Now that Estelle is in primary school, she has access to the school canteen where she can buy food.
Estelle feels grown-up when she can buy something for herself without an adult's help. She prefers buying to bringing food from home. Her pocket money was withdrawn for one day last week when I found that she had been buying sweet drinks and jelly instead of food. By the time she was dismissed from class, she was famished. We have come to an understanding that she has to spend the money on food and she can decide what to do with the balance.
She has done pretty well this couple of weeks. For days she had fishball noodle during recess. Finally, on Tuesday, she ventured to a new territory called chicken rice and yesterday (Wednesday), she conquered another frontier, duck rice.
I suspect she is still not sure how much her food cost. For days she told me her food cost $1.00 but she got money back. Nevertheless, she has come up with a clever way to pay.
Apparently, she gives the stall owner $1.00 and waits for change.
She is figuring her way around the economics of buying and selling.
I have used this trick myself during my travels. Whether in Bangkok, Tokyo or Finland, I will try to speak the local language to assume the role of a local expatriate. In other words, I'm faking familiarity with the market place. Usually in the first couple of days, my ears are still not tuned and I can't make out the price quoted, so I'll give a sufficiently large note and wait for change. Throw in a smile and a word of thanks in their language always makes the shopping trip a pleasant one.