Happy Birthday Nana! My grandmother in Nova Scotia, and Alexandra's great grandmother, turns 94 today. Congratulations!
Here I am in the Russian part of Ukraine and the gold medal final of the world juniors between Canada and Russia is not televised. And I still can't get the broadband feed from TSN. Fortunately, I have been following along on the internet and I know the first period has ended with Canada up 3 - 0. I will come down again before I go to bed to see how it ends.
Hanging around with two girls all the time while being almost completely removed from Western media is starting to have an effect on me I think. The daily tea parties and hair and jewelry sessions are changing my interests...at least temporarily. For example, I read another period romance "Jane Eyre" and actually enjoyed it. I need to get home and read Sports Illustrated, watch some Spike TV, and have a Swanson Hungry Man frozen dinner.
I have been noticing there are lots of cars over here that we don't have back home. I am not talking about the European automakers like Puegot, Lada, and Daewoo. No, I am referring to the North American carmakers who have different models. I have seen Ford Scorpios and Mondeos as well as Chevrolet Vivants, Metros, and Nivas. Also, in the four weeks that we have been here, the only pick-up truck we have seen has been at the toy stores. I think I will kiss the first Dodge Ram that I see when we finally get home.
Our visits continue to go extremely well. It is amazing how connected the three of us are becoming. It is hard to believe how quickly she has become attached to us. It is a powerful thing to have a little girl give you a hug or kiss and ask you to pick her up and carry her around. Alexandra was still wound up a bit during the morning. After much reflection, we have identified the source of her hyperactivity. It seems that whenever Candace and I spend extended periods of time chasing her, tickling her, or agitating her she gets wound up. Given this epiphany, it will be us that take the time outs in the future. The evening visit was much calmer. Candace and I played nicely and quitely and amazingly Alexandra followed suit. Alexandra even became trilingual, saying goodbye in three languages. On the way out the door she said "Bye bye", "Paka", and "Adios". I feel like submitting her university application right now to get a head start on possible scholarships.
It was very mild out today and Candace and I walked home from the morning visit. On the way we saw a Russian dog chase a Russian cat down the slippery sidewalk. Candace had another one of her laughing fits as the whole thing unfolded around us. The little dog was quick but fortunately the cat was smarter and managed to evade capture. At one point about mid-chase the cat ducked in the open door of a flower shop and the dog followed. It was funny to see the shop owner first chase the dog out with a stick before going back in for the cat.
This evening, we took a cab home. I told the driver, who I had never seen before, "Hotel". He got extremely excited, said "My friend, my friend...Canada". I said "yes" and he shook my hand and started telling me how he remembered us from a previous trip to Kiev I think. He was confusing us with someone else but he was so glad to see us (again) that I decided not to spoil it. For the duration of our short trip, he was talking really loudly and excitedly and patting my arm and shoulder. At one point he said "Canada...hockey" and began simulating checking me and roughing me up while going down the main street at about 60 km per hour. Candace didn't really do anything to bail me out...she was too busy laughing in the back seat. When we arrived at the hotel he refused my money and said "Free for my friend". Again, this was the first time we had ever come across him. Then he gave me some kind of handshake as if he and I were homies. Going up the steps to the hotel entrance, I told Candace that the ride was both fun and traumatic at the same time. He gave us his card, which we will use to identify and avoid his cab for our last few days here.
Well...tomorrow is Christmas Eve here. I know that Father Frost came last week so I am not sure exactly what will happen. I am guessing it will involve some kind of fireworks display.