April 14, 2012

Misc. Box

Bilingual Toys
Sometimes we hear Helena speaking a little Indonesian with her dolls, and sometimes her dolls speaking Indonesian to her. Yes, kids learn fast, but it is still quite amazing to hear & watch. Most of what they've picked up has been at school and around the house here with us, and also from our awesome house help.

Chalk One Up For John Wayne
Luke recently described to Amy some of his Grade One learnings:
"We've been studying different countries in class. So far, we've learned about India, Japan, and Texas!"
Our Texan friends were happy to hear this. But that said, I should ask Luke a few questions about what he's learning down there at that school...Nothing about Upper & Lower Canada!?

Quotable Questions  (By Simon)
"Why do boats float and not just sink?"
It's easy to just accept that boats float, but requires a bit of basic physics to explain why, including the specific gravity of water vs. the weight of the boat & the volume of water displaced, and so on. In a classroom in my distant pass I remember something about that...money well spent :)

"Why does God make earthquakes with big waves that smash peoples houses? It scares me!" Why does a good, loving, all powerful God let bad things happen? I never thought I'd be having this conversation with my son when he is just five, but how very cool to be doing so.

Simon: "How does goo make you see?" 
Us: "what?"
Simon: "If your eye is all gooie and squishy, how can you see?"
Um, great question...Retina, light refraction, something else...I don't remember. Honestly, I can't really explain why.

Lost in Translation
We have discovered the place where clothing companies off load all those shirts with 'shocking' and/or rude sayings you sometimes see cool people wear back home. Where would that be? Well, where people don't speak english. I've seen just about everything on clothing here, and I'd saying the vast majority of the owners of offensive apparel here haven't the faintest idea what their clothing says.

Okay, I'm sure there are folks in all cultures who like a little 'edge' to their t-shirts, but let me give you an example of innocent ignorance. For sale in the front window of a little clothing store (near the grocery store we always go to) was a couple nice dark blue hoodies. But on the front were large black, white and red swastikas, that looked like they were just pulled off a flag from a Nazi Germany History Channel special (I wish I had a picture). Well, maybe they were just Hindu symbols? Considering there was also a clothing brand mark that read something like "Arian Brothers Apparel", I'd say 100% white supremacist. I couldn't believe my eyes! First off, how on earth did clothing like that become 'for sale' in Indonesia? And, would an Indonesian actually knowingly sell something like that? There is always the possibility too (like so much clothing here) that it was outsourced and produced in Indonesia. What irony for a racist group proud of the Nazi legacy to outsource their " I'm better than everyone else" clothes to be made in a country in Southeast Asia. Anyways, I sat there for a minute or two with my mouth open, as I have never seen anything like that for sale in a public place in Canada!

It really makes one 'ponder' what that Asian writing really means on that cultural wall hanging, or on that trendy piece of clothing you just bought, or tattoo...

Darryl & Co.
No pictures this post, because the only one I currently have is of a dead rat. I am still wondering if I should put it on my blog. Of course I will, just not today. After all, to say catching rats is not part of our life experiences here would be a lie. Whether ones' view is that they are creepy, disgusting, gross pests, or merely mis-understood intelligent creatures that actually can make good pets...They eat our garbage, are multiplying in our yard, and want in our house. I will say this: With one rat trap (the non-humane type) I caught 4 rats in one night. When they start peering in your back screen door while your house helpers are trying to eat lunch, it's time to do something. Okay, you twisted my arm, here's a picture.
This is a little feller, thankfully he did not have the chance to grow nice and big from dining on our garbage.  I'm pretty sure the original 'Darryl' is also no more. Catching rats is a bit like fishing, and I would imagine it is even more like having a trap line. If it was colder here I could make a nice fur hat. I think the funny part is that I watermarked this photo, like someone was going to steal it and take all the credit.


  1. Oh I'm totally stealing that photo and taking the credit for it, I'll just crop it down 1/4" to get rid of the watermark HAHAHA :D. There is something very satisfying about seeing your traps in the morning full with the nights catch. On a side note we also have seen offensive T shirts here as well worn unknowingly, and some by local pastors in the bush too, what do you do though? I mean you dont really want to tell them because it's usually 1 of only 2 shirts that the guy actually owns so if you tell him it's a bad shirt he is down to only having 1 shirt left?

  2. No kidding! Not to mention the public embarrassment they'd have when they realize what they're wearing...better to say nothing.