Charlotte told us that in northern China they have a saying, "In the south they eat everything with legs but the table and everything with wings but an airplane." N. China has some interesting choices, too. We had real Chinese food yesterday and are acquiring the are of using chopsticks. Too bad they don't provide a bib to go with them. We saw many interesting choices waiting to be cooked at the Food Market: scorpions, squid, silk worms, venison, kelp, snake on a stick....along with more "normal" choices. We ate at a resteraunt instead using the point and smile method of ignorance ordering. Two minutes later a big black fish wiggling in a net was brought for our approval. Fifteen minutes later he appeared on our table covered in unfamiliar vegetables except for the black fungus (mushrooms) and peanuts. The trail mix Kenton didn't want me to bring filled in some gaps. He told me, "I think when we have an opportunity to eat western, we probably should. I'd like to survive." Boy, has the leopard changed his spots!
The free market was an interesting experience in using one of two phrases in Chinese I now can say, "hello, stranger" and "I DON'T want it!" People literally grabbed us by the arm and coaxed us to buy Louis Vuitton, Coach, cashmere, silk, electronics, etc. I'd pull away from one persistant salesperson to be confronted with two more. At one point I had one on each side pulling and saying, "Lady, don't listen her, I give you better deal!" I rapidly learned three things: DO NOT make eye contact, move fast, and get out while you still have money.
Beijing is a beautiful city. At night many of the big buildings are lit up brighter than Christmas trees. People are constantly cleaning....at least the visible parts. Some of the architecture is breathtaking. Apartment buildings abound. The Chinese people have been overall lovely.
With 15 million people, the driving is a nightmare. Our guide says she faces backwards in the van so she doesn't have to watch. Buese, electric trams, taxis, police cars with flashing lights, bicycles, and pedestrians are everywhere. amazingly, the cars are miraculously unscathed....We checked!
We have been blessed with great traveling mates. Marie, her brother Matt, and stepfather Herb have added a huge dose of laughter and fun to our adventure.
The time difference has been much harder to acclimate to than I thought it would be. Surely if you're tired enough a person can sleep. Not the case for us.
Today we fly to Nanning in Guangxi province. It's about a 3.5 hour flight. Tomorrow afternoon we get Yingying. We've enjoyed our time in Beijing, but we are ready to meet our new daughter. Charlotte warned us that she has probably been spoiled by her foster family because they know she is leaving.
The little children are adorable and obviously the apple of their parents and grandparents eyes. Kenton tried to take a picture of one yesterday at the Forbidden City. Grandma tried to pose her, but she took one look at himer, screamed, tried to bolt, and eyed him balefully from daddy's arms from there on. I wonder how Yingying will do.....