Sunday, October 18, 2009

more emails from China

Wednesday-Oct 14th:
we had a fun morning at Shenyang Forbidden City. here are some photos of the fun "dressing up as emporers/emporess" - Andrew, Caleb, and our guide Cindi.

Caleb had lots of fun talking with Cindi and our driver today. I can tell he loves to talk, so must be frustrated with us. one funny thing - he told Cindi that the word "O.K." was a very convenient word! He is really smart. We also discovered today a glimpse of his singing ability - he sang "Oh, Susanna" "Do,Re,Mi" and "Happy birthday" - all in chinese, of course. Oh, and Marty - I hope the family can handle another photographer... he is loving our cameras.Andrew is watching soccer on t.v. Caleb is listening to music with the earphones, and playing Gameboy. Terry is sleeping... and that's what I need to do. Tomorrow is a "free day" - no sight seeing, no paperwork. Cindi picks up paperwork for us - Caleb's passport, etc. I don't think we're spending enough money here at the hotel cuz when we got back to our room from dinner - they had been in our room. They had put the room service menu on our bed, as well as the bag for laundry with the slip of paper. They had hung the hotel robe in the bathroom... little hints around the room that , uh, perhaps we need to take advantage of all their services :)

Thursday-Oct 15th
it's thursday night 5:30 china time. today was our "free day" meaning no paperwork appointments, no scheduled sight seeing with the guide. We went to the breakfast buffet (as we have each morning, part of our hotel arrangements) and enjoyed another great breakfast. We have selections of Chinese food, Japanese food, European and American food (that's the bread and white stuff) as well as an assortment of fresh fruits, juice, tea, coffee. Terry and Andrew have usually had the omelet man make them a specialty omelet. I like the chinese vegetables, noodles, dumplings... and there is a really good pastry with almonds on it that caught my fancy. Terry goes for the coffee (no de-caf in china) and I like the green tea. The servers are surprised when I don't want the English yellow tea. Andrew has been brave in trying new things - but none of us have ventured toward the japanese vinegar, fungus, slimy things... whatever they are. Caleb is eating really fast, so we're working on slowing him down. He is a good eater and likes bananas, pears, apples... as well as the noodles. Green vegetables get a "no" from him. We ventured out and had a 15-20 minute walk (with a few thousand others) toward Carrefour - a version of Wal-Mart's competition - a 3 story store kind of like a mall. We bought some batteries, Dr. Seuss books in chinese/english, a chinese/english dictionary (with the help of a nice young man - who talked with Caleb - to make sure it was his dialect,) more water, AND a little battery operated car. Trouble getting the car to work right kept Terry busy for over an hour after getting back to our room... little disappointing, but Caleb was screaming with joy he was so excited when it would run! he was jumping up and down, so happy. Then total opposite despair when it quit working. It was real emotion. NOT like the kind we get with his "play pouting" when he wants something and we say "no." We get stared at alot when we're out in the public. the older people are very nice, smile, and sometimes talk with Caleb. But, we never see any other "foreigners" - there have been a few American men at the hotel, but not many. Caleb helps us out, like when we were checking out in the store, he had quite a conversation with the cashier girl... not sure what they said, but she smiled and laughed. I heard him telling one guy about Dandong, Guangzhou, Beijing, and Merca ("a-mer-i-ca") we're working on that one.We stopped at KFC for a snack/lunch before walking back to the hotel. That was interesting, too, as we never go to KFC in the US. Oh, and have i mentioned the traffic? The only way to cross a street is to make sure you cross with someone else, either someone walking or a bicycle. We haven't seen any wrecks, but i just can't quite figure it out. it's continual motion, cars, vans, buses, bicycles, walkers, bicycle carts, walkers, more bicycles... Very amazing. And lots of horn honking. andrew is starting to call me "mother" and says "thank you very much" - hhhmmm...Terry and Caleb are at the swimming pool. "yo-yo ma" means "do you want to swim." Ma at the end indicates a question. yo-yo is apparently "swimming" - We broke the rules the other day with having more than 2 from our room and we just didn't want to deal with the communication gap, so andrew and i stayed here. I washed out some "undies/t-shirts" and have them hanging in the bathroom on the convenient clothes line. tomorrow we check out before noon and head to the airport - leaving at 5:30pm for the 3 hour flight to Guangzhou. Caleb's first time flying... he felt a little car-sick riding to Shenyang from Dandong on the bus - and then in the van with us. He hasn't been in vehicles much. He is excited about flying but scared. Stepping on an escalator at Carrefour caused a little anxiety and hesitating but then he was on and said "whoo!" He had a nose bleed yesterday while we were at the Forbidden City. Our guide said it was very common with chinese children and he needed more water. (?) okay...we had fun this morning connecting with guh-guh matthew on skype. it was around 11 pm for him/ 11 am for us. We'll be at the Marriott China Hotel in Guangzhou tomorrow night. Medical appt. Saturday, medical follow-up on Mon, Consulate appt Tues, Swearing in ceremony on Wed, and all the paperwork, Visa, etc to us on thursday. We go thursday evening 8pm (3 hour flight) to beijing. We'll stay with Rachel - sight see Friday, Sat am, and leave out Sat 3:30 in the afternoon for the USA. this is all China times. We get back to Orlando Sat(10/24) 10:45pm Orlando time (which will be 10:45 am Sunday 10/25 in china) Flying on china Air in-country, Continental Airlines international. We appreciate your prayers for the upcoming paperwork, appointments. We pray that Caleb will pass the TB testing with flying colors. hope all is well with all of you -Love,Nancy

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