Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Few More Details

I am trying desperately to keep myself awake until it is time for bed. We are far too tired to go walking around the city again, so I thought I'd post again.

Needless to say, jet lag has got a grasp on me. Tired just doesn't seem to describe it. I almost dropped my head on the table tonight during dinner. My body is just wondering what the heck I am doing, trying to become nocturnal.

We met the M family while were were in Tokyo. They are one of the other three families in our travel group. We will all be getting our girls tomorrow from the same orphanage. We stayed over at the same hotel with them in Guangzhou. It has been fun to make some new friends when everything else just reminds us that we are strangers here.

We are especially taken with their three-year-old daughter, C. She was adopted from China also. She is just the cutest little girl, and very sweet. Seeing her makes me wonder what Bao will look like when she is 3, or 10, or 40....

I am looking forward to meeting the O/S family. They beat us here by three days and have been doing the tourist thing, but we have yet to meet them. And there is also the C family who will be arriving tomorrow just before we leave to get the girls.

We were met by our agency rep, Li, when we got off the plane in Kunming. After some communication difficulties at the hotel in Guangzhou, I was glad be in her capable hands. She'd made our hotel reservations long before we got there, and she directed everything at the hotel. She knows what she is doing.

We grilled her on the ride to the hotel. Do you know if any of our girls are from a minority group (there are many in Kunming) or are they Han Chinese (the majority)? Would we be able to visit the orphanage? Are the girls taken outside very often? etc, etc.

Then she gave us instructions too...
-we need to bring jackets for the girls tomorrow. It's chilly here and she was quick to point out that, though westerners may just wear a T-shirt, the Chinese would always bundle a child.
-we need to pay the hotel in cash in order to secure the negotiated rate.
-we need to be prepared tomorrow with food, bottles, the jacket (again!) and anything else we need to bring for the baby.
-we need to meet her in the lobby at 2 pm. We will leave from there to meet the girls. Then she added, "you must be on time."

Uh, don't worry, Li, we'll be on time!

After Li left, we went up to our room and got situated. When I say "got situated," I mean grabbing some food from our suitcase and spending the next 45 minutes trying to get the computer running so we could e-mail Boo and Bug. Once situated, we ventured out into the city.

We saw neat sights all around the city today, the first of which is the view from our hotel window. We overlook the hotel's entryway and beyond that are the buildings that I supppose are typical of lots of cities in China. But behind the buildings are beautiful mountains... don't ask me which ones, but they're there.

On our excursion tonight, we saw plenty. My favorite scene was that of a man testing calligraphy brushes (much like we might test a pen to get an idea of its feel before we buy.) He was squatting down to reach the assortment of brushes offered by a street vendor, effortlessly creating the broad strokes of various Chinese symbols on a scrap of printed, green paper.

We stopped in at WalMart, which is huge, to try to find a stroller for Bao. We looked around on all three of its floors for quite a while. Without a doubt, the bottom floor was the most interesting. As we walked down the stairwell, we were quickly surrounded by the smells of an open market. All sorts of hot food (including fried chicken) were being prepared. It kinda resembled a huge deli, but with a lot more to offer than the average American deli.

It seemed odd to me that the cashier at WalMart became distressed when we handed her RMB100 to pay for our purchases totalling RMB6o. There was some scrambling, but they got us the correct change. Our first stop after WalMart was one of the vendors outside. We picked out some gifts for the kids that totalled RMB45. We haven't been here long enough to accumulate small bills, and the change from WalMart was not enough to cover the cost for our gifts. We hesitated at handing over another RMB100 bill, thinking they'd surely have difficultly making change. The woman looked at us like, yeah, what's the big deal? and promptly produced the correct change.


Anyway, I don't know that I have anything else terribly interesting to say. Thank you for reading - you are helping me stay awake.



Anonymous Andrea Sands said...

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Sat Oct 08, 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Helen said...

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Sat Oct 08, 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Sat Oct 08, 10:34:00 PM  

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