August 31, 2012

Bikes, Colds, Parks, Cars...& Hockey

Going to the park at Luke & Simon's school is a great way to get outdoors as a family. Usually earlier morning or 4pm on is best as the sun is lower in the sky, as the mid-day sun here will burn us 'lighter' skinned folk up in like minutes. It actually makes for a tougher time taking pictures as the brightness tends to wash pictures out no matter the aperture setting.
 The pic above well describes Simon's day, as the poor little guy was under the weather...It's no fun having a cold on a hot day.
Charlotte! She doesn't know what cold is :)

 Si and Charlotte really have kindred spirits, as he loves his little sister and she thinks he's hilarious (although a little rough & tumble at times). He's being pretty gentle here!
 Luke workin' on his off-road skills!
 Charlotte decided to stray off the beaten path...
 And bailed :)
 Just so no one gets the wrong impression that Charlotte is only full of cute grins and sweet smiles...It reminds me of a certain childhood story of a certain someone (also pictured above) violently smashing a piano keyboard and all in one swift motion recklessly throwing herself backwards off the aforementioned piano bench in dramatic protest against learning piano. (Story courtesy a certain someone's mother).
This school here is one thing we will truly miss when we first move to Tarakan in October. But we certainly will be searching out new (relatively safe) ways to get the kids out and about enjoying the outdoors and getting rid of energy. These are the little things you barely think about before you move to a far away country that become much bigger deals once you arrive! The cool thing is, we trust and believe that when God orders our steps, he can also help us thrive, not just kind of survive.

In Prince George we could count 9 different kids parks in walking distance to our house - no doubt the park capital of the world!  We also used to love jumping in the van, grabbing a couple coffee's and just going for a drive. We're proud to say we've been car-less for about 10 months now. The secret was quitting cold turkey, and flying half way around the world. The irony of it is that probably what we missed most was just that ability to get out of the house and still have that privacy of an automobile. If the kids fell asleep, well hey, we could have a conversation :)

There are a lot of cars here, but there are also many, many more car-less people. A scooter / motorbike is very much more the norm. On a island of 110 million people, maybe it is a good thing that every household does not own a car.

Uh oh, I'm starting to randomly ramble about a random subject. What does it mean!? Maybe it is I've lost all objectivity in the realm of cross-cultural adaptation to personal transportation needs. I'm sure there is a chapter somewhere in a self-help book that could help me help myself.

Maybe I could self-medicate with a bigger scooter, or chrome after market parts for the cute little scooter I already ride. 

But just maybe, it is something else, like, the impending NHL hockey lock-out. What is Gary Betman thinking!? It's only been 8 years since the last lockout! How old is Gary Betman anyways? I blame him for the game 7 loss in 2011 too. Not like I can watch Hockey Night in Canada here anyways, or care that much (...or do I).

Speaking of which, guess who bought a early 90's Canucks logo t-shirt in Semarang today? If you have never even heard of "Semarang" before, that is exactly my point. I'm not sure if there are 10 people in the over 1 million people who call Semarang home that know who the Canucks are. In Canada, I probably would have not bought the aforementioned t-shirt, but over here, hockey is a part of my stereotypical Canadian heritage I happily shall embrace. The other day playing basketball I tried to explain to a high-schooler - who parents are from both Indonesia and Germany - what a Gordie Howe hat-trick was. It went something like this:

Him: "Gordie who!?"
Me: "What, you've never heard of Gordie Howe?"
Him: "No..."
Me: "How about Bobby Orr?"
Him: "Bobby who!?"
Me: "He was like probably the best defenseman to ever play hockey, he's a legend! Okay, it's like, hmmmm....Who's like some super awesome soccer player from Germany that everyone knows about?"
Him: "Uh, you mean, like Schweinsteiger?"
Me: "Yah, like Schweinsomethingoranother. That's maybe like Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe..."
(later on)
Him: "Wayne who!?"
Me: "You're joking..."

It is weird to suddenly realize that you're the only one in the room who knows what a Gordie Howe hat-trick is, and maybe the only one that doesn't know much about some famous German footballer named Schweinsteiger. Well, at least I'll have my Canucks t-shirt for comfort, and a hockey stick or two in a crate on its way over the Pacific. Someone please give Gary B. a big hug for me!

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