October 21st, 2016 | Daycare to Dinner

Kaohsiung Skytower (Called the “85 building” by locals because it has 85 floors) on a rainy night like tonight.
My movie choice tonight “10 Cloverfield Lane” .

Kaohsiung. Taiwan.

Friday. Gusty winds. Rain. 31°c.

8:30 a.m. Dropped Alex into daycare. He seems to know the routine now. Even before we go I might add. As soon as he sees me pick up his school bag he knows and walks toward the bedroom door and waits for me to pick him up. Very funny.

When we get to daycare the first thing we need to do is wash his hands in the children’s sink. Then dry them with a hand towel I bring along. Next we walk up to the main reception desk and punch in our ID code on a digital keypad by the office door. An office stand between the public entry and inner center. With two secured doors. It reminds me of a kind of airlock. Every child has a 3 digit code. It alerts the childcare worker in another part of the center that their student has arrived. It also serves to record your arrival and pickup times.

Within a minute the assigned teacher arrives to pick the child. Alex has two teachers and it depends on what shift the teacher is working, morning or afternoon as to which one greets you. They are both very nice. The teacher records the childs temperature and asks if the child has had any drink or food and what time. Usually Alexander has 230ml if formula at 7 a.m. Then they take the child, wave good-bye and go back through the secured door into the facility. This is a government run public center, so they are quite strict with who goes in and out and with hygiene as well. There is also a military cadet on service at the desk for security. Taiwanese schools and public centers all have at least one military trained security personal in place. The have arrest and detain powers. Which probably explains why Taiwanese schools are quite safe places. There have been rare occasions of trouble, but generally there is no problem. And that’s the way it should be. It’s good to know your child is safe.

9:00 a.m. It was TV politics again this morning except it was on a bit more on a friendly social level. They had some quite good jokes actually for the charity dinner hosted by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, a dinner that has provided comic relief in the past but one that instead solicited “boos” and “ahhs,” today highlighting the tense mood of this election cycle between Trump and Clinton.

The dinner, which is named after the New York governor who in 1928 became the first Catholic nominee for president, raised more than $6 million for charity, a record. A charitable foundation was launched in 1946 and has hosted opposing candidates to gather to trade jokes during intense campaigns. The Al Smith Dinner, is an annual white tie fundraiser for charities supporting needy children. It is held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on the third Thursday of October.

12:00 p.m. After consuming a bowl of beef noodles and soup I had to take a rest. Had a bit of a headache, I suspect from sitting on the wooden sofa in the living room for too long watching TV. I have had a problem with the back of my neck for countless years. About 3 years ago I finally discovered the cause. I went to a Thai massage in Taipei with a friend. I’ve been to Taiwanese massage places before but not Thai. The Thai ones I discovered apply quite a bit of muscular power on your body. And use their feet to walk on you. I opted out of the foot walking that and just settled for the normal hand massage, but it was still too hard. As a result the next day I developed stiff neck, arms and back and was in a lot of pain for days afterward. I had to take time off work and get an M.R.I done. This revealed the problem. The 7th disc in my spine was out-of-place. The cervical vertebrate (C7). They called it a pinched or dislodged disc. I had to have several weeks of traction work done and some heavy pain medication. Never will I do that again. Anyhow I believe that 7th disc has been an issue for a very long time. And I would say the Thai massage aggravated it to an extreme. The traction work got things back to its pre-aggravated state. Normally it is fine. But if I put my head in a bad position for a time it triggers headaches. But it is a reminder to watch my posture. I changed to sleeping on a Japanese memory foam mattress, which is soft and moulds to the natural contours of your body and spine. Amazing what the right matresses can do for your quality of life! My mum also has a similar issue, although hers is worse and more related to bone deterioration. She can’t sleep at all if she doesn’t have her special foam mattress. Which I believe she will be taking with her on her pacific cruise next week.

3:00 p.m. vacuumed and mopped the main floors. Haven’t had the chance to do it for a few days. And with 3 cats. Which I really wish we didn’t have, things get dirty fast. I don’t like cats or dogs in the house because they are too destructive. We can’t have nice furniture because of this. Hence the wood chairs and other furniture. It is annoying I must confess. But it’s not my house, so I have little say. My father in law doesn’t like them either. They belong to my wife. And if either of us say anything, well it’s asking for trouble. Ha!

5:00 p.m. Picked up Alexander from daycare. He was a little teary this afternoon when he saw me and quickly walked towards me. Big smiles when I picked him up. Adorable boy.

530 p.m. Feed Alexander his dinner as dad came home.

6:00 p.m. Gave Alexander his bubble bath and afterward his granddad took him out for a walk. Dad does the rounds in the neighborhood visiting friend with Alex. Most people in the area, who I don’t even know, know who Alex is. Popular boy! I discovered this when I took Alexander out in his stroller one day and passed a group of elderly women sitting in their own foldable chairs at a local park for their daily ‘chin-wag’. They saw Alex and waved saying his nickname in Mandarin which sounds like “Ler Ler”. (樂樂) In mandarin it means happiness!

8:00 p.m. Chia arrived home and put Alex to bed. As I had already fed and bathed him.

9:00 p.m. Time for a VR movie. My cinematic experience on this rainy night is:”10 Cloverfield Lane” a science fiction thriller/mystery movie.


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