Saturday, July 30, 2005

July 30th

Today starts with a knock on the door at 8 AM: It's room cleaning day. The day also begins with an emotional hangover from yesterday's news and the hours of speculation that followed. We can only hope the next news is better, and that we get it sooner than later.

Alli and I write in our journals while the room is being cleaned. (If I haven't mentioned it previously, we must stay in the room while they clean, and it's awkward at times....) Anyway, I'm finished sooner than Alli, so while she finishes up, I go for a walk in the city center and park areas enjoying the relatively cool early-morning temperatures and the warm but not yet scorching sunshine. I return to the hotel after about an hour. We have breakfast, get cleaned up and the pack the back-pack for today's visit.

It's still cool enough for a walk today, and along the way I stop to exchange currency at one of the three exchanges within a block of the hotel. One place is offering exchange at 133.5 Tenghe to the dollar, the other two are advertising 136. I choose the one offering 136 on the side of the street on which we walk. While I'm in the booth, the gentleman goes outside - with Alli, Beth and Bob watching - and changes the rate to 133.4! The net difference is around 600 Tenghe (a little more than $5), but I'm more annoyed at what appears to be little more than bait & switch. Between the language barrier and the aforementioned hangover, I don't think quickly enough to return the Tenghe, retrieve my US dollars and take my business elsewhere (assuming the woman on the other side of the bulletproof glass would have agreed with me).

The kids are inside today: It's warm & we've concluded they are usually inside on the weekends, whether because of staffing or other reasons. Alli and I knock at the infirmary for Aidan: The nurse indicates he has not yet had his medicine or bottle. We go to get Molly and find her in the walking chair. Alli picks her up and gets a ripe whiff, so they go off to the changing table for a clean diaper and onesie. We're getting ready to leave Molly's room when Bob walks in with Aidan: The nurse from the infirmary brought Aidan up to the boys' room looking for us and left Aidan with Bob & Beth. Aidan is wearing a onesie in the same shade of blue as Molly's and a bad hat: in shape, a cross between a planter and a stove-pipe hat, made of paper and secured under his chin with an elastic band. Poor kid: It's not bad enough he hasn't been feeling well, but he looks silly too. He endures his shame in silence long enough for Mom and Dad to videotape his humiliation....

Aidan has another good day, not quite as active as yesterday but still busy. He's happy to crawl around and play with the toys, spends some time under the coffee table and, of course, climbs on Mom and Dad for a little up close and personal time with Alli's necklace and my glasses.
Molly is happy to get a juice bottle again. I tell her about my mis- fortune at the money exchange: She's more interested in the juice. She continues her trend toward increased mobility and spends some time under the coffee table, too. She enjoys a game with Alli: Alli sits Molly in her lap facing her, then rolls Molly backward with Molly's head between Alli's knees so Molly does a flip. The look on Molly's face is open-mouthed surprise with a little bit of a toothy grin and enough of a gleam in her eye that we can almost almost hear, "Again!"

After the visit, Alli and I go to the Internet Cafe to check mail, then Alli, Beth and Dana go shopping at "The Small Mall." Everybody recon- venes at the hotel at 5:30, and we go to the Russian Pub for dinner, mostlly because they have air conditioning (assuming they have power). After walking Dana 1/2-way home, we go to the Gros for beer and snacks before "The Mummy Returns" in Bob & Beth's room (longer than the first, more elaborate special effects and not as funny - I fall asleep).After the movie, Alli and I return to our room and read for awhile before going to bed around midnight.

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