It was 30 degrees in Hong Kong on Easter Sunday. That’s not right…
The Ru-ster Bunny on his way to his kinder party.
The other week, Zadie grabbed some rosary beads out of our helper’s bedroom and chased after me trying to stab me with the crucifix while yelling “IT’S SCARY!” We’ve been deliberately open-minded with the kids’ religious instruction but that was a low watermark. Rufus also asked why we had “buns with Xs on them”. As incredibly lapsed and disenfranchised Catholics, Joel and I nonetheless don’t want to actually indoctrinate the kids AGAINST any particular religion; that would be the same as hypocritically forcing them to go to church every Sunday. Anyway so I bought them a children’s bible at the bookstore and read them some of the stories on Easter Sunday. I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. For one thing, the stories are horrible. I don’t want to talk to my kids about people getting beaten by thieves, being forced to sacrifice their eldest son, or getting nailed to a cross. There’s no joy there.
They bucked up when they got their little baskets.
And completed the epically challenging hunt in our 5sq.m yard.
We did do one Christian act on Easter Sunday (and, biblically, the recipient was an Indonesian Muslim).
There’s a helper (maid) in our village who hasn’t had a single day off in the whole time we’ve lived here. Last week I found out she gets paid just over half the minimum wage (which is already two-tenths of sweet FA). I’ve been feeling really angry that there’s no way to address this without getting her fired, and she has two kids at home to support. The entitlement complex here can be sickening.
After thinking about it all week, I got hold of a Bahasa dictionary and attempted to write her a secret note while her employer was at the shops. I was in such a rush, my handwriting was terrible. Also I don’t speak any Bahasa so my syntax was surely terrible as well. Either way, she didn’t understand. So Rufus and I went to the local Indonesian shop and got the shopkeeper to write a proper note, asking her if she wanted to borrow a phone to call her kids, or if she needed any shopping/banking done – given that she is quite literally a prisoner in the house – and giving her our phone number. We also got her some snacks from her homeland. Put the whole lot in a bag covered in lovehearts and rushed home to chuck it over the hedge before her employer came home. She gave us the biggest smile, I almost cried. I could see her out the window, unauthorisedly sitting in the front yard and eating banana chips. I am going to liberate her one Indo pretzel at a time!
Working on a Pascal masterpiece in the hot afternoon.
After that Joel went upstairs to work on framing the pictures he’s putting together for a kind of family photo wall. The rest of us (including the dog) tagged along behind him. The kids had a dance-off to Amy Winehouse, spinning and stomping around the landing. Sometimes they let me hold their hands and go round in a circle. Ring-a-ring-a-rosie-in-jox.