the older boys are Theo, 12, and Julian, 8, who belong to my French friend Chloee. They are very sweet with Thomas.
Sometimes I really wish Granny were alive so that I could make her really happy by living in Egypt and having French friends.
Our shipment of stuff from the US finally arrived. There were some missing items, among them our beloved Candyland game. I dropped by a department store where I'd seen a wall of board games to see about a replacement. Upon closer inspection I realized that the whole wall of American games consisted entirely of editions of three games: Monopoly, Risk, and Clue. That selection pretty much would confirm the middle eastern impression of American culture: materialism, empire, and crime. But actually, when you think about it Clue is a weird kids game-- why would Colonel Mustard want to do that with the candlestick in that nice billiard room?
Here are some shots of us at Halloween. As Egypt does not recognize this holiday there are limited options in terms of costumes. Thomas really wanted to be a dragon. He had some specific ideas about how his costume should look. I had pretty much resigned myself to making it when I saw signs up at the Irish nursery, where Emmett goes three mornings a week, for a seamstress who would make costumes to order. Labor is really cheap in Egypt- part of the reason for the afore-noted "house staff" - so this isn't really that ridiculous a thing to do. But when we went to Madame Aliaa's "shop," which was some kind of converted elevator shaft in the basement of a building, we found she had pretty much ripped out pages from disney-type american costume catalogues to use as models. The upshot being that I paid slightly less than I would have paid in the states to get the same crappy costume but this time made to measure by an old egyptian woman.
Thomas really liked it though, so there you are. For Emmett I found a bumble bee suit. I only have one picture here- but he was pretty cute. In fact, his nursery teacher gave him the prize for best costume. He didn't really have the best or most original costume, but I think it was his *interpretation* of a pudgy bee that won her over. Here he has a little blinking light in his mouth that I got for Thomas to use as "fire," but Thomas hated it.
Here is T having his fortune told by a high school kid at the Halloween carnival at his old school. The swami said that Thomas would be a good friend to all animals and would rescue them from perils. I thought this was awesome, but Thomas found it to be merely a statement of the obvious.
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