Monday, March 15, 2010

no such thing as a free lunch

When we do leave Beijing.... time at school with the kids is what I'll miss the most. Back in the states will mean back to my back- to- school hauling a double stroller and trailing a toddler days. Not quite so relaxing as Friday's lunch with Bethany.

Notice my rather large salad? That's from the help-yourself bar, so I always try to get my money's worth. I have a little problem with Eurest and their overpriced lunches. Actually, Eurest is kind of a bad name in my house. They don't recognize a good customer when she walks in the cafeteria. So my kids are occasionally over-drawn? So at least one of my kids is overdrawn on any given day? For what we pay, when I do get in to pay it each month, I ought to have my name engraved on one of the tables, preferably near the salad dressing.

So the intelligent solution would be pack a lunch. Rob suggested that last time we talked about our budget. I said "Great idea. Will you be in charge of that?"

I have yet to see a packed lunch of Rob's making leave the house, so I am assuming that he values his fifteen minutes of free time in the evening as much as I do.

I just told Rob that our kuai envelope was empty because I had sent a bunch of money in to Eurest, so I thought I could hold my debt-free head high when I walked in to lunch this time. Not so. Some lady, who I didn't know, but who knew me, cornered me in the hall to tell me that Kyle's lunch card was overdrawn.

In fact, three ladies cornered me on my last visit to the school and only one wanted to tell me that she'd heard me sing on t.v. The other one, who's name I didn't even know, wanted to tell me to "please tell my children to use quieter voices on the bus." To which I could only respond with, "we're working on that in the kitchen too."

Next time I go into school I'll need to borrow the boys' You don't know me...I'm with the FBI Witness protection program t-shirt that we bought on a street corner in D.C.

So Friday I dropped off some chocolate chip cookies for Kyle to share with his class, in honor of his birthday, wandered around a bit, then met Bethany for lunch.

Next, I had an hour to drive over to Pinnacle plaza to do some last-minute grocery and present shopping for Kyle's birthday. I had to prepare the breakfast cereal buffet. Captain Crunch was "on promotion", 55 kuai for a small box. That's eight dollars! I can't believe I paid that (but felt justified when I saw Rob ate two bowls Saturday morning.)

Driving out of Pinnacle plaza I waved at a security guard, looking every bit the part in his impressive black and white uniform. I had to laugh though, when I noticed the smiling golden retriever in the role of his "vicious" guard dog. So much in China is form without content. At least they were both very pleasant.

After my shopping I ran back to ISB for the kindergartners' performance in the big theatre...jazzed up Mother Goose.

I took this one during a very lively version of Jack be Nimble, too lively for a good picture.


Aggiefamily said...

So cute! $8 for captin crunch? You had better be able to actually meet the captin and get your picture put on the box! Holly COW!

miriam.plass said...

The things we take for granted back over here. I can't imagine how much school lunches cost. I remember my mom freezing sandwiches so that it would be faster to make a lunch. HAHA... can you believe that I've considered it.... Man, I am my Mom's child.