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Sunday, June 27, 2010
Our Sunday in Guangzhou
This morning we were up early again. Little Marisa went down fine last night and seemed to go to sleep quickly but then she's up at 4:30 am having to go to the bathroom. So I get up and take her and then she doesn't go back to sleep. She tosses and turns in the crib and it keeps me awake. So when it is time to get up and get her ready she was a little grouchy.
We went down to breakfast. The wait staff are pretty much hovering and the minute you have cleaned a plate they snatch it away. Today it was kinda of annoying me but they think they are providing a good service for us so I'll get over it. The culture here is very different when it comes to personal space. Chinese people stand very close to each other and they will openly stare at us. Also they can be very aggressive and push their way to where they want to be. It's hard to get used to. The same is true in their driving. It is unreal how people drive here. They will pull out in front of someone else and make other cars wait. Surprisingly we haven't seen any accidents. I guess it's because everyone is used to driving this way. And car seats aren't required for children here. I'm sure Marisa isn't going to be too happy when we put her in a car seat the first time.
Sundays are different here. It's pretty much business as usual. There are construction projects going on today. I think the banks are open and all businesses are open. Veronica said that most people here do not have or believe in any type of religion. I had thought Buddhism was the big religion here. But actually not a very large percentage practice Buddhism. So I guess in China they never have a day of rest. That would be hard to get used to.
This morning our group of families went to see the Chen's Ancestral Hall. It was the Chen family temple. It was interesting to walk through. It's so incredible to see the details they carved into wooden walls and doors. We also some some embroidery pieces that were framed that looked like pictures that were painted. One family said they saw women working on pieces in the province they had been in. It sounds kind of like the way we do our quilting - sitting around a frame and they embroider and then roll it up like you do when you quilt. It's very beautiful work. After we walked through the temple we went to a store. I think it's called Yi Qi Ceramic. It's very interesting to shop here in these type of stores. If you want something they will write up a receipt for it and you continue to look around. When you are finished you go pay for all your purchases at one place in the store and then go to another place in the store to pick up your purchases. We picked up a few things for Marisa. Hopefully she will appreciate once she gets older. After the store we went to eat. It was a Chinese restaurant. All of our families sat at a large round table and they brought food in and set it in the middle. The middle of the table has a turntable so if you want something you just turn the table in the middle instead of passing food. After lunch we returned to the hotel.
Our little one fell asleep in her stroller while we were shopping. When we got back on the bus to go eat, she didn't wake up when I took her out of the stroller. She seems to be able to do that - just fall asleep when she's tired. So now we're back at the hotel and she's being a little ham. She probably needs to sleep some more but hate to try to make her go down now or she might not sleep tonight. She's running around without her skort and is putting it on her head and showing us and trying to get us to laugh. She's very easily amused. She loves paper and likes to rip it up or have me write on it for her. She played with the bags our purchases came in for awhile. She's quite the character. She still wants her own way at times but is learning that mommy and daddy will not always let her have her own way. She'll cry but usually gets over it pretty quickly. And she is understanding what no means. I tried to get a picture of her with the skort on her head but she's moving around so much I can't get it.
Tonight we may try an Italian restaurant here on the island. If we go, it will be interesting to see what an Italian restaurant is like here in China. We may try to do some shopping before tomorrow afternoon when we're planning to do a "red couch" picture with the children. We would like to buy her a Chinese outfit to wear for the picture. For those who don't know, many people have their groups' babies all sit on a red couch that is in the lobby area of the White Swan hotel (where we're staying) for a picture.
So this afternoon we're resting or trying to because when there's a little one around she goes non-stop it seems. She's probably making sure she stays awake.
I think tomorrow Veronica, our guide, will be turning our paperwork in to the American Consulate. Then we'll be getting a visa for Marisa too. I'm ready to go home. It's hard eating out all the time and trying to figure out what Marisa can and can't have to eat. I'm also ready to be home to get on a regular schedule. I wonder how she will be once we get home. Marisa probably thinks we live in hotels and eat in restaurants and that's our life. So glad it's not. Plus it will be nice to see everyone at home too. Thanks so much for all of you who leave comments or have sent emails. It's nice to hear from people back home. I'll see about posting some more pictures a little later.