"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Consulate Appt. & Massages

Last night when I was rocking Anna Grace to sleep, she began to cry. Not the whimpering, usual cry. This time is was a deep, mourining cry. It really broke my heart because again, she trys so hard not to let it out. She clenched her teeth tightly together for over an hour. This time, she did not cry for YeYe or anyone else. I think she has resigned herself to the fact that she is stuck with us. But, as hard as she tried to fight it, the tears flowed and I held her tightly the entire time whispering to her that I loved her very much and that I knew how hard this must be on her. Again, she probably had no clue what I was saying, but I think she felt by my actions that I was really trying to comfort her. At first, she tried everything possible to not have any eye contact with me, but after fighting it in such a tight space (I frame her face with my hands so that she had to look at me), she finally relaxed and would cry looking into my eyes. At one point, we both cried together.
This morning for the first time, I woke her and got a smile!! It did not last for long, but it was there and she was so much more relaxed. She is understanding a lot of what we say and is a very smart little girl.

We went down to breakfast, as usual. The only difference is that today we could not leave the room after 11 a.m. and had to be next to phone to wait for the call from our guide, who was representing us at the American Consulate this morning.

We were a bit nervous because our zip code had been changed in the US since we had our homestudy done. So, the old paperwork had the old zipcode and new one we filled out here, the new zipcode. He warned us about this late last night, so I have been on pins and needles waiting to see if this would add more time to our stay.

Fortunately, the call came in around 11:30 and all was fine! Anna Grace can get her visa to enter the US and after the swearing in tomorrow, we are free to go home!!! Yipppeee!!!!
We then agreed to meet Bob in the lobby at 2:00 p.m. to visit Qing Ping Market and the walking street right off of the island. Qing Ping Market is a famous market in Guangzhou that sells just about everything, but is mostly known for its medicinal products, which include items such as horseflys (used in teas to treat bronchitis), scorpions & snakes (used in soup and wine), and dried deer bone (used for arthritis). Hmmm.....I wonder what happened to Ben-Gay here?

We visited here last time, but it is a treat to see how the Chinese really live and the differences in our cultures. It was funny too how they have no facilities for the disabled with wheelchairs or strollers for that matter. The crossing bridge to go over the busy highway from the island to Qing Ping market is all stairs, so Scott had to carry the stroller up and down each way, probably 50 steps each. Oh yea, he loved that.....NOT!!!
The walking street is very similar to the one in Hefei. It is lined with more modern shops on both sides and you walk down a very wide, brick-paved path as shop owners try to lure you in to check out their bargains. I really didn't do much shopping since tomorrow morning we will be heading back to the Children's Wholesale Market. :)

After the walking tour of Guangzhou, we went back to the hotel so that my Mom and I could shower and get to our massage appointment. The hard-rock beds at the White Swan have done quite a job on my back and I am so looking forward to returning to my Sleep-By-Number bed at home! Before going upstairs, drained from the intense heat and humidty, we all agreed wholeheartedly to stop off at the bar in the lobby of the White Swan for a quick drink. Yummmmy! I remember the Mai-Tai's from last year and that's exactly what my Mom and I got. It hit the spot. The kids got an $8. (a piece) watermelon juice, which they downed in a minute, and Scott his regular Tsing Tao beer.

We then went up stairs, took showers and headed outside to find a cab to take us to the massage place. It's about 5 blocks away, but with all the heat and humidity, we'd be drenched in sweat by the time we got there. After trying two different cabs to take us, and they both refused (not worth it to them to drive us such a short distance), we decided to walk.

A few minutes later, there we were standing in this massage parlor. Our experience in China on both trips is that you have to be very careful with massage parlors. These are also ummm....places for adult massages. ::wink:: Anyways, we asked what type of massage we wanted and we handed them the little card our guide gave us. It stated that we wanted a 1 hr. body massage. We were taken to a back room where there were 3 massage tables. Then in broken English they asked if we wanted a man or a woman to give us our massages. We both agreed on women. A minute later, in walk two women. It was quite interesting and different from massages in the U.S. Here they massage with your clothes on, if you remove your clothes, they cover you with a large bath towel and then massage OVER the towel. There is never any skin contact, therefore no lotions or oils are used.

We were both very satisfied with our massages and even discovered muscles that we didn't even know we had. At one point, my leg was bent waaaaay up behind me almost reaching my neck. I literally thought I was going to break in half. All the while, my Mom lay on the other massage bed watching and praying that they didn't try that with her. They didn't. The massage lasted an hour and we both left very relaxed and having spent each a whopping $13. US including tip!!!

We arrived back at the hotel where my Mom offered to stay with the kids so that Scott and I can have a grown up dinner (the last in a looooong time) without the kids. They were very happy to stay with Po-Po, and we both enjoyed our dinner.

We returned to the hotel and I collapsed after putting the kids to bed. Anna Grace whimpered a bit as I rocked her, but I was so exhausted that I just put her in the crib and she soon fell asleep on her own. All in all, we had a good day. Things are looking up.

Building muscles in Guangzhou.
Have bronchitis? How about some horsefly tea?

Anyone for scorpion wine?

Yummy...nothing like some crunchy grubs in our rice!

A typical market street in the city. Turtle soup? No, Mama!
No worries....he is not food!
The walking street.
China shopping district.

McDonald's is everywhere in China. A street vendor.
Don't ask! LOL!
Scott and Bob having a good time.

Poor guy! It's hard shopping all day!
One of our favorite restaurants in Guangzhou! Cheers!
Our beautiful daughter!

I love that smile!!!!

1 comment :

geminirn said...

Glad to hear all is welll....sounds like little Anna Grace is starting to connect with her loving family....finally that beautiful smile.

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