Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ice skating in the tropical heat

Day 8 - Wednesday. We arrived last wednesday and it feels like we have been here longer. After the low point of yesterday I actively sought out activities to help keep us diverted. The ice-skating rink in the mall beckoned and I signed Theo up for an early afternoon lesson. He got on the ice at 2:30 just after the mid-day zamboni. He started out entering the rink sitting on a little chair and by the end of the 30 minute lesson could stand on two feet and skate about 1/4 of the rink. I was pretty impressed by how well the instructor taught and how receptive Theo was giving it a go. Afterwards we stopped at the coffee shop and then headed up to the pool where Martin (to his credit) met us about 6:30 to swim with the children.

Wednesday was also the day that I finally conceded to occasional watching of Sesame Street educational videos. Theo is of course delighted and nearly constantly asks to watch "a puppet documentary." Martin has insisted that the videos have both English and Cantonese with the idea of Theo (and I guess me) learning some Cantonese this way. We watched the first video in English (twice) and then braved the Cantonese. Theo was not impressed and I can't really blame him. At one point of the video Elmo says about 10 times in a row 'shoe'. In Cantonese with English subtitles clearly saying 'shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe, etc' the word did not sound the same and I certainly could not distinguish where the word started and ended. Considering that my ability to learn even French was marginal deciphering Cantonese when I cannot even pick out a word on a children's video seems a bit futile. Now Theo's requests to watch 'a puppet documentary' have the added request 'in English please'.

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