Friday, October 22, 2010

Wow! Beijing!

What a day! I'm having a really hard time taking it all in!

We started the day with a tour of Tiennamen Square and Forbidden City, the ancient city walls and palace of the emperor. It was unbelievably ornate and huge, stretching for hundreds of acres. We learned a lot of very interesting history about the Dynasties in China and the traditional beliefs and customs. I told Nick that it's like visiting the zoo -- very fascinating but also very sad. It blows my mind just how much effort the Chinese people have (and do) invest in trying to please "the gods". It is just so sad that their whole earthly lives are spent in futility, regarding their eternal lives.
One of the most eye-opening experiences was in the public restroom at the Forbidden City. There were literally hundreds of women crammed together in a bathroom with about 40 stalls (not Western style stalls either!), and they were all pushing and yelling to get to a stall. I figured out very quickly that, first of all, you don't wait until you really have to go or by the time you get to a stall it will be too late, and, secondly, that if I was ever going to get a stall, I had to start shoving, too! Then, when I got to the stall, I was appalled to say the least!
We also took a rickshaw tour (cart pulled behind a very strong-legged man) of an area of Beijing where the people live in a more traditional way, in small flats, often in only 1-2 rooms for the entire family. It certainly reminded me how fortunate we are to live where we do! We even got to tour the home of a local family to see "normal" living conditions. Wow!
We ate at a "real" Chinese restaurant. We ordered four different dishes and shared with another couple. Again, very interesting. We did stick to some mainstream things, except the shark fin soup our friend ordered. I was shocked to see what all they routinely eat, especially the meats. Let's just say that they don't waste any part of any animal, both walking and swimming! We toured the local supermarket and took a taxi to a large shopping market. The Chinese expect you to bargain with them, and the are very aggressive about selling you their wares. I did find some good things, but was reminded that a hard bargain-driver I am not! :o) We followed shopping with a trip to KFC. They don't value just plain white chicken breast here in China (remember the meat issues at the first restaurant!) ... but the fries were the same. We tried to take a taxi back to the hotel, but none of the drivers could read the small characters for our hotel that we had on a sheet of paper with us, which concerns me. If their vision is that poor, should they really be driving in the crazy Beijing traffic?! So, against all logic, we took a bike taxi back to our hotel. That really gives you perspective on Beijing traffic! Whew! We made it back alive to the hotel, and that's not an experience that really needs repeating for me.

Tomorrow is our tour of the Great Wall and the acrobatic show.

And the following day, we will fly to Fuzhou City, and we will get to meet Dex! We didn't know if we would meet him that day or the next since we don't arrive in Fuzhou City until late in the afternoon. We were told today, however, that we will. Excited!

We can see comments on our blog because they forward to my yahoo email account, so please feel free to comment. I appreciate the encouragement and knowing you all are following our journey and praying for us. These first few days are designed by our agency to be able to adjust to the time change and to learn a little about the Chinese culture before meeting our son. But, that's constantly in the back of my mind, knowing that time is soon approaching. I am both very excited and very nervous.


Pitchoune said...

What an experience, this is awesome!!! Isn't traveling to a foreign country eye opening to the need of Jesus outside of the U.S? As long as you hear it, you might say, yeah, yeah they need Him just as much as here, but I really think we don't realize how fortunate we are here to have churches at every corner of the streets, Bible everywhere etc....Thank you for sharing this journey with us, this is so interesting and exciting at the same time!

We are so excited for you and are praying that everything goes smoothly! I can't imagine waiting another day to see your little man, I would be a wreck ;-)

(PS: I showed Mark to pic of Nick in the airport ...knows the feeling, we had a good laugh ;-))
Mark and Clelia

Matt said...

Glad to know that you're okay and enjoying the trip (other than the bed, the traffic, and the toilets). Keep us updated!

Stacy Carter said...

Me and James are loving the pictures and reading about your trip. I'm so excited for you to get to Dex! We are praying for you!! I saw Brandon yesterday at MDO. He was happy and running and playing!

Cori said...

What an exciting experience! Jealous about the authentic Chinese food!! Not so jealous about the toilets or traffic! Miss you guys but can't wait to meet Dexter!! Be safe and know that we love you very much!

The Smith's said...

Wow what an amazing first day! Mom and I have been waiting on your first blog about this experince. The Smith family is sending up prayers you guys. Can't wait to meet Dex and hear more about your trip and experiences!!!!

Wendy Buzbee said...

Love this pics Mischelle! Have been praying for you guys....glad to be able to read updates about your trip. Can't wait to see a picture of you, Nick and Dex together!!!!! It will happen soon!! :~)

Sherry Drennan said...

So excited to see your blog post. Keep them coming. I almost feel like we are doing this journey with you. Can't wait for more precious pix of baby Dex!

Jasmin said...

So glad to see posts from you! What an amazing experience you are having. I am so happy for you and can't wait to see pics of ya'll with dex!

Cam did great at MDO yesterday, and Brandon looked wonderful as well!

Love you guys, we are praying for you! -Jasmin

tracy said...

Love the update!!! Praying for you, and cant wait to hear more of your amazing journey and to meet Dex!
Cam and B did great at school yesterday!

Shannon said...

So excited to read your posts!! CANNOT wait for THE day. I sit here and cry through these posts, I can't imagine your placement day. I will never forgot the overwhelming flood of emotions in the 48 hours before we met Noah. We will continue to pray for all of you and cannot wait to have you all back home with us! You guys are truly a testimony and blessing to all of us! xoxo!