Since we are finally over our jet lag I decided it was time to get in a better routine than we have been since we arrived in Chengdu. We decided to hire another part-time ayi to help Xiao Yang with the cleaning since she doesn't get much done with Angus in tow anymore. Xiao Sun prepares Jonny's breakfast and does most of the cleaning while Xiao Yang watches the kids when I am out running errands and is my personal sous chef. So far it is working out good! Jonny wasn't exactly that keen about the idea, but I think he is more happy now that he has his coffee and breakfast waiting for him when he comes down the stairs.
My Chinese teacher cancelled my lesson on Tuesday, so Angus and I have the morning free since Xiao Yang wasn't coming until 12. We had heard that there was a Gymboree that open here and Chengdu so we hopped in the van and went to find it. For those of you that are not familiar with Gymboree it is a expensive play, music, and art program for kids birth to age 5. Gemma went for a couple years and really enjoyed it. We arrived about 30 minutes later and went up to the 7th floor of one of the many department here in Chengdu. I was so thrilled when I saw the sign in big colorful letters "GYMBOREE". I was so excited I could hardly wait to see Gymbo the Clown (Gymboree's mascot)! We walked in and it was brand new and extremely nice. I quickly signed both Gemma and Angus up for 2 classes a piece. I was thinking that I would be getting China prices to, but no such luck. It was still as expensive if not more than in the US. I figured that it was worth it since there is not much for the kids to do in Chengdu.
So far there are 60 kids enrolled, mostly Chinese and Koreans and I have recruited 3 other North American families to go. Maybe they will give me a marketing job and my kids will get a student discount! Gemma starts her art class this evening with two of her classmates from QSI. We will let you know how it goes.
Another fabulous Western find for the week was a new restaurant called Hot Spot. Hot Spot is a pseudo-Japanese-Chinese fusion restaurant with the big teppan tables. The tables are U-shaped and very funky compared to the plain rectangular tables we have been to previously in the US. They also have a very fab menu which includes everything from goose liver to steak to chicken to prawns. We ordered Thai-styled prawns, steak, chicken, beef roll (enoki mushrooms, red onions, wrapped in a thin slice of steak), bean sprouts, Chinese greens with mushrooms, and fried rice. The only negative thing I have to say about this place was in true Chinese fashion the vegetarian menu was not really vegetarian, which was unfortunate because the woman who arrange to go there was a vegetarian. So when we had our bean sprouts there was a little bit of bacon and also in the Chinese veggies they put a bit of pork.
I have even heard there is an IKEA type store that recently opened, so I will have to go and check that out sometime soon! My new hometown is really shaping up!