I know it won’t sound like much to most of you, but I made some huge progress on Tuesday night, thanks, in part, to my new job at the school. You see, without the incentive of needing some good rewards for the classroom, I would have never ventured to the mall on my own without Scott’s support. I would have been too scared to do it, too afraid of getting lost, of not finding Mujeeb when I came out, of encountering problems due to not speaking the language or knowing the customs. However, because of the need to get those rewards, I overcame all of the silly fears and asked Mujeeb to pick the kids and I up from School Tuesday afternoon.
The mall is quite close to the school, actually. Probably within walking distance. Its a beautiful mall, much like its US counterparts, with plenty of clothing and shoe stores, restaurants, toy store, maternity store, home decorating stores, etc. It is 5 or 6 levels high, I forget exactly how many, with the top level being reserved for a couple of large fancy restaurants. We went in one clothing store, but it was not possible for me to try on anything with two kids in tow, so I quickly ditched that idea (though I am in desperate need of some clothes).
The main attractions for us were the toy store where the kids played with everything (but we bought nothing), and, of course, the book store. We spent the majority of time there, with Addie browsing the new series that she’s never seen before and Ender lounging on the floor reading a Wall-E book. They each came away with 2 titles a piece, as I can never say no to books. I chose some cursive writing workbooks for Addie (there are only 2 kids in her class who don’t know it, and she’s feeling very self-conscious about not having learned it), and some math workbooks to help get her up to speed, as the math here is way ahead of anything that she learned previously.
As we were leaving, we found the best part of all….lo and behold, there, in front of us, was a McDonalds! Yes, a real, true, McDonalds, complete with the golden arches a statue of Ronald himself sitting on a bench outside the door. Ender was in heaven. We ventured in and found that the food, of course, was slightly different. Hamburgers don’t exist, but you can have any manner of chicken patty. There are, remarkably, no chicken nuggets, but the chicken patty is kind of like one large chicken nugget anyway and the kids were willing to give that a try. Ender, amazingly enough, ate the entire sandwich, bun, mayo, cheese, lettuce and all. Addie pretty much just took the patty off and ate that. The fries taste exactly the same as back in the US, but unfortunately, they didn’t have my crispy chicken snack wrap that I usually order. Instead, I thought I’d try the paneer salsa wrap, considering my newly-developed affinity for paneer. Absolutely delicious! The biggest downfall was the fact that they don’t have milk or juice. Addie was happy with a strawberry milkshake, but Ender could find nothing he wanted to drink, and went away thirsty.
So, thanks to the school, we had a new experience that it might have otherwise taken me a couple of more months to get up the courage for. Oh, and as far as getting home, Mujeeb was at the door of the McDonalds waiting for us, seeing me well before I saw him. How silly I was to be afraid that he wouldn’t be there. We are lucky to have such a wonderful driver, it makes everything so much easier.