Headline Number One: Jillian slept in until 6:15 this morning!
Major News Story: We went to the US Consulate today and applied for Jillian's visa so she can enter the United States. When she lands in Seattle on Friday, she will become a US citizen!
Apparently there is a chicken shortage in Kentucky. For lunch today, I was dispatched to Kentucky Fried Chicken to get food for six people. When I got there, they kindly handed me a bilingual picture menu and I pointed to a picture of a piece of original recipe chicken and indicated that I wanted to buy six pieces. The store manager, through broken English and gestures, told me that, in fact, they had only four pieces of chicken at the KFC and it would take 15 minutes to prepare! In turn, I pointed to a picture of a meal deal that included five pieces of chicken, six wings, corn, rolls and three Pepsi's. He said, "Okay, fifteen minutes."
I left for ten minutes to go next door to the Trust Mart (similar to WalMart . . . even sells Great Value branded foods) and came back. I waited for another five or ten minutes and then the manager called me over to the counter. He explained that, actually, they had only three pieces of chicken plus something that he didn't know the English word for. He wanted to know if this would be okay. (He gestured toward his ribs but I'm not sure what he meant.) So, I took that man's last three pieces of chicken and the rest of my order and trucked back to the other side of the expressway (via the subway facility that connects one side to the other) and we sat in our hotel room with our new friend Dale and his daughter, Camillia, and wolfed down our lunches.
Along with Dale and Camillia, we went to a restaurant on the top floor of the Jusco Department store for dinner tonight. I believe the name was "Japanese Casual Dining." I had seen it a few days ago and it seemed clean and straight forward and, most importantly, had a bilingual picture menu. Ordering was still an adventure. For instance, one item was labeled "Cold Noodels." Camillia likes noodles so Dale was going to order them. I pointed out that he probably didn't want cold noodles for her. We had an extended dialogue with the poor waitress, asking her if the noodles were hot or cold. We showed her that tea was hot and water was cold. She said that the noodles were hot. And, sure enough, they were steaming when they arrived . . . and the bill showed that we had ordered "cold noodels." We wondered if perhaps "cold" was a mistranslation of "dry."
Jeannette ordered a dish that was "ramen in pork broth," but the photo--and the dish itself when it arrived--clearly was a seafood noodle soup.
In any case, I thought it was the tastiest meal we've had on this trip, especially of the Asian variety. All four dishes that we ordered were excellent and the bill came to about $26. We're only here a couple more days but I'd love to go back for another meal.
International Relations: I was thrilled today to get an email from the director of Jillian's orphanage, giving us the names of her foster parents and two pictures of her foster family. I noticed that her email address was a QQ account, so I did a quick search in QQ and found her there. A little while later, we were instant messaging back and forth. She said the kids at the orphanage and Jillian's teacher are excited to have her come back to visit this week, and it sounds to me like we'll get to meet her foster parents!