Off To School

Xing Xing's I.D. for school

Xing Xing (pronounced Shing Shing) attends the Kids Castle preschool in our old neighborhood of Wanda Plaza, Nan Ping.  This school is part of a chain of preschools. Unfortunately, there is not one in our present neighborhood so each morning by eight one of us takes her by taxi to school.

Guy was able to attend an open house at her school last year, and has some great videos of fifty two year olds dancing, drinking cups of water and marching off to the bathroom in sync. They also pay close attention to hygiene habits. At the entrance each morning, attendants checks each child's temperature, examines the inside of their mouths and throat with a flashlight, and squirt their hands with germicide gel.  Xing Xing carried a notebook in her backpack where they keep a daily journal of her activities and so on, even occasionally write up Sky and Yue Li if she comes to school with a dirty face or without required materials!

And she's off with backpack, just like Nana, who leaves with her's each day as well.

Fortunately, included in the preschool services is elaborate hair braids and do's, so hair grooming is not part of the check-off list for parent's duties. She comes home each day her hair full of ribbons and colorful elastics.

Recently two children were spotted with red throats and the entire class was dismissed for a week. Hand, foot and throat disease was suspected. I don't know if it was confirmed, but it's clear they don't mess around.

Taxi's can be yellow cabs, on the back of motorcycles, or in tuck tucks. These are motorcycles with enclosures, and like motorcycles, make up their own road rules. With Xing Xing we look for a yellow cab first, and if that's not available, we take a tuck tuck.

For one dollar we get a thrilling 2 mile ride to preschool driving in the oncoming traffic lane, off the shoulder of the road, and squeezing between buses and cars to make our own extra lane.

Xing Xing usually sings a tuck tuck song she learned at preschool as we go, which I clap along to in order to distract myself from watching the road.

After dropping Xing Xing, I either opt to stay at Starbucks in Nan Ping to work, or go with Yue Li and Xiao Yang to her main store in Jie Fang Bei, a twenty minute light-rail or taxi ride across the river.

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