So we decided to journey into Tana City on our own as a family today. We needed to pick up a package at the post office. So, off we went. Walked 2 kilometers to catch a taxi-be. Took the taxi-be to where we get off to go to Tana City Church. Got another taxi-be and into Tana we went. As we were getting near to our drop off near the train station traffic was very backed up so people just started getting off the taxi-be and walking the rest of the way. We decided to do the same thing. Seth got off first with me right behind him, however, before I was able to get off the traffic started to move (slowly mind you). Seth looked back in horror thinking he was being left behind. Poor guy. I knew we weren't going more than 10 feet but he didn't know that. He ran after us crying. I got off as quickly as I could and scooped him up. He was so scared! Oh, my heart just melted for him!
Once we were all back together (this all took place in like 2 minutes mind you) off the taxi-be and on the “side walk” we headed through the market towards the post office. Seth and I were in front of Randy and Cole about 10 feet. It's packed full with people and you need to hold onto you personal items as if your life depended it! I kept looking back to make sure Randy was in my sight. About a minute later he called my name. I turned around and he just smiled at me. “Ok, he calls my name in the middle of complete chaos and smiles at me.....he's so sweet”. As we entered the post office he told me that a group of 5 men walked up right behind me and Seth, and one man went in front of us. Randy called my name because it was obvious to him that they were pick pockets. Now, for our parent's sake, let me just explain that pick pocketing is VERY common, especially in Tana's market areas, however, they do not HURT you, they just steal from you! So anyway, when Randy called my name I stopped walking and turned around and the men dispersed! Ah, my night in shining armor!
So, we made it to the post office safely. Our package was delightful! Halloween decorations! We also got a nice letter from grandparent's with pictures of the boys stuffed animals! OH, they LOVED that! We then ventured back out into chaos (the market). Now, I love going to markets because it's a great place to practice my malagasy! The boys needed new sneakers as theirs are coming apart from climbing trees, running on rocks, dirt, hard grass..... So we bought one pair of shoes, two Madagascar shirts for the boys and two “baseball” hats. In the middle of talking with a seller a man walked by and went to go into one of my side pockets of my purse. Little did he know that they were closed with velcro....hello?...loud rip..... I smacked his hand and gave him the hairy eyeball look, but he never made eye contact with me. So, I've decided that next week with my language helper I will learn the phrase “Stealing is a lazy person's job” or “Are you seriously trying to steal from me?” and make a nice stink:) I will ask Helena what an appropriate phrase would be for me to say loudly to make a stink but not be disrespectful!
We made it through the market and went and sat on some steps to rest a little bit. Randy and Cole weren't feeling up to par. After about a 10 minute rest we went to find a restaurant that has become the talk of the town among foreigners: The Cookie Shop. Need I say more people! It was started by a Malagasy woman who had been in America and had loved Starbucks. She came back home to Tana and started her own! They had GREAT bagel sandwiches, different kinds of cookies, including chocolate chips (which are VERY hard to find here), ice cream sundaes on brownies, and milkshakes!!!!! Poor Randy. His stomach wasn't feeling well so he just had a juice smoothie drink. I took it pretty easy too as I didn't want to over do it ya know? I just had a chicken melt bagel with pickles, cucumbers, cheese, and mayo, a chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and cool whip, and then a chocolate milkshake. Not too bad right? RIGHT???
Oh, my mouth was SOOOOOO happy!
And when we arrived at the cookie shop we ran into friends (and very close neighbors) of ours who had driven into town. So, we were able to get a lift home. Ah, what an adventure!