Monday, September 04, 2006
Happy Labor Day!!
This weekend we were pretty low key. Alice caught a little cold on Friday and so Saturday was pretty yucky for her. The not so fun part was that she was throwing up a bit -- so in the hotel room that was not a lot of fun. The good part of that though was that she managed to do it on both beds and they had to change out one of them because it went through to the mattress -- this was good because the new mattress they brought in actually has a little bit of give to it and is a little bit softer! She is doing better today, but not quite over it all. It is moving down a little so I put her on an antibiotic -- just want to get her healthy for our marathon trek home this weekend.
I can't believe that I can finally say that we are going home soon!! I thought it would never come. I think the last 3 days have been the hardest maybe because I really didn't go off the island, but also because I couldn't imagine that I have to wait for ANOTHER Saturday before I could leave. We had some more familiar faces from our message board come in this weekend -- they were in different provinces and came here for their consulate appointments. Although I love my travel buddies, the fresh new faces and stories and babies were fun to have. There should be some more arriving today or tomorrow.
I do have to say that my travel friends have been the best. The Parkers from Mesa have more than befriended me and helped me out a lot when I have felt lonely. My buddies from Florida -- Sabrina and Daniela have probably eaten more meals with me at Lucy's than they probably care to! I also have two friends, Jennifer and Kathy from Michigan. Jennifer's little girl is about 2 weeks older than Alice and is from the same orphanage as her. We are trying to figure out if they recognize each other or not. I have Carol and Russell who are both pharmacists and have done their fair share of helping us figure out antibiotic and decongestant dosages. The Weilers are a fun family -- they brought their 4 and 2 year old with them and a friend as a helper. They are very adventurous and nice -- I enjoy talking to them -- their blog is very interesting to read and look at. And of course, I can't forget our guides Rui (Ray) and Kelly. They have had a hard job keeping us entertained over the last 2 1/2 weeks and also trying to keep our moral up when we all miss our families and friends. They do a lot of the paperwork behind the scenes for all of us as well as stay on call for us 24/7. They try to tell us funny jokes on the bus in english and sing us songs in Chinese! Overall we have a great group of people from a variety of places and of course we all have the best babies you could imagine!
Last night I went with the Parkers across the bridge to "the other side" off the island to go to Mc Donald's. McD's never tasted so good! Across the bridge is basically downtown Guangzhou so it is just like the big cities with lots of traffic and people walking everywhere. We definitely got stared at a lot, but we were also doing a lot of staring to. Just such different cultures. The stores on the street we were walking on looked to be pharmacies with lots of bins of twigs and dried mushrooms and other things that they would grind up for you. We also saw a couple of street venders -- one with a couple of cute little white bunnies and some little turtles. We were guessing that he wasn't trying to sell them as pets!! There are a couple of the open markets within walking distance of the bridge, but we didn't go to them yesterday. I would like to go to one before I leave just to see it. These are the ones with all the really "fresh" things for you to buy for dinner. Once we crossed the bridge back to the island, we realized how quiet the island really is. Can't really complain about where we are staying!
Today, we went to a statue of the 5 goats -- symbolic of bringing resources to Guangzhou -- cool statue up on top of a hill. We also visited a natural history museum about Guangzhou close to that. Then we drove around another little island which is considered a rich island. I think she said the average apartment is about 700 or so sq. ft. in the city. On this little island the average was between 2000 and 3000 sq. ft. The cost I think she said was something like $3000 a cubic meter. So this is a very expensive place to live. You could definitely tell it was upscale since there was no laundry hanging from the windows and the buildings looked much more nicely maintained -- more like what we are used to seeing at home.
Tonight, we ate with everyone in the hotel downstairs -- it was an outside "western" style barbecue. You picked out your own raw meat -- they had everything you could imagine and then they cooked it on the grill for you. Then there was a buffet to go along with it all -- very yummy -- Kurt would have loved this with all the choices! Being in the hotel, it wasn't cheap even though it was all you could eat so it is a one night thing for us. So it is back to Lucy's for us tomorrow!
Tomorrow, we are going to a mountain called White clouds mountain by translation. I think we will just walk around there. And then another day will be done!
I do have to say that I'm probably getting a little bit spoiled by not having to cook and never cleaning up the kitchen and having someone make my bed every morning and turn down my bed with chocolate every night. We even have attendants on every floor that press the button for us to go up or down the elevator and one that constantly open and closes the door in and out of the hotel in the lobby. Even with all this, I am so looking forward to getting back to my 2-buck Chuck and Einstein's and Nello's and of course my 3 wonderful boys!