Yesterday was a big day for us. We went to go interview Ayis. Ayis (literally “Aunties”) are housekeepers that help families with cooking, watching children, shopping, cleaning, etc. At first, I was against the idea, but eventually became convinced that having a native Chinese person in our home would enhance our cultural experience.
Tenille and I agreed that we’d go for 5 days/week and 4 hours/day (considered half-time). And the primary purpose was to help with the kids as it is extremely difficult to take both of the kids out on everyday errands. The interview process was more really for show. We didn’t really even know what questions to ask. We talked with 4 candidates for about an average of 5 minutes each. 2 of them did not speak any English at all, so you could imagine that it wasn’t much of an interview. There was a translator that helped us a bit. Considering that the translator would not come to our home with the Ayi, we pretty much narrowed it down to the best English speaker. She seemed quite friendly, the agency recommended her, she has taken care of children before, and has her own 10 year-old. She will come over today to watch the kids while we go out on our Valentine’s Day date to the church. We’ll see how it goes.
To get home, we caught a cab. I didn’t take out the card. I told the cab driver, “We’re going to Chaoyang” (which is the district we live in) “SanYuanQiao” (which is the area). Then I asked, “Do you know the South Silver Tower?” He said that he did. I nodded, and we were off! When we got near our apartment, I had to do a little bit of pointing, but we made it without using the card! Yes! Nailed it!
Later, we found a great Japanese restaurant that is in the same complex as us. Fantastic food. We ordered and ate until we were stuffed. Fish, Tempura Prawns, Squid, Breaded Pork, Fried Rice, etc… all for $20. This could become a regular place. Then we caught a Taxi to go watch our first theater production in China – The Monkey King.
Luckily, there wasn’t much dialogue. I would probably best describe it as Acrobats and Magic Show. By the number of children we saw there (whom we usually almost never see), it seemed to be geared toward children. However, the show was quite impressive. It reminded me of Cirque du Soleil without the pretention. There were parts of the show where Tenille, Caleb, and I were just repeating, “Woah” every couple seconds for several minutes. I had to do some considerable explaining to Caleb regarding the magic, because there was a lot of sticking swords through people, cutting people in half, etc… but in the end, I don’t think he was too scarred.
However, this morning, Tenille was not feeling very good. She has had a tummy ache for the last few weeks on and off. We’re told that this can be normal for some folks and last for about a month. This seems to be the one of the price to pay. Cheap food, fresh fruit, housekeepers, theater, massages and pedicures don’t seem as fun when you’re holding a toilet in your hands…