Easter has kind of snuck up on me. Until earlier this week I had it in my head that Easter was NEXT weekend. So when it hit me, I had to get prepped FAST! We brought egg-dying stuff with us from the States, and some plastic eggs to help out the Easter Bunny -- and a good thing, too, since we've found NO Easter stuff in the stores. I knew that Christmas was a pretty big secular holiday in China, and was hoping Easter would be too, but no such luck.
Still, we expect the Easter Bunny will be very, very good to us, as usual! But the girls have already figured out that the Chinese Easter Bunny might do things differently. For example, where would he hide the eggs when you live in a small apartment? They're thinking that maybe he just leaves the eggs for the parents to hide in the park or something. After all, if he hid them outside, someone else might find them first when they aren't in your own personal yard. We'll see.
We haven't had any luck finding Easter baskets -- in fact, I haven't seen baskets with handles at all. But I had a brainstorm today -- the girls have been wanting buckets for the beach, and wouldn't a bucket make a cool Easter basket?! When I suggested it to Zoe, she was positively THRILLED with the idea, and anything Zoe likes, Maya likes. Whew, how fortunate I am to have children who can go with the flow!
Since school ends early on Fridays (3:30 instead of 4:30), we decided to hit Wal-Mart to search for Easter buckets and eggs for coloring. I hoped that late Friday might be less of a crush than Saturdays at Wal-Mart, but no such luck! The place was packed. We did find cool PINK buckets to use for Easter baskets, though, and they come complete with shovels and spades for the beach. And we found eggs, too. How many eggs do you think come in a Chinese carton of eggs -- 6? 12? 18? How about 15?! Multiples of 6 seem so normal for eggs, but why not 15?
As we finished shopping, the girls said they were STARVING and wanted to eat dinner out. I agreed, and Zoe proposed McDonald's. I said, "There are other places besides McDonald's in the mall." [The mall is attached to Wal-Mart.] She says knowingly, "Yes, there's a KFC." I agreed, then said, "But there's also Chinese food." Her reaction? "Yipee! Let's have Chinese food!" So off we go to find the food court in the mall.
We'd been in the mall before, but hadn't seen the food court. I had heard that it was HUGE and had a HUGE variety of food. And when we finally found it on the 5th floor of the mall, it was, indeed, HUGE! I have never seen so much variety of Chinese food under one roof. There were steamed whole crabs and whole fish dredged in flour and fried before your eyes, scoops of rice in hollowed-out pineapples, vendors making hand-made noodles, and stuff I couldn't begin to describe, much less name. We ended up with fried rice (Maya's favorite) and the hand-made noodles (Zoe's favorite) -- all for 10 yuan. How about that -- feeding a family of 3 for $1.25 in a mall food court! We'll definitely be going back.
The bus ride home was fun because Xiamen really lights up at night -- literally! The buildings are covered with moving lights in intricate designs in every color you can imagine. We'll have to try for pictures some time. But tonight we just enjoyed the light show from the bus.
So, tomorrow we dye Easter eggs, and then we'll be all ready for the Chinese Easter Bunny to visit. Who knows, maybe he'll hide the Easter eggs on the beach!