December 10, 2008

12:2 Times December 2008

Former Russian Orthodox Church, now empty with locked doors

Post Office Run

We received a package notice this week and getting the package requires a trip to the Post Office. Join us as we venture out to retrieve the package.

Step 1: Put on all the layers of clothes you own because its 3 degrees outside.

Step 2: Walk from the apartment building, cross the street, and wait for the bus 14 to stop at the bus stop. While waiting, cover your face so you don't freeze.

Step 3: Push your way onto the 14 bus when it arrives. This bus is a little more crowded than most in town. Find a spot to settle down (I mean stand) on the bus and hold on tight bracing yourself from slamming into the people around you if there's a sudden stop of lane change.

Step 4: Wait for the bus as the drive jumps out of his seat to scrape the ice off the inside of the window so he can see his mirrors. Do the same to your window if you have a seat and want to see outside.

Step 5: Wait again as the bus driver pulls the bus to the side of the road and comes to the back of the bus near where you are standing. He opens a latch in the floor and sticks his head into the hole. He them lights a rag on fire (maybe to serve as a flashlight, but no one on the bus really knows what is going on) and waves the fire-rag around as he dips his head even lower into the hole. When finished, close the latch and return to the driver's seat to continue the journey.

Step 6: While waiting at red lights, or traffic jams, rev the engine as loud as possible.

Step 7: Get off the bus still a stop from the destination because the driver yells something in Chinese and everyone else gets off the bus.

Step 8: Walk to the next bus stop, then head underground to the market. This serves several purposes. First, you can cross the street without watching for cars. Second, you can get out of the cold for a minute. And third, you can pick up some clothes, toys, or food. Head upstairs when you see an exit.

Step 9: Walk to the Post Office. Hand the package slip and your passport to the attendant. Smile when he checks the picture to make sure it's you. Write your name and passport number on the package slip as he directs you in Chinese (at least I think that's what he asked me to do).

Step 10: Get your package and return home. The trip home is smooth. The bus is not broken and you have a seat for the ride.

Step 11: Once home, de-layer all the clothes you had to wear outside and put on some inside clothes (shorts and a t-shirt). Open the package and marvel at all the powdered sugar, pudding, chocolate chips, and brown sugar.

“We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of knowing the Son personally and directly. When we [do] we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.” Brennan Manning

Kanyon giving a helping hand with assembly

Common Baby Questions

Walking around the neighborhood, riding in taxies, or on the bus, the same questions are asked of Kanyon. Here are the most common ones.

“Nan haizi nu haizi?” Is he a boy or a girl? A common question for any age. Even if the baby is wearing a clear identification such as a bow, the question might still be asked.

“Ta shi yi ge yue ma?” Roughly a question asking his age. The Chinese response is always changing because he is growing so fast.

“Ta hui zou lu ma?” Has he mastered walking? Yes, “ta hui zou lu,” Kanyon cam walk. To get started he still pulls up on anything available, but it won’t be long until he is standing without any assistance to get up.

“Ta shou zhongwen ma?” Does he speak Chinese? Kanyon “bu hui shuo,” or he has not mastered speaking yet. We often say he can’t speak Chinese or English but can say mama, dada, gegege.

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