It has been more than a month since we came back from Malaysia.
The girls would still look at the photos and videos from the trip, one night Awena even had a dream about my family, she kept yelling 'ah ku ah ku ah ku" (ah ku in Hokkien refers to her ancle (my brother)).
Here are some of the snapshots / highlights of Aelig's trip:
1. Two mothers
One day in the car, Aelig told us that she would like to go back to France quickly. We wanted to know what displeased her in Malaysia. Her reply :"but I have two mothers in Malaysia! Er yi (my second sister) looks so much like you that I couldn't distingush you from her! It is better that we go back to France, then I would only have one mother." She said it in such a serious way that all of us laughed.
2. The French speaking boy
During Chinese New Year, we would go to relatives' houses everyday. We met a lot of people but none of them speak French. One day we met a young boy, he was so bored as he was the only kid there, so he was happy when we arrived with our daughters. He quickly approached Aelig for conversation and wanted to share a game in the tablet with her. He spoke English to Aelig, but she didn't understand. I quickly explained to the boy that Aelig only speaks Mandarin and French. I knew he didn't speak Mandarin so I asked if he speaks French. He nodded, to my surprise. They started to play together with their own language because the fact was he didn't speak French. At one point, the boy's mother came to me saying that her son was asking password for the tablet, but it was upon Aelig's request. As soon as the tablet was unlocked, he handed it to Aelig. I don't know how they communicated, but she got what she wanted (she would glue to any cellphone/tablette/computer as soon as she gets a chance).
3. Mutton on the sky lantern
The sky lantern (KongMing Lantern) has become a popular tradition during the Chinese New Year in Malaysia. People would write their wishes on it then let the lantern rises into the sky. We asked Aelig to write something on it and she wrote "mouton", mutton in French. She was happy to see her "mouton" flying.
Kids are crazy about fireworks and firecrackers during Chinese New Year. My sister bought Aelig some and she finished all of them. She didn't remember anything about fireworks from her last trips, but I think she would remember it from now on.
Karaoke is still big in Malaysia. We went to a company dinner, I had the chance to introduce karaoke to the little girl. She loved it and had asked me to replay songs that she knew.
6. The monkey king
It is the Monkey year, so she got introduced to the charactors in "The Journey to the West".
After this trip, back to France, there were several things worth to jot down:
1. Angpow to her classmates
We decided to have a project together : giving angpow to her classmates with a card and a candy instead of money. I wrote down their name and "Happy Monkey Year" in French and in Mandarin. When I brought the angpows to her school, her classmates were elated that they would have their names written in Mandarin. They all laughed and giggled when I told them it is the Monkey year. Her teacher later told me to teach her where is Malaysia on a map so that she could point it to her classmates.
2. A card to her classmates
We also sent a Chinese New Year card to her class from Malaysia. It took 4 weeks to arrive, we thought it was lost. Her message was "Hello my fellow classmates, I wish you all a very Happy Monkey New Year. It is very very hot in Malaysia."
3. New cloth everyday
It is the Chinese tradition to wear new cloth for the first few days of Chinese New Year. She got some from her grandma and we bought her some. Now back to France, she wants to continue the tradition, but we are in winter so no way she is going to wear summer dresses. I insisted that she wears at least a longsleeve suit. It doesn't seem to bother her though, she has been wearing her Malaysian clothes to school even though it was 0° outdoor.
4. Can't switched back to French
At the first few weeks after we are back to France, she complained that she would speak Mandarin to her classmates and she couldn't control it. She has difficulty switching back to French. I told her that's normal because I'm experiencing the same things.
5. Drawing in her activity book
This is what she drew in her activity book about her trip to Malaysia. On the left is about the lion dance and fireworks. On the right is a pond situated close to sister's house where we stayed. In Malaysia due to the hot weather most of the times we stayed indoor, so she was happy she got to go to the playground and ran around the pond.
Overall it was a nice trip to the little girl. As for her younger sister, she was sick the first few days after we arrived. She was sticky to me most of the time so it was very hard for me to relax. She was finally comfortable with my family at the last few days. The day before we headed back, I finally got a chance to go out with hubby without the kids, we shopped for what we wanted to bring home, and ate plenty of food in a peaceful environment. We didn't have to worry about diapers, naps, yelling, what kind of food to order for them. It was so nice.