Today, at the first toddler playgroup of the year, I was expecting to exchange "Happy New Year"s with the other parents, so the excited "Oh my gosh, I can't believe how fabulous that Villa Market you had in BKK is!" from one of the moms that I am friendly with caught me off-guard. And it was funny to me - I can remember when I was extremely frustrated with grocery shopping in Bangkok and Villa seemed anything but fabulous, but now, having a Villa Market nearby would seriously make my year. I miss being able to buy edamame and sweet potato fries (and frankly, a whole lot of familiar comfort food) for my kids. Grocery shopping in Saigon means that I am confronted with whole aisles of MSG packages and I've been to three different shops looking for whole wheat flour and haven't found it yet. I am very homesick nostalgic for my former life in Thailand these days ...
Madeline's class wasn't assigned any homework over the break, and she vehemently refused to have anything to do with practicing math, no matter how many times her dad bugged her about it. "I don't have any homework ! I am on a holiday!" she would tell us, sharply. I usually laughed when they were having a row over homework, because she spent so much of the break from school reading - reading signs, websites, and subtitles (in Toy Story 3, our latest DVD purchase) - and I guess she never thought about the practice that she was getting! (And I can't begin to express how amazed I am that I have a child who can REA !)
I am also amazed, this evening, at what some of my fellow foreigners in Saigon try to get away with. We have a web-community here, "Nguyen's List", if you will, and today there was a post from someone who would be delighted to sell a second-hand Maclaren Triumph baby stroller for $230 USD, which is plenty more than what they cost brand-new. I am somewhat tempted to post that I am giving away a second-hand Mac Triumph for free, just to stop someone from being taken advantage of. Sigh.
I'd write more but my husband is newly addicted to Angry Birds and playing it right next to me!