Well, we never did make it downstairs for dinner last night. We were all real tired again, and nobody was very hungry, so we just had some granola bars in our room. Scott gave the girls their baths - Emma was pretty unhappy with hers, but Anna didn't seem to mind. We gave them each a bottle afterward, and they fell right to sleep.
Friday, September 19
This morning, after breakfast, we met Michele to go shopping. It's extremely hot here, and all the baby clothes we brought are pretty heavy, so we wanted to get a few hot weather clothes and some shoes. In China, they bundle their babies in about three layers of clothes, no matter what the weather, so we thought we would bring warm clothes so that the people wouldn't be worried about our babies. However, when they brought us the girls, they weren't bundled up like we expected! Perhaps they are old enough (21 months), that they don't bundle them up anymore. Whatever the reason, we decided that since we were melting, the girls needed some cooler clothes too. We took the van over to a HUGE department store, which wasn't quite open when we got there, so we sat down to wait in a KFC that is connected to the department store. Apparently KFC, Pizza Hut, and McDonalds are very popular in China, especially with kids. It was only 10:15 when we got there, and it was already packed! When we got inside the department store, we were on the second floor and Michele said that the baby clothes were on the first floor, so we proceeded to get on the "up" escalator, all the way up to the top. Go figure! I guess here they start counting from the top instead of the bottom! Anyway, what a store!! This place was incredible! I've never seen so many employees in one store before. When we walked in, the store was just opening, and all of the employees were lined up along the aisles as if standing at attention. Someone made an announcement over the loud speaker and then they dispersed into their departments. The place was really crowded, but they all worked there! I sure wish our stores at home were like this. Usually you have to hunt someone down to help you, but here they were everywhere. Also, they all wore matching clothes. They weren't exactly uniforms, but rather really pretty outfits, and each department had a different dress that everyone in that department would wear. So, Michele took us over to the baby department, where AT LEAST four women helped us pick out three little outfits, a pair of shoes and a toy for each baby. Then we proceeded downstairs to the fourth floor J for some groceries. I wish we had had more time to shop because it really was a beautiful department store. Everything was super clean and orderly and, as has been typical of all of China so far, everyone was very friendly and helpful. It was interesting that the grocery store was right in the department store. Michele said that was very typical in China. The one unusual thing about the store was the music. They played American music from the 1970's (ie. Hotel California), and they played it extremely loud! It was so loud you actually had to raise your voice to talk to anyone.
Next, it was on to a porcelain shop. Jiangxi province is the most famous province in China for porcelain, and where we went to shop, the entire street was shop after shop of porcelain. We bought a beautiful tea set (that I hope we can get home without breaking!), and then, it was back to the hotel so Anna and Emma could take naps and we could cool off! VERY VERY hot today!
The rest of the day we all just sat around resting, reading email, and then having dinner in the hotel restaurant. Emma has not pooped since we've had her, so we decided to feed her some Gerber Prunes at dinner. Well, she wanted nothing to do with those prunes, and one of the waitresses in the restaurant thought we were nuts! She came over to our table and said, "maybe Chinese baby doesn't like American food. I'll make you some baby food!" We didn't really want to explain the whole "not pooping" thing, so we just accepted her offer. She came back with a bowl of rice mixed with steamed eggs, fish sauce and congee. The girls loved it!!!! They ate more than they had eaten the entire time so far. I guess I'm going to be learning to cook Chinese. (Note to Thursday lunch pals: How's New China Buffet sounding?)
Saturday, September 20
Today was a very interesting day! (hint: if this was a book, this chapter would be "lost in China") Again we met Michele after breakfast, and the plan was to take a taxi to visit a Buddhist Temple, and then walk over to a park. Since there are eight of us (nine with Michele), we obviously needed two taxis, so Michele, Alex, Katie and Rianne got in the first one, and Scott, Bill, Anna, Emma and I got in the second one. Michele told our driver to follow her taxi, but evidently he did not quite understand that! We got about six blocks away from the hotel (their taxi was long gone), and our driver turned around and said to us, "where do you want to go?" Well, we had no clue what the name of the temple or the park was, and apparently "where do you want to go?" was the only English the driver understood, because when we tried to explain to him where we wanted to go, he had no clue what we were saying! Imagine our surprise! Eventually he handed back a piece of paper for Scott to write down what we were trying to say, so Scott wrote Buddhist Temple park. He didn't know what it said though, so he called someone on his cell phone and spelled the words to him (keep in mind he was still driving during all of this!). They must have understood, because eventually we pulled up to what looked like it may have been a temple, but Michele and the kids were nowhere around. By this time we had been driving around for at least 20 minutes, so we figured Michele would have taken the kids back to the hotel. Scott asked the driver to take us back to the hotel, which thank goodness he understood, and that's what he did. Michele was standing outside looking REALLY angry, and we couldn't decide who we felt more sorry for, Michele or the driver! She came marching over to our taxi and had it out with the driver for several minutes! We just sat in the backseat trying not to laugh, because Michele is this sweet, tiny little girl, but she's a real pistol when she needs to be! Finally, we got out of the car, and Michele told us she had sent the kids up to our room. We felt really bad for her because she was really upset and apologetic, and we didn't mind the whole thing at all! We knew the kids would be fine with her, and we got to see quite a bit of Nanchang that we wouldn't have seen otherwise! We decided to go upstairs, get the kids, and try again! This time it worked just fine! (By the way, the first "temple" we went to had indeed NOT been the right place after all!)
So, finally we reached the temple. We knew that we didn't want to take part in any type of Buddhist ceremony, but we thought it would be very interesting to see a temple, the monks, and everything that goes along with it. It was actually a very pretty place, but it made me really sad. I love the people here, and want them to know the truth. I'll be praying for the people of this country for the rest of my life!
On to the park! I've never been to Central Park in New York before, but I got the feeling that this was perhaps similar to it. It was a huge park, right in the middle of a huge city. Michele says it's not a big city, only 4 million people! I guess for China that's small, but to me it seems huge! Anyway, the park was beautiful, and packed with people! There was a carousal, a pond with boats to rent, ice cream vendors, music, rock formations to climb on, a long, stone, zigzagging bridge over the pond, and of course many pretty trees. At one point we came up to a little group of men singing opera, and then a little later we came upon another group of three or four older people who were also singing. The man was playing some sort of instrument that was similar to a violin, but without the body of a violin. It was a long stick with one sting played with a bow, and it sounded very pretty. The ladies were singing a love song in the Shanghai dialect and one of them was dancing a very graceful Polynesian type dance. They were so cute! And, when they were finished they said that they sang a Chinese song for us and now they would like us to sing an American song for them! The only songs we could think of that we know all the words to are church songs, and I didn't know if that would be okay. Fortunately Alex suggested "Take me out to the ballgame"! So there was the six of us standing in the middle of a park singing "Take me out to the ballgame"!!!! By the time we were finished there was a crowd of about thirty people standing around watching and clapping! Wow! Never in my wildest imagination!
That was it for the park, and it was time to go back to the hotel for babies' naps. Scott, Bill, Alex, Katie and Rianne went outside for a walk, while Anna and Emma slept, and I typed! By the way, we dressed the girls in their new summer clothes today, and it was cold outside! When Michele got here this morning, she sent us back upstairs to put the girls in warmer clothes! I guess we can't win!
I should add also, that Anna and Emma are doing great! They are both so smiley, and I love the way their arms shoot up in the air when you set them down, because they want to be picked up! They both LOVE to be held, which is just fine with me!!!! They both are chattering all the time too, and learning quite a few English words already. Bill, Alex, Katie and Rianne are doing awesome too! They're having a great time here, and they are all SO helpful with the babies! (I knew they would be - they're awesome kids!) I hope they really understand that the reason we wanted to adopt more kids is because we're having such a great time raising them!
I've added two new photo pages to the website at www.precario.com/annaemma/china.htm.
Terri, Scott, Bill, Alex, Katie, Rianne, Anna and Emma