Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sixth Graders Swallowing Snakes and Stomach Stew

Sixth graders love to act things out. They love to make funny noises. They love to draw and play games. They are absolutely mad about the word "toilet."

Aren't they cute?

In Ancient History we are becoming gods and goddesses of Sumer and reading Gilgamesh.

In English, we are reading a teleplay called "Herbie" by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame, so I You-Tube the episode "It's a Good Life." Both stories are about boys with extrasensory powers. The class loves to make the Twilight Zone sound (of course they had never heard it before...) and today we act out the play. We have an earthquake in slow motion and an injured girl (played by a boy in each class which makes it exreeeeemely funny for them) saved by a helicopter. The boys have been running into class asking "Twilight Zone?" because I can only download it in ten minute increments.

So, yes, it's fun for a change.

Other news: my guy waits for me in the mornings and after school now; it's a done deal. Today he brings me home all the way to the castle (I meet him out on the street by the sandwich cart in the mornings) and he points down the alley to tell me he lives there; we are neighbors. He must be talking to his friends, because I sure didn't tell him where I live; he just suddenly knows. I notice today that his red helmet has a little cartoon Tweety Bird on it. And today, he corners of his mouth turn up the slightest bit when he sees me after school.

Tonight K, T and I decide to go to Seafood Alley to try another place (T is mostly vegetarian but indulges in seafood sometimes to get his protein). A waiter meets us on the street and ushers us in, sits us down, then beckons us to follow him (the hand gesture is a palm down, waving motion). He leads us down the alley and into a stack house with a very long hallway. At the end is a kitchen, and down the hallway are pots and tanks and coolers. He wants to know what we want, even though he already presented us with a translated menu. He takes a live shrimp out of the tank and we nod a yes-- he takes it over to the pot: do you want it boiled? then he takes it to the grill: or do you want it grilled? We want it grilled. We point at long-necked clams (remember those from China?), regular clams (they come in a lemongrass saffron broth), squid (fried in a tamarind chili sauce, and, I don't know...we just keep pointing. We want everything. He takes us back to the table and within minutes our fish starts to arrive. Evidently, we pointed at eight different critters. Each dish costs about $1.80 -- the same price as the place across the street, so we each pay about $6.

In the middle of dinner, we hear "Hey!" Tarn and I turn around (Katherine is already facing the street) and we see two boys, also probably sixth grade age, dressed in silk costumes. One of them has two sticks of fire and he is swallowing them, over and over. He keeps yelling "Hey!" before swallowing the fire and after a few minutes of watching, T and I turn back around to eat. Suddenly, K goes white and puts her hands to her mouth. Because when T and I turned around, the other boy (not the fire eater) puts a thin, long green snake in his nose, which reappears seconds later through his mouth. K has to put her forehead in her hands for a minute; she has lost her composure and appetite. Tarn is disappointed. When they come around for money, he asks them to do the snake again, but of course they don't understand.

What did we pass up on the menu? Well, mixed intestine salad, grilled intestine, pig marrow, fried bird, fried frog, sapo duck tongue, stomach stew, cow ball, wild boar, and tons of snails. Can I put an order in for you?

Before we head out to dinner, our neighbor comes over to scold us about not using our padlock when we are in the house. The people here are crazy about padlocking their doors. The castle had four padlocks when we found it; its got an outer gate, an inner door and bars on all the windows. We want to be like everyone else in the evenings and leave our door open, but our neighbor, who is pantomiming in frantic gestures, tells us that someone will come in and do damage. So we are going to listen to the prophetess. We are very very careful about padlocking when we leave, but now we wonder how much of a target we are, living in this huge place. At least we have neighbors who are looking after us, but we keep hearing..."make sure you padlock your upper door (right by my room)" and now this from our other neighbor.

It's just a little disturbing, ya know?

Tomorrow is Friday, thank goodness. We sent out an email for the castle warming and everyone is coming. We think we could have a hundred stay tuned for lots of pictures when we get everything ready on Saturday!


kumma said...

Pig marrow with a side of cow balls for me, please. Yum.

kumma said...

Wait... cows don't have balls. Now I'm REALLY scared.

AmyT said...

Would you believe, as I was commuting to work this morning, I flipped on the radio and the tune was, of course, "Come to E-Lectric Avenue!" What are the chances? Well, here in Medford, where the mullet never goes out of style and all radio stations play Oldies, the chances are quite high actually. Now I shall have a glass of wine and get the image of the-green-snake-in-a-nose out of my brain.

Angie said...

Marjie, Your kids are so cute. I'm glad you posted pictures. Of course, the description of the snake in the nose kind of over shadowed the cuteness!

I hope you have a great castle warming. I wish I could come eat fish and shrimp with you! (We'll let Bill keep the pig marrow.)

The Norris Clan said...

I was actually thinking the stomach stew with a side of grilled intestines would do the trick. What trick, you ask? Vomitus... all over.

SOOOO jealous of the party. Can't wait for pics and stories...

Ann Marie said...

Yes, please place an order of wild boar for me!!! You are missing out if you don't try it. The Italians call it cinghiale and it is probably my favorite meat in the world. Hold the stomach stew, however.