3 days to Nanning…
Small steps towards the adoption as we come closer and closer. It is a state of confusion as there are simply too many emotions to process.
We spend our days here I Beijing as tourists. This city is huge and modern. The subway is clean and orderly. The people are fashionable and friendly. It feels ridiculous to spend our time here when our focus is on Guangxi. And yet we know that this is probably our first of many trips to China so we try to go with the flow. We take it all in stride as best as we can.
Upon our arrival Saturday, we discovered that due to confusion, our apartment booking was lost in translation. Our first night was at a nice hotel packed in like sardines. I really hate hotels.
But we are world travelers and not easily phased by such minor bumps as not having a place to stay. After checking in, we headed out to meet an old friend from Orlando Toastmasters for dinner. Late that night I jumped back online to make a new apartment booking which suits us quite well.
Sunday we were met by our apartment host’s father and we then indulged in the Pearl Market downtown. I just loved being screamed at by this wild Chinese woman who kept telling me to “close the sale.” Those of you who know me well know that I did truly enjoy that encounter and am not being sarcastic at all. It was really fun!
Next stop was Wangfujing Street. There Jonas and Gunnar ate scorpions fried on a stick while Astrid was chased by a huge Chinese paparazzi with cell phones. It was a true cultural indulgence.
Add on top that every meal is its own adventure. We now only select restaurants with picture menus and budget for the extra 1-2 items that we don’t recognize and are pretty sure we didn’t order. All in all, it is interesting to see how Gunnar’s hunger outweighs his food choices. He eats it all now.
Monday was a take-it-easy day with a late sleep in. We managed to find a local restaurant with no pictures on the menu and had a very interesting brunch of fish (best ever!), mystery meat, congee, white mush with hot sauce, etc. It was pouring down rain which made the smog much, much better. So we then spent some time at this crazy plastic children’s place in a nearby shopping mall. Astrid was in heaven and really enjoyed driving the toy tank.
Dinner included cartilage skewered on sticks, random meats on sticks, duck necks, tasteless black and white dough balls, batidos (mango and watermelon just like Costa Rica), fantastic shrimps and more. Stopped for some ice cream on the way home – cranberries with green cream around the outside or red beans frozen on a stick were chosen by Jonas and me.
Tuesday we journeyed to The Forbidden City. The lines were unbelievable as we are traveling in the peak of peak season here. Squishing in with every camera-toting tourist to get pics of thrones, beds, etc used by the emperors. Not to mention the throngs of cameras on selfie-sticks that surrounded poor Astrid and Gunnar (the white giant) as people crammed in to take photos with them.
We created our own scene when getting photos taken as the emperor and family. Astrid was manhandled too much finally during the session. Heads adjusting and much screaming in Chinese when she tried to choose her own outfit. No no no. All resulting in a meltdown and do-over, thanks to the help ofan English-speaking man who informed the angry women that Astrid wanted to be the emperor NOT the empress. So we now have a fantastic picture of my very confident and strong daughter in the beautiful yellow dragon outfit and carrying a real sword. Boy was she proud! (and me too!)
We also finally met with the representative for their adoption agency here and made all the final details for our trip to Nanning.
Suddenly things got real.
And today was another play day. We spent it at the Olympics Cube – a Waterpark. Great fun followed by dinner at the Hutongs downtown.
So here we are. No Google or Facebook access. Sending this on my phone in hopes it will post. Wish us luck and stay tuned. I’ll try to upload photos somehow later.
Sent from my Sony Xperia™ smartphone