Beneath this bowl of stars...

toddler activites, food, photos, and other orbital occurrences

Today Amber and I went out to lunch with another mama and her two kids who are 5 and 3. These were the first kids that Amber has spent this long with who talk and speak English since she has been a full out talker herself. It was so cute to watch or really listen to her playing with them and the things they talked about. She told them how her daddy takes a taxi to work, to the bank! And that she wants to be a butterfly (we were butterflies at Gymboree this morning), and that there are fireworks everywhere. She also mentioned several times that she wanted to go home.... but she really had every reason for wanting this... see we had quite an adventure. I met the mom from my email list and she offered to come all the way to pick us up go to lunch at a place back near where she lives and drop us off! She said its a 10-15min car ride. I was skeptical b/c I thought I had been to that part of town before and it took more like 45min-1hr. She arrived a bit late, but it was raining. I was very impressed that she drives herself around in Shanghai, i have a hard time walking much less riding a bike or driving. Dave even says there is no way he would drive in China.... so i was very impressed that she drives herself and her 2 kids around. I felt much much safer than in a taxi, but it is really all of the other people that you have to be scared of. 45min into our short drive, we got side swiped by a van. It really was not bad, we had slowed to a stop and they really only hit the mirror. We took photos of the license plate but then at the next stop light she put the car in park, hopped out and banged on their window. This was in the middle of probably the worst traffic street in shanghai. I was now even more impressed. Not only does she drive, she hops out and yells in mandarin to a van full of men in the middle of 1000s of cars honking at us with her 2 kids in the car. Lots of hand waving, head shaking, cell phone pictures and pacing later, she returns to tell me that they are calling the police, the other car refuses taking responsibility. We have to hail down a taxi to ask the number of the police. When the police arrive, the guy is laughing hysterically. He looked like a big teddy bear on a bike. After more hand waving, head shaking and laughing, the driver of the van pulls out 100rmb (around $14) and everyone smiles laughs and says goodbye. We totally made the cops day... he now has a great story to tell tonight to his friends, about a blond American woman who yelled at a van full of guys for only 100rmb. After that we made it to lunch, but on the way home, my new friend realized she was not going to make it to drop her parents off at the train, so i got out and took the subway home. She's picking me up again tomorrow, this time we are going to a big mall, all b/c she has our car seat, and to get it back, we may as well go on another adventure! Amber is very excited to see her friends again.

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