Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Guilin

Okay…most of my posts have been fairly positive, but here comes a negative one…coming to a Guilin was a BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD idea. I have no idea why were are here and I wish we hadn’t come. Now the city itself is gorgeous, and as usual the people are kind. It’s in an incredibly scenic area with a wealth of history. So there is a lot here to like. However there are several disadvantages to Guilin in terms of hosting an adoption group. One of the problems is it is a tourist city BIG TIME. Which means everything cost more. A large bottle of water in the USA cost about $1.19. In Nanning it costs about $.25. In Guilin it costs about $2. Also, this is a town and a hotel not used to hosting “the babies” so the staff has been nice, but not nearly as accommodating to the group as The Majestic. It’s also a rougher city. Nowhere near as safe as Nanning, so it has been suggested we not go out after dark. That confines us to quarters big time. It also is a city under major growth, so it’s got some major MAJOR construction going on…right outside my window at 3am. City construction is an amazing thing to watch by the way. One day a major strip of sidewalk will be there and the next it won’t and then the next day a newer and better one will be in place and almost finished. Seriously, they’re like swarming ants around here! The beautiful scenic boat ride down the Li River was a total bust. Basically a bunch of new parents and babies crammed in a boat for 8 hours only prepared for 5 (because that’s how long we were told it would last) and no one looking at the scenery because our babies who were just starting to blossom are again working their way towards catatonic due to cramped quarters and the inability to move. Lydia fared okay on this one—she wasn’t happy, but didn’t backslide as some of the others. She is probably the second most advanced of the babies, only to be outdone by her favourite baby Alexandra. Most of the babies can’t feed themselves or pull themselves up—some have problems crawling still. Lydia crawls like a demon, pulls herself up, walks while holding onto things, and can feed herself with her hands. (And throw food on the floor using her hands as well.) She also gives kisses. Which personally is my favourite thing she does. The only thing Alexandra has on her really is the ability to walk.
Anyway, I digress, back to the cruise…the only part of it I did enjoy was the part afterwards where we walked to the bus. We walked through a merchant area and that was pretty cool. LOTS of local colour. We haggled and wheeled and dealed and got a few things—including pearls for Lydia’s wedding, wall hangings for the dining room and a puppet for me.All for under 550 Yuen. (That’s about $65 dollars American.) We saw a man on a scooter with a roasted dog for his dinner. (No lie….roasted dog!) And as we were boarding the bus to go back to the hotel I was literally grabbed by a very old, very short woman with one tooth who wanted to talk to me, bur I didn’t understand her. We eventually found out she was trying to tell me we were both lucky—we discovered from Joline (who grew up in China) that there is a superstition in here that very fat people are good luck and also people with only one tooth are good luck as well. Apparently the old woman was trying to “bond” with me. We also did enjoy the park here. It’s huge…has a zoo and a temple etc. The monkey’s were running loose and we watched as others fed them. We, again, made quite a stir in the park as entire groups would surround us to meet Lydia. We even had a English class of 10-12 year olds mob us as they asked us questions and tried to show off/practice their English. It was great talking to all the children and they were so excited to meet the Americans. They all wanted their pictures taken with us and with Lydia. One girl even gave Lydia her pen as a gift because she was such a beautiful baby. (Again fair skin = gorgeous around here and Lydia’s is among the fairest of them all.)
Tomorrow is our last full day in Guilin, and while I do have many good memories, I’m glad. I want to leave here and make it to Guangzhou. Once we are done with GZ we are at the home stretch…we are almost home. And home sounds like a very good place to be.
(This post was written October 17th)

1 Comments:

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005 2:17:00 AM  

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