|drink shopping at trust-mart|
Sunday, July 25, 2010
shopping, drinking and hoping in guangzhou city china
so in the past couple of days we've had some time to do a little shopping. we've strolled in and out of stores and around the markets. i am fascinated by it all. i could easily stand and watch a duck being de-feathered or listen to a wizened old woman share with me (in rapid chinese) the details of her jade. no matter, i am delighted. i love just shaking my head and making affirming noises. i think we understand each other in some small way. i am, however, driving my husband crazy. i enjoy weaving from stall to stall, taking pictures and having funny conversations. he follows me with bella in the stroller doing his best to act as body guard to us both. he is 6'4...picture him in "the stance"... arms crossed, shades on and shoulders back. he is so not messing around. he knows we are somewhat of a spectacle. people are fascinated with the fact that, A. we are americans, and B. we have a chinese daughter...oh, and C. she sucks her fingers. apparently sucking your fingers in china is a terrible offense. we've had countless people try to tell us to make her stop. several people have gotten down at her level and harshly said, NO! or something like NO in chinese. really, we have NO idea what they are telling her. yesterday one woman kept following us around. she made a sour face and smacked her ear (not bella's ear - that would have been "go time" for body guard daddy). she kept following us and smacking her own ear. i had no idea what the ear had to do with it, but i finally had to tell her in my sweetest american voice to get lost. bella's lived two years in an orphanage. she's had no one to offer consistent comfort, nothing but her two fingers...if she wants to suck on them, she sure as heck can. we'll deal with the ortho bills later. and besides, we find it kind of cute. anyway, going out on the streets is always an adventure. we are staying in this great hotel, but once you exit off its premesis, it truly is every man, woman and child for themselves. i have never seen anything like it. bangkok was busy and crazy, but the crowd seemed more respectful of one another. new york city is congested and chaotic, but i am telling you the streets in guangzhou make nyc seem almost idyllic. if you are not paying attention you could easily be plowed down by a pedestrian, a bicycle or vehicle - i use the term loosely. it is wall to wall people and bumper to bumper cars. yesterday we had to take a taxi to the medical clinic. we could not go with our group because i had woken up with "travelers flu" (a whole other story, one that i'm NOT about to tell) and was just not able to get on the bus at 9:30 am with everyone else. so we were on our own. it was imperative that we get to the clinic before noon and have bella's TB test read. our guide had written down on a piece of paper the address of the clinic and when it came time to go we handed it to the taxi driver. what should have taken 20 minutes and cost 20 yen turned into a 50 minute and 50 yen trip. it was the ride of a lifetime. i already had a sick stomach, there was no air conditioning, some loud clanging music was playing repeatedly, and the driver was weaving around cars and turning sharply in front of oncoming buses...it was the craziest thing ever. about 10 minutes into the trip i realized the only way i was getting through this experience was to close my eyes. of course there also are no car seats in china, i held bella on my lap and we were both a sweaty mess by the time we arrived at the clinic, 50 yen and 50 minutes later. we were all pretty much in need of the clinic by the time we arrived.