Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Copied from Wednesday, December 8, 2010 Travel Blog

An Adventure in Walmart

Saturday, December 4th – An adventure in Walmart!
Lyric doesn’t really cry in her sleep – she kind-of whimpers.  Last night I heard her whimpering twice so I got up and patted her until she settled down again.  She has been a very heavy sleeper and not waking us up in the night, but she does take a while to really wake up in the mornings or after a nap.  I think that is the time when she realizes she is not where she always used to be – in her crib in the orphanage.   (She was in a crib; we have a picture of her in it).
This morning we got ready and headed down for breakfast in the hotel.  The kids are definitely learning to get their money’s worth out of it!  They finished off the orange juice this morning and discovered they really like the yogurt that they offer.  You can have pancakes or French toast, cheese, boiled egg, tea egg, huge assortment of bread, toast, steamed buns, congee, watermelon, bacon, chicken sausages, orange juice, pineapple juice, apple juice, cereal… the list goes on!
After breakfast we met Vicki, our tour guide, to take a taxi to Walmart.  We squeezed all 7 of us into one cab on the way there.  Vicki sat in the front, Lyric was on my lap, Laurel was on Ty’s lap and Carissa was on Kevin’s lap!
I believe this was the "stinky fruit" - you didn't have to get close to smell it!
Walmart in China is crazy loud!  You know how they give out samples at our Walmart stores?  Well, they do that here also but they use a megaphone to do it!  Really, really loud!  They have fruit here that we don’t have in the US – one is even called stinky fruit.  Guess what?  It really does stink!  You don’t even have to get close to it to smell it.
We got our chance to see chicken feet in the Walmart, and we saw some big frogs – Laurel didn’t like that too much!  Laurel saw an alligator or crocodile with something in its mouth, she thought it was a carrot.  We saw duck, fish, pig head and various other animals with eyes staring out at us.
I think the reason we went to Wal-Mart was because our guide knew we weren’t going anywhere for the next two days so she thought we would like some snacks and such in our room.  We picked up various flavors of Ramon noodles, bread, peanut butter and jelly, gingerbread cookies, oreos, sprite, water, oranges (Lyric likes oranges), and some other drinks.  Oh, we got chopsticks and bowls also.
They were very excited about the different fruit.
While the kids and I were waiting for Vicki to get back from weighing the oranges two ladies with kids said some things to us and smiled a lot.  They seemed to understand that all the children were ours, including Lyric, and they liked that.  It was a nice experience.   
Oh, when you want to get something weighed in Wal-Mart you don’t take it to the checkout.  You have to take it to one central area where all the produce is weighed.  There was a big crowd there but Vicki got it done quickly.
We had to take two taxis back to the hotel.  Laurel and Tyler went with Kevin and Carissa, and I went with Vicki.  We got everything settled into our hotel room and then went for lunch.  We wanted to try a different restaurant b/c the ones in the hotel are expensive and the one we went to the other night wasn’t very good.   
Vicki took us just down the street.  They had pictures of the food on the wall and we were very encouraged by them!  We got a private room again (where one waitress stayed in it the whole time and waited on us).  The table was round with the turn table on top of it.  Kevin ordered a spicy chicken dish, dumplings, green beans, rice, and another chicken dish.  We told them we didn’t want the other chicken dish to be spicy… Hmm…. They brought out a cooked whole chicken cut up into pieces – head, skin and all.  Oh – one thing it was missing was the feet!  Glad for that!  I got up my courage and gave Laurel, Carissa, and I what white meat I could find, only to find out that the chicken was cold.  Eww.  Cold chicken in a salad is good, but it just seems like when the whole chicken is looking at you in the face that it should be hot.  Our guide had them take it back and heat it up.  It still wasn’t good.  (I gave Lyric what I had on my plate – she gobbled it up)  :)
Laurel kept asking for me to take more pictures :)
The kids and I filled up on the dumplings, rice and green beans and then we headed back to our hotel.  On the way back we stopped at a little store where Kevin bought a razor, gum and 2 Snickers bars, which he said was for us to split back at the hotel (he later ate 1 ½ of them himself and gave Tyler the other half – bad husband!)  :)
While he was in paying with Vicki a Chinese lady approached us with her son.  She was happy to see us and played with Lyric a little.  She used sign language to ask how old Lyric was and guessed that she was 2 – nope , I told her – she is 3 and held up my fingers.  She was very surprised that she was 3 b/c she is so little.  Her little boy was, I think, 14 months.  I thought he was older!
And more pictures!
Back at the hotel we said good bye to Vickie and settled back into our room.  We let Lyric play for a bit and then thought that she needed a nap so I went to put her down for it.  I tried getting her to just sleep in the bed with me but she didn’t like that.  Kevin came in and held her for a long time and then laid her in her crib.  She cried.  He stayed there and sang to her and tried to soothe her until she fell asleep.  It is hard to watch her fall asleep sometimes because she rocks herself to calm herself down and to get to sleep.  The other day she rocked back and forth with her hands pointed in the air until she fell asleep.  With Kevin she just rocked back and forth while laying on her back.  She calmed down and fell asleep.  I pray that she learns some day soon that we can help her to calm down so she can sleep.  Children in the orphanages have to learn to self soothe themselves b/c there isn’t anyone else there to help them.
After her nap the kids played a lot with her.  They played play dough and hide and seek.  With the play dough, Lyric likes to take the dough out and put it back in – take the cap off and put it back on.  With hide and seek, the kids would hide and we would say, “Where’s jie jie (big sister) Lou-lou (Laurel)” or “Where’s big brother Tyler?” and she would find them.  She is very smart!
For bed time, I got her pj’s on her and then slowly turned out the lights.  Tyler was with her and I.  She wanted Tyler more than me and would cry if he got up to leave, so he stayed until she fell asleep.  I picked her up and put her in her crib and then she cried some more.  I stayed and rubbed her belly and back while I sang to her.  She fell back to sleep quickly.
Lyric really doesn’t cry a lot.  She cried with the poop all over her back (wouldn’t you?), she cries at bedtime, and sometimes she cries when she doesn’t get her way – but it never lasts long.  She has a great personality.
Oh, we have been trying to work out what we are going to do the rest of the time we are in Guiyang.  Vicki’s agency had us down to visit Walmart, monkey park, some temple, and some museum.  Since we got a big “No” on visiting Lyric’s orphanage, we said we wanted to go to the famous waterfall, the ancient city, and the monkey park.  Vicki said we shouldn’t go to the waterfall b/c it was a long way and it was dangerous…  She said she would find out about the ancient city.  In our room, we called our FTIA contact to find out what our options were, how long each day Vicki was supposed to be with us, etc.  We told Shirley what we wanted to see and she said she would find out. 
It was decided we would go to the ancient city instead of the museum, but that we wouldn’t go to the waterfall.  The guide/agency wanted over 3000 rmb to take us!  That is ridiculous.  Kevin and I think they just named that absurd amount because they didn’t want to do it.  It only cost us 800 rmb to go the Great Wall, plus our tickets (and without a guide).  So unless we find a private guide to take us we will just have to miss  seeing the waterfall.  That’s okay though because I am excited about monkey park and the ancient city!
As I am typing this everyone is fast asleep, and I need to be also! 


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