Saturday, February 19, 2005

Another Day in Guangzhou

Things are starting to settle down a bit. Dada is napping peacefully. Julie is next door with the grans (I assume--I was asleep with Dada when she left the room).

Today has been a very relaxed day--no touring, no organized shopping trips, no paperwork, just relaxed family time. We had a leisurely breakfast watching Dada eat cherios and banana bits, Bill and I did a bit more with the video, and then we went out for a walk beyond the confines of Sha Mian island, where the White Swan is. We wandered up a shopping street where all the shops sold various dried things:


Sea Stars

There were many strange (to us) things, including big bags of dried sea horses and other sea critters I couldn't identify. Bins of what looked like varieties of ginger root, mushrooms like none I've seen before, and other things. All very exotic and mundane at the same time.

We wanted to get lunch and Julie was starting to experience a little new mom anxiety, so we turned the corner at the first block in order to head back in the direction of the hotel. On the way we passed a woman and her very cute child. She was sitting on the curb preparing something and had several bins of turles for sale:

Turtles for sale

We worked our way back toward the hotel and went back to the China Doll shop, where we've been getting our laundry done, to ask about a good Dim Sum place. She sent us to the big restaurant just up the street, which was excellent. We had a relaxed lunch that was as good as or better than anything we've had so far. The place was packed. When we came in they put is in a back room off the main dining room and we thought it was because we were westerners but very soon room filled up with locals and we realized that it was just because the place was full (and/or because our room was a non-smoking room, which the main dining room definitely was not).

The total bill for lunch for 5, including beers at 20 yuan apiece, came to 366 yuan, or just about 10 dollars a person. This is one of the joys of traveling in China. By contrast, last night, as I mentioned, we went to the Thai place, which was really good, but twice as expensive, costing us about 20 dollars per person. We had to scramble to pull that much Chinese cash together in order to pay our bill. Won't be eating there again (and don't even ask about the hotels in the restaurant--might as well be at home).

After lunch we did a bit more clothes shopping in the stores near the hotel. We found more darling clothes for Dada and for other children we know who might be having birthdays soon. There is so much painfully cute stuff and it's so inexpensive it's hard not to buy it all. Fortunately we've been here long enough that we're starting to think of prices more in terms of the local economy and less what it is in dollars, which makes it easier to buy less.

Yesterday after our nap the grans and Julie gave Dada a thorough sponge bath, put on the scabies cream, and dressed her in a new outfit that she will have to wear for the next three days (per doctor's orders). I caught a picture that definitely wins the day's photo contest:

After Our Bath

She is definitely a much happier baby today. She's had much more to drink, sucking down a whole 250ml bottle of baby tea and the same size bottle of formula at breakfast. We've finally gotten her some toys to play with. Once she gets through with the series of antibiotics and benedryl I'm sure she's going to be a very active and happy baby.


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