China - Day 11 and 12 - Guangzhou

Joe Gregorio

The last two days have been real nice, with a little bit of time spent touring, even less time working on paperwork, and lots of good shopping.

Caden is really doing well, she has been eating well, starting to eat solid foods, and is putting away the milk. We are already starting to see changes in her from the improved diet, just in the last week she has cut two teeth and the hair on the back of her head has thickened up dramatically.

Caden in the sling.

The only two things we've had to do so far for the paperwork have been to get passport photos for Caden and a medical exam. The exam isn't really a thorough exam, but just meant to ensure that Caden isn't bringing TB or some other disease into the US. She passed the exam just fine.

Lynne and Caden being interviewed.

On the way back from the exam we passed by a park where these girls were having their lessons for a sword dance.

Traditional dancer.

The little bit of touring we did in Guangzhou was to visit the Chen Family Temple, then a stop at a local bird market and then finally a visit to a tea shop.

The Chen Family Temple, built over the years 1890-1894, served as both a temple and as a school. Today it is open as a historical site and as a home for the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum. Here a young woman is performing a traditional dance on the grounds of the temple.

Girls taking dance lessons in the park.

The bird market was crowded, a long line of small shops selling birds, bird food, or cages. Birds are popular pets because they are small and cost much less to own, in contrast, the yearly license to own a dog can run into the thousands.

Bird market.

Many bird owners gather here everyday to socialize.

Birds owners socializing.

The rest of time has been spent playing with Caden and shopping. The quantity, quality and price of stuff here is substantially better here than what we found in Chongqing. Lynne had a very long shopping list that we are slowly filling out. As planned, we've bought a whole new suitcase just to pack the items we've bought.

We do lot of walking, on the tours, to official appointments, and when we are doing our shopping. It's nice to get out and have so much available within walking distance.

One of the things that has struck me is how mentally tiring it is to be here. Everything, and I mean everything is, if not overtly, then subtly, different here. That means that things you would not normally notice are constantly rising up to your attention, from electrical plugs (I'll post a picture of them tomorrow), to languages (I regularly hear English, Mandarin, Cantonse, and French), to tips (you don't tip in restaurants), to crossing the street.

Okay, crossing the street, that's a good one. At many intersections there are no traffic signals, cars and pedestrians just negotiate their way through. The basic idea is to wait for a large enough gap in the traffic before beginning to cross, but if traffic is moving very slowly, or you are moving with a large group, you just step out into traffic and they'll stop to let you cross. More than likely you'll only get across one lane at a time, then that lane begins to move while you negotiate the next lane. You spend an uncomfortable amount of time standing in the middle of the road with cars moving past you both in front and behind. Also, personal space for crossing the street is very different than what I am used to in the US and vehicles regularly come within inches of you as you cross.


Posted by asd on 2004-03-01

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