Sunday, November 28, 2010

China Day 10: Tomb Tour and Other Things

If you know me at all then you know I like organization, planning, and relative calmness. I like to know what I am doing ahead of time so I can anticipate things that may arise and have a plan of action in case the do. I am not a fan of chaos. At all.
So a well planed tour to the Nan Yue King Tomb would seem perfect for me. We depart at 9:15. Check. We arrive at 9:30. Check. We follow a preset tour schedule. Check. This should be just my thing. Except that it wasn’t.
I was really  looking forward to the tour but when we arrived, I found it to feel binding, restrictive, boring. I wanted to be out exploring and experiencing new and exciting things. Artifacts were not doing it for me today.
I was very relieved when the tour was over and we could do something more spontaneous. We started out with a stop at the jewelry market. Now that it my kind of fun:  A five floor mall selling nothing but jewelry! It’s a huge place and looks are deceiving because when you are inside the mall, you are in the inner ring. A quick trip down a hallway and there is another outer ring of jewelry stores in back. On each floor!
Last time I was in China I was looking at jade bracelets. Tony encouraged me to get one but I decided against it (hey, someone just handed me a baby and told me she was mine forever…I wasn’t exactly focused on the material things). Well, as soon as I got home I regretted my decision not to purchase the bracelet. I guess the new mommy glow had worn off by then.
Today all regrets were put to rest and I now have a beautiful jade bracelet adorning my wrist. After 3 ½ years I can finally say: Mission Accomplished. And I did it at the jewelry market.
Feeling the need to continuing feeding my spontaneous spirit, I volunteered to skip the bus ride back to the hotel. Instead I escorted some people that I met on the tour through the crowded pedestrian mall in Guangzhou, through the markets, and back to the White Swan, where they were staying. It was crazy out there today, which only added to the fun. The people I escorted really enjoyed the walk, and so did I.
Upon returning to the hotel, I decided we would kick back and have some down time, but after a bit, I was restless again. So Molly and I headed out to the crazy-busy pedestrian mall in search of hair pretties. I promised her lots of hair accessories, and this place has them in spades. We scoured lots of tiny shops, shoulder to shoulder with the locals. And we were literally shoulder to shoulder. No personal space in the country.
After a successful shopping trip we headed back to the hotel to meet up with the Ahern’s for a bite to eat. We went to the executive lounge for dinner (we have all of the perks at this hotel!) where we ran into some other adoptive families. Suddenly, my chaos driven personality disintegrated. Kids were wild, adults were wild and I had a big need to scream, “Stop the madness!” But I didn’t.
I was glad that when dinner was over I could retreat to my room for some peace and quiet. Except Molly followed me in, so the chaos continued…at least until I could get her in bed. Now all is quiet and I am regrouping, getting ready for another adventure tomorrow. China is very fun when you plan less and experience more. I feel like I am not seeing China on this trip. I am living it.
Tomb of and Ancient King....not thrilling me today.IMG_4686
Some museum artifacts.....ho hum.IMG_4705
Luke looks about as thrilled as I do.IMG_4717
Molly made some new friends and played dress up in the museum's kids area.IMG_4723
She also got to play junior paleontologist, digging for lost treasure in the tomb.IMG_4724
The fearsome foursome. Look at that little Sara Jane hanging with the big kids. She has come a long way in such a short time.IMG_4730
More artifacts. Yawn.IMG_4739
Jewelry we are talking!IMG_4746
I have died and gone to jewelry heaven!IMG_4748
Back out into the crowed streets of Guangzhou. You can't understand the concept 1.3 billion people until you  have been in 1.3 billion people.IMG_4749
Crazy rooster man. He was selling something, but don't ask me what!IMG_4750
Turtle picture for my husband (who loves turtles). Just one stop in the wholesale pet market.IMG_4752
How about some dried lizard on a stick. That's gotta be good for what ails ya.IMG_4757
Crazy teenagers dressed up for pictures on Shamian Island.IMG_4765
Apparently Shamian Island is the hot spot for photographers. There are people dressed up in all kinds of get ups being photographed.IMG_4769
In China, people rent white wedding dresses and pose for pictures in them. For the actual wedding, they wear traditional red Chinese dresses.IMG_4763
More bridal poses.IMG_4771
In search of dinner. Look at this wall of chicken. Kind of makes your mouth water, don't it?IMG_4772
Nothing says stomach ache like a window full of unrefrigerated poultry.IMG_4773
Side note: If you pay someone a few bucks (a very few bucks) to do a load of laundry, this is what you get back. Washed, folded, and placed in plastic bags. I love China!!!IMG_4673

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