So, last time it was, "I'm too busy," and this week it's, "I'm too sick." But you don't want to hear it, I'm sure, so now that I am up and moving about I will put down a few thoughts that have been keeping me company lately.
For starters, we have a new car. Not an actual new car, of course -- the day I buy something off the showroom floor you'll know I've been taken over by an alien lifeform. But for us, a 2000 Mitsubishi Space Gear is a huge step up from the '93-ish Toyota Zace that we've been driving. There are bells; there are whistles; there are two TV screens and a built-in refrigerator. (No lie.) It is certainly the nicest car we've had, but I'm not totally comfortable with that. Perhaps it's not the frills that bother me, but rather just the idea that I no longer drive a Zace in Taiwan. Old Zaces are all we've ever driven here, and I love them. Manual transmission, no power steering -- no power anything -- but totally utilitarian and unfussy. And, I guess, a little bit romantic -- for all its dings and doors that don't always open and windows that leak in the carwash, it's a great roughin' it car, and captures a bit of Taiwan in its funkiness. Yet now we're in a silver mini-van. A very comfortable mini-van. I am leery of too much comfort; I think it makes you weak. The reliability, though, is a good thing. And seatbelts for everyone. And room for visitors. And karaoke! Did I mention the karaoke? It really is a hoot. Come see us and we'll take you for a spin. You can have first dibs on the mic.
In other news, Nora starts preschool next week. She turns three on Monday (already!), and Tuesday heads off to Sunny Kindergarten (which is actually quite shady, but who would send their child to Shady Kindergarten? Who knows what bad habits she'd pick up there). She is very excited, had a great time when we visited last week to make arrangements, and is looking forward to the big day. Our little friend and neighbor, George, will be in her class, so I'm hopeful that his familiar face will help ease the transition. I am excited to have a few hours to myself twice a week, for Bible study on Tuesdays and writing/editing/napping on Fridays. I'm also eager to hear our little red-head start chattering in Chinese. I think she'll do fine.