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Sequel has dance class on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m.  Ballet for wee-uns.  From what I can tell this involves the instructor saying "Okay, who remembers what first position is?" and then a bunch of overexcited 4 and 5 year olds flail randomly for awhile.  They also boogie around to some other kid-friendly stuff which usually means I spend the morning dealing with earworms of the "head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes" variety.

Notwithstanding my own grogginess I actually get a kick out of the sideshow at dance class:  other parents sitting around, some still wearing (one suspects) PJs, some hung over from the night before, eye boogers and bed head and hastily obtained caps.  Then there is a small sprinkling of perfectly made up mothers with matching ensembles and jewellery, sitting in the corner and chatting about the service history of their Benz SUVs.  Some of us have gradually overcome our standoffishness and developed that odd stilted relationship that arises between otherwise unconnected people that meet briefly on a regular schedule.  Eventually, more and more loads of kids arrive for the later classes and by the time we leave it's a swarming sea of squawking children, a Bose-Einstein condensate of pastel leotards and legwarmers.

We spent the rest of the morning wandering around downtown Kitchener -- used bookstores, a café for some sweet treats, the farmers' market for some apples and spuds.  We also ducked into the Oriental grocery, which on a Saturday morning is an absolute assault on all 5 senses:  pressing crowds, loud multilingual chatter, piles of brightly coloured packaging, and the tang of suspect seafood.  The guy at the BBQ counter was just waiting for the lunch rush to start and I got to quiz him on some of the less familiar contents of his steam table:  "Chicken feet", "intestine from pig", "other intestine from pig", "...I no know how say in English that one".  I scored some dried shredded squid [my Japanese friends turned me on to this, it goes AWESOMELY with beer] and some roasted coconut juice, and the kids got some Pocky, so they were happy.  At the till amongst foreign tobacco and lottery tickets was a one gallon glass jar of small brown pucks, and a pile of change on the lid.  I thought it was maybe candied ginger, or chaw, until I got far enough along to see the handwritten label.  "Dried Scallop  ¢79".

Some pho with mango milkshakes and a quick trip to the library, and the day was declared a success. 
(At least until we got home and the kids announced they were BORED).

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haardvark

November 2015

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