowded with all kinds of foreigners-more than we have seen in the last year. When we got there, they were on number 64 and we were number 116. So we hung out with some acquaintances that we ran into there. We met another woman that we had heard about who does awesome work with orphans. Then another friend came in. So the time passed quickly. When we were finished, we taxied back and went to get a quick bite for dinner. The restaurant that we went to is usually pretty slow, so I did a quick run into the semi-foreign grocery store to get a few things that were missing at my local market earlier in the day. Like potatoes and carrots that I needed to make stew.
After that we went home. We have a class where we learn Chinese that is related to our world view and it is really fantastic. I put a tired baby to bed and after class collapsed myself.
Today I went to Chinese for the first time at Dong Bei Da Xue. Paul stayed home to work with his tutor. I had grammar and listening and I loved it. Tomorrow I have reading and speaking and we'll see if I still love it. I am trying different classes for two weeks. I'll probably stick with this program.
After Chinese, I biked over to the market for brown sugar. Not that there is my idea of brown sugar in China but this stuff is okay. I also needed cat food as our local market was also out of that.
Got home and had a quick lunch. Paul got the baby from the ayi so we played with him a little. Then a friend came over to talk about an English corner that we are involved in. While she was there, I baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for the Back to School night we had tonight. After she left, Paul went to go teach at the university and my landlord's daughter came over to practice her English. She is adorable but her grandmother comes and stays and she makes me nervous. The baby was great during all this until the end when he got poopy and fussy.
After our landlord daughter left, the baby screamed for a long time. He is not unusual for a kid from the orphanage in that he has a hard time sleeping. He needed to sleep and finally fell asleep around 5:00. Except that we had to leave at 5:30. Let's just say it wasn't pretty and he had a hard night at our friend's house.
At 6:00 we took the bus out to the international school for open house. Everything was translated into Chinese and Korean. We talked to teacher's, met new parents and generally had a good time. Back on the buses at 8:00 and back to our friend's house to get a screaming baby. We also had to buy water and mango popsicles. Okay-the "had" only applies to the water. You can not drink the water here.
Back home for a check up phone call with one of the baby's doctors and then we put him to bed. Which is where I'll be heading in very few minutes!
Have I mentioned that I still have homework to do. Since the baby wakes up before six, I think I'll do it then.