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.
A McDonalds! WOW!And the 5 story mall, I know where you and the kids will be spending a lot of your time! Just think what else there may be right around the corner.Things are sounding a little bit better to me now!
Do you think Mujeeb was in the mall the entire time without you knowing it?
No, he wasn’t in the mall. He simply goes to park the car, and then hangs out where he let us off until we reappear. It doesn’t matter if it is 30 minutes or 3 hours, he will be there, right where he left us, just watching for us. He finds a convenient place to sit, watches the traffic, talks with other drivers, and just waits. I can’t imagine it, but he has been a driver all of his life, I guess, and he seems just fine with it. He is also very protective of us…the other day he picked me up at school and I was a bit late getting out. He finally asked the security guard to come and look for me because he was so afraid that he had missed us somehow. He looked very relieved when we came out, and he scooped up Ender and carried him to the car, laughing and asking him about school. We are definitely lucky to have him.
I’m thinking that Mujeeb is a little like an away-from-home-nanny- what a great confidence builder he is. So many questions…how were the Mac Donald prices compared to the states…what drinks did they serve…are the stores Indian or are there western type chain stores too….did you have any trouble finding things and being waited on ….how were the prices…..were you able to blend more with the mall crowd than on the street….when are you going back..ha?
a giant mall i am so there!!! lol. ne cute baby clothes? lol Mcdonalds no cheese burgers??? how do u live??? i kind of feel spoiled lol
Yes, I do feel kind of spoiled too, being from the US. So many things that we take for granted there are unavailable here. What makes me feel even worse is the knowledge that my driver and my houseboy couldn’t ever think of shopping at this mall or taking their kids to McDonalds there. Some of the outfits that I saw in the shop windows cost more than an entire month’s salary for them, and the price for a dinner at McDonalds alone would be the equivalent of maybe 10-15 meals for their families at home.