At it again

It may be hard to start anew, but we often forget the lessons of the past and are thus allowed to move forward with more rewarding mistakes. I am "at it again" writing this blog, which begins in in December because I accidently erased it. I am "at it again" living abroad because I I erased from my memory the continous miscommunication and confusion of it. Luckly you can sit back in the comforts of your native language and culture and enjoy my adventures, hopefully with a laugh or snicker.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

More stories of my depraved morality

This morning I'm checking my e-mails and my co-teacher tells me we might not (she means won't) have our first class. Why? Because Ronald McDonald is coming to our school to teach children how to wash their hands. I am immediately amused and hop out of my seat when she says that although we won't have class I have to watch the performance. We are standing around waiting for the event to begin so I take the opportunity to try and explain that this would probably not happen in America as it would be considered a conflict of interest, like free advertising of bad health to children who are probably already hooked on fast food in public school. I don't know if she got it. Her response was "Taiwanese parents like to take their children to McDonalds if they can afford it."

The show begins with 6 women dressed in McDonald's server uniforms dancing around the stage and trying to get the kids to follow. The 6th graders I'm with are acting to cool and I mimic them. Then Ronald himself jumps out and low and behold he speaks Chinese. I am slightly irked by this as I can't speak Chinese and I'm sure Ronald can speak the language of every country he has a store in.

He does magic tricks and gives kids McDonald's CDs and finally gets around to the washing hands part. The principal and 1 student put on giant fake hands and 3 more children wear foam soup, tap and tissue costumes. The spray water at the kids and bubbles. Apparently this is the solution Taiwan came up with when a bunch of kids died of hand foot and mouth disiese a few years ago. Get them to wash their hands and they won't get sick. Get Ronald McDonald to show them how to wash their hands and they will actually do it.

The last part of the whole thing was getting a bunch of kids and teachers up on the stage dancing with Ronald. I tried to disappear, act like I couldn', but nothing worked. I danced with Ronald and got a stuffed hamburger on a string for my efforts (I told you free advertising). I have now helped indoctrinate my kids with McDonalds mania and they will be more likely to be like the 1 1/2 year old I saw on the metro, who when offered food by her parents, pointed at a Mcdonald's burger box that a woman near by was holding.

At least I got to practice last week's sentence pattern with the 6th grade "May I help you?" "I want a hamburger."