Sunday, December 19, 2010
On behalf of all of us we wanted to express our sincerest thanks for all the congrats, warm wishes and caring thoughts, they are all greatly appreciated and we cannot wait until we are home.
We See The Light!!
Yes its true, the sun came out today!! Talk about a welcome sight. The sun really allowed us to see how vast this city is, and it is stretching for as far as the eye can see.
Well, there is not much I can tell you about today as it involved shopping and that shopping may, or may not translate into gifts for the upcoming season. All I can say is that it is tied to the history and the culture of the People.
We did go to the “department store” as Mary described it, which I can only compare to Champlain Place x 12. 2 towers, 6 floors each, everything was here designer clothes, band names, gadgets, jewelry, you name it, they had it, all except the back pack I was looking for to carry K around, but more on that in a minute. Not many deals to be had and we only had about 2 hours with no damage done. With that said I ‘m sure if Jen was left alone with more time, and my wallet we would greatly exceed the allowed capacity with Air Canada. K and I ventured to see the fish in the grocery store while Jen and Savvy looked for supplies… interesting sights seen here… dead fish, one fish jumped out onto the floor and was plopped back in, and fish so big it was surprising they fit in the tank.
Our journey from the department store to the hotel really gave us a glimpse of real urban China as we got off of the main streets into the veins of the city. Much like the Grand Canyon, the buildings tower creating caverns in the city where the People conduct their business and live where they work. Laundry hanging from every window, people bustling from shop to shop, with each shop owner trying to strike a deal with anyone and everyone, those buying and those not. I wouldn’t exactly describe them as “boutique shops” I can’t even really tell you what they were selling as every shop seem to sell everything, within a 5 feet wide by 10 feet long space. Mobile food venders are everywhere selling, what I’m pretty sure is food although I’m not adventurous enough to try …“Never eat street food”. It is amazing, every ally leads to another ally, some looking a little sketchier than others and each with something for sale. I must say the Chinese People are industrious and sell every means of everything.
3 Men…Alone…In Wal-Mart!!
On the way back to our hotel “we three men” decided to abandon the bus and head to Wal-Mart as each family needed some means of supplies, water, pablum, and underwear…don’t ask. Our second venture to Wal-Mart was much the same as the first, times 10. More people, more noise, and more dead chickens. The search for recognizable turned out to be a little more fruitful than the first venture, a welcome victory. I personally enjoyed the walk home as this was really the closest I had gotten to being with and amongst the People…outside of playing frogger. We walked through the park dedicated to the revolution (1927) that had brought communism to China. A vast open expanse of a place with about a 8 story at one end. People filled the park just hanging out and flying kites enjoying the sun. A request for a picture with the “foreigners” and we proceeded back to the hotel. After seeing our first traffic light with walk/don’t walk (the walk light was a little green man with his legs going 100 miles an hour, which really translated into a “walk fast or get run over” message) we hit the street our hotel was on, about a 10-minute walk. As I had said in the previous paragraph, the People make a living selling anything. The streets themselves are a contrast, perhaps a sign a nation demonstrating it economic strength on one side while struggling to adjust on the other. What I mean by this is that the sidewalks are all polished stone and the shops are more in vastly worse condition. The work, cost, and investment made in making the sidewalk shine has yet to translate into the store fronts on this street. The other memorable aspect of the walk was the toxic smell, in what can only be described as a putrid combination sewer, exhaust, dank water, street food and fresh air, individual at times… melded at others.
A peaceful night with the family in prep for the plane ride tomorrow. At one part of the night K and Tya seem to carry on a conversations in their sleep with one making a little noise and the other responding. The went on for about 10 minutes with me try to control my laughter so as not to wake everyone up.
XO by 5
Posted by J Brant at 12/19/2010