The travel gods may smile when they note I have mastered the Chinese style toilet, complete with squatting, and I can dismiss rude venders and street beggers with my flawless Chinese. Even though I know the Chinese have now seen many many westerners and we are not so special, as we might have been say, 10 years ago, I still feel very different and very other. I have a real appreciation for people who come to my country and try to make their way around. How hard it must be to see only letters and signs and faces that look so different.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow are a holiday in China. Ching Ming is tomb sweeping day(s) (similar to Memorial day or Day of the Dead), so many Chinese were on the roads visiting cultural attractions as we were. Traffic was tight and slow. We went to a jade store (special price for you...mother adopting Chinese baby) and the Great Wall of China. We also saw the emperor's summer palace and got to have a great Chinese feast served on a lazy susan.
Today we pack and fly to Jiangxi Province where tomorrow we will receive our little Tessa. We are in good company with four other families who have been lovely to know. Yesterday, two other families joined us for the day for sightseeing. They will stay in Beijing another day and then go to different provinces. One family is getting a son and the other a second daughter. After that they will join us again in Ghuangzhou for the final paperwork.
For Vance: At the supermarket yesterday, Grayson went to pick out a drink for dinner and got a "Huiyan Juizee pop". It seems to be a kind of lemon soda. He proclaimed, "this is the kind of thing that Vance would bring us." So perhaps the travel gods liked that as well.
(PS. I saw the Farmer's market in Bloomington was up and running again. Spring here seems to be a week or so behind us. Cherry blossoms just out and Magnolias are still tight buds. No tulips or daffodils that I have seen yet.)
Thanks for all your good wishes. We are safe and happy and healthy and awaiting each day as it comes. Happy Easter for my friends and family who celebrate this day! I have not seen a single church here. I know there are a few but definitely not as common as in any town in Europe or the USA.