Monday, January 02, 2006
The New Year seems to be starting off normal
Li started a new job yesterday.
Two days before the New Year I found the part time weekly magazine that we can get around here. They are actually hard to find sometimes, you have to get them hot off the presses or forgetta bout it.
Li opened it up and after ten minutes of looking he went: oooooo
One week after I first met Li, long ago, he got a job interview at this Yakiniku (Korean BBQ) Restaurant two seconds from my place. He got the job and shocked himself because the first person he called to talk about it was me. It was the start of a long relationship: me and the restaurant.
I am still here but the restaurant closed its doors two years ago, early spring, because of inflated prices due to the big BSE scare that hit Japan. Li had worked there faithfully for a little over 2 years. His pay was never great but he had been a student so it was all he could get, and then with his very limited Japanese visa it was all that he was allowed. He made some good friends and the bosses really loved him. He was their main kitchen chef and they trusted him.
Well the company that owned the restaurant also owns a few crab restaurants and a Chinese noodles shop. Well the Crab Restaurant needed people so he called them up. Manager wasn’t there but they called back just like they said they would and Li started work yesterday:
10 to 10.
Yes, 12 hours. Ugh.
But when did he actually finish work?
11!!! (But with a two hour lunch, where the moron spent money at the clothes shop near the restaurant. grrr)
Not the greatest pay out there but much better than most restaurants: hopefully they can keep giving him decent hours. (Preferably slightly less than this though)
When he showed up he didn’t even get one of the official interviews and speeches that most get just:
-Hey Li how are you? Great? Great! Can you do this this this this this…
No real training because he can do it all already and they know that.
It is not always what you know: who you know is also very useful.
Li is looking at it as a learning experience. Li has dreams of opening his own restaurant someday. This restaurant does Sushi, sashimi and crab. It is also VERY high end expensive. You can easily pay well over one hundred bucks a person!! Because if this, presentation is very important and Li came home last night amazed at al the things he has already learned about food presentation and table settings. He is a little excited about it.
The restaurant wants him to work 5 days a week. Ok, perfect. The two days off holiday MUST be on a weekday. The general plan is that JiXiang is going to go to daycare 3 days a week and then the other 2 days a week Li will be daddy. It will also be excellent bonding time if this is what his work hours are going to be like. This will also cut back our daycare costs about 140 bucks a month. Not as much as I wanted but better than nothing.
Starting now we really have to save more. We have done amazingly well. I have been very impressed with my saving and budgeting technique. When I was still living in Canada and having to survive I was total crap when it came to balancing my books. I made grand attempts but I really truly sucked at it. Not to the point of being in a difficult position but bad enough that I never had any extra cash.
When Li and I moved in he automatically started doing the Asian thing of: men hand over the paycheck to wifey person and leave it all up to them. I had a minor panic attack when I realized I was now responsible for two people (now three) and learned how to save quickly.
I am a fast learner when I need to be.
I have money in the bank, but it is not as much as I would like for the hopeful move back home. Plane tickets for two and a half people (yes you still have to pay something for babies), shipping container, stuffing every nook and cranny of that container if there is room in order to get our moneys worth, the stop over for about three weeks in China to introduce JiXiang to the Chinese family, and then living when we return to Canada. In reality I have no where near enough in our bank account. All these stupid medical exams have put a HUGE dent in the pocket book.
Ohh well, more sacrifices must be made, unfortunately most by me. Hmmm. And Li and his damn obsession with clothes!
On a totally different note:
JiXiang is getting in a couple more teeth. I have been blessed with a baby who handles the whole teething hell quite well. She has been nothing like what the books talk about.
Knock on wood.
She has also discovered the beauty of hollow sound. Her favourite toys right now are these two finished wrapping paper rolls and any empty container she can get out of the plastic garbage bin before mommy or daddy notice. She puts them over her mouth and makes the craziest noises and laughs the entire time.
If you are playing with her when she has a wrapping paper roll in her mouth she will attempt to put the other end over your mouth and starts this sort of telephone game of crazy noises with you. She thinks it is a total blast.
When I was a baby/kid I was attached to a little pink blanket called ‘Pinky’. Still have it all wrapped up with the only doll I can ever recall owning. (I was a bit of a tom boy) So far JiXiang has not attached herself to any one thing: not a blanket or a toy. BUT the last few days she has been carrying around EVERYWHERE this odd head pillow tigery thingy that was brought back from China. I have no idea what it is but she has been hugging it, carrying it (and it is quite heavy) and even holding it in her mouth so she can carry other things. She is constantly coming up to me and putting it on my lap and then taking it back. She pulled the one ear off the other day and had a MAJOR temper tantrum when Li took it from her to sew the ear back on. I cant say she has found her safe feeling toy yet but she does enjoy it.
As for the major temper tantrum, ooohhhh boy can that kid just lose it. It is almost poltergeist like. Her head throws back, scream erupt that can deafen the deaf and she throws her entire body backwards onto the floor. She has started to do the odd floor kicking as well. Doesn’t accomplish anything though as her mommy and daddy just walk away and let her scream. Usual only lasts about a minute but it feels like a hell of a long minute.
I am sure she will try some more tactics in the future to try to wear us down.
Change of topic again:
I have started cleaning. Sorta.
It is tradition in Japan to finish out the old year by doing MAJOR house cleaning similar to our spring cleaning.
I didn’t do any at all.
I decided to start the New Year with a clean house and have sorta started. Things take ten zillion times longer to do when I am home alone with JiXiang. What used to take two minutes to dust now takes almost 20.
I did a bit of shelves yesterday and finally dusted the last remaining nick knack counter untouchable by baby hands. It is the only place left that has little dust collecting things that I like on it. Everything else has ended up in the closet.
And here is a picture of my Chinese Zodiac Calendar. It is still set to the Year of the Chicken because the New Year is not for a few more weeks. But on the right of the chicken is the dog ready and waiting, and on the left of the chicken is the monkey from last year.