Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Slice of Life

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers for us.  Peanut went down much easier yesterday for both her nap and bedtime.  So instead of blogging, I took a little break and watched some tv on the iPad with Eriek and got an amazing night's sleep!  So, here's a little recap of yesterday since today we're just laying low and heading to the park to play in a bit.  But don't worry, I'm gathering fun things to post about on our days off!

Yesterday marked one full week that Zoe has been with us, and my oh my, how she has opened up and changed so much in such a short time!  Here's a comparison from our first picture together to now.

Everywhere we go people ask what province she is from and we tell them Hunan.  The automatic response is, "Oh, she is spicy girl."  So, apparently Hunan girls are known for being spicy.  She is pretty sweet but does have a "spicy" side to her.  Here is a glimpse of her mischievous spicy face she likes to give us.

Yesterday our group went to Shamian Island.  This is where the White Swan Hotel is located that adopting families usually stay at and pose their China babies on the famous red couch for a picture.  It seems to be the China adoption right of passage, that's why I say famous.  That hotel is currently closed for reconstruction so we're staying in a different area.  When we first heard we were going to the island for a 3 hour tour, I immediately thought of Gilligan's Island.  Fortunately we were only on a bus and did not get lost at sea.  It was a pleasant escape from the everyday.  We did a little bit of shopping and a lot of walking and wandering about.  

If you're ever in the area, I HIGHLY recommend two shops- Jenny's Place and A Gift From China.  Both have great quality items and are owned and run by Christians.  We bought some cute Chinese dresses for the girls, squeaky shoes, a puzzle of China's provinces, a Chinese/English Bible and a pretty scroll with two cute pandas and cherry blossoms.  Shopping success for us non-shoppers!

Here's a little tour of the island.  Sorry if some of the pictures are a bit washed out.  It was a little hazy, and I usually had a baby or a can of puffs in one hand while shooting with the other.  And I don't have photoshop on Eriek's laptop.  But you'll still see that it's so gorgeous and comfortable at the same time.  Definitely a great place to just hang out.  No wonder there were about 30 photographers doing commercial shoots there.

So it's beautiful and fun, but as usual our favorite part was wandering into a park by the water where life was just happening.  Here is some kind of choir that was practicing under the bridge.  Wish we knew what they were singing.

I didn't get a picture of it, but right next to this choir group some guy was blasting Chinese rock on a tape player and dancing between two women in wheelchairs.  Eriek and I couldn't help but giggle when we walked by, which is why there's no picture.  Below is a man in an ornate suit sitting under a beautiful tree playing some kind of string instrument that I didn't recognize.

This next picture doesn't capture the true magic of the action inside this park, but beside the choir group and many dancing groups we saw yet again, the majority of groups were playing... wait for it...

hacky sac!  And ya'll, I'm talking serious hacky sac action.  These are not young people playing either.  In fact, most of them are probably retired as this was at 11am on a Monday.  I think I might start a hacky sac group when I get home so I can stay fit into retirement  Anyone care to join me?

Of course like any good park, there must be a set of rules, or "tourist notes."  My favorite "notes" would have to be no hawking, no sleeping in the chair, and no shotting.  Yes, you read that right.  Oh, and don't forget to check out the pictures just in case you don't understand the translation.

  Now the island was fun to visit, but it's a bit like Disney World compared to the area behind our hotel.  Remember the picture from the last post with the lovely goat head and alligator belly?  That's the area our guide said was everyday Guangzhou.  We decided to go check out a little slice of life yesterday afternoon.  This is the street right behind our hotel.  It gets narrower as you walk down but it starts to feel more festive as it teems with life in the markets.

I thought those veggies looked yummy until Eriek pointed out the bowl of insects in the middle.

Chicken, pork... hungry for a real chicken finger people?

Now that is fresh produce, although not the cleanest kitchen I've ever seen.  Not sure how those chickens feel watching their friends get chopped up in front of them.

Turtle soup anyone?  We also saw eels and huge fish packed into small tanks.

Apparently in Guangzhou they really like snake.  Our guide told us of a few snake restaurants in the area.

This was in the entrance to a fancy seafood restaurant.

And here is the classic bike, piled high with stuff on the back.  Although I have seen MUCH higher stacks of stuff on these bikes.  I remember a few years back seeing a guy riding with about 50 dead chickens tied and flapping on the sides of his bike.  I've also seen someone cart a mattress on the back of a bike.  It's really up to your imagination here.

But I wanted to leave you with a sign we saw in the hotel on our way to breakfast this morning.  We're still not sure what to make of it, but I'm a bit more nervous about ordering room service.


  1. I love Zoe's spicy face! But I was most impressed with that cutting board in the "chicken finger" pic. Wonder how they sterilize it? :/

  2. AMAZING how far you've come with Zoe in such a short time - many answers to prayers!

    The chickens in the market look like the ones I photographed in Indonesia. I laughed when you said you wondered how their friends felt when they saw what was coming next. You forgot to mention that the flies that come with them are free (extra protein). Ugh...