Tuesday, February 27, 2007

White Swan Redux

We visited Shamian Island again today. We're still trying to get over jetlag, but it seems to be getting worse instead of better! The girls woke up this morning around 2 a.m. and did not go back to sleep, though they were content to veg in bed with me. Our room has two beds -- each slightly larger than a twin bed but smaller than a double bed. So the three of us in one bed is a squeeze! We ate breakfast at the hotel, and then the girls watched a DVD on my computer while I tried to sort out our internet situation. We now have in-room internet, so hopefully I can post more regularly.

We took a taxi to the White Swan again, though slightly later in the day. These taxi rides seem less death-defying than those I've had in China in the past. Could I be getting used to the utter chaos that is Chinese driving? Or is traffic better because a lot of Chinese leave the city to go home to small villages for Chinese New Year? We'll have to see how traffic is in Xiamen.

We again walked the pedestrian boulevards and played in the park. The girls really love cavorting with all the child-sized statues on Shamian Island. The photos above show Zoe and Maya at a playground that has both child and adult equipment -- there's a slide and a see-saw, but everything else is for grown-ups to exercise. You can see Zoe on a ski machine. As I've said before, the Chinese take their exercising seriously! There were a number of boys -- probably aged 8-10 -- who endlessly practiced their one word of English, "Hello!" I'd say "Hello," and "Ni hao," and my awful Chinese pronunciation would send them off in gales of laughter. I took a picture of one, and he was tickled to see himself on the digital display. All his friends came to see, but they refused to be photographed. When Maya saw his picture on the computer this evening, she named him "the Hello boy!"

We ate lunch at the popular expat watering hole, Lucy's, and saw the same expat man we saw there in 2005! He struck up a conversation, and was very excited to hear that Zoe and Maya went to Chinese School in Texas. He gave me the name and contact information of a friend of his in Xiamen who he said would make an excellent tour guide. Maybe we'll contact her!

We haven't been too adventurous with food so far -- when I ask the girls if they want Western or Chinese, they've been picking Western. Pretty funny, since they'd definitely pick Chinese if we were at home! I guess they need their comfort foods right now. They are definitely missing friends and family -- when Zoe threw a coin in the fountain at the White Swan, her wish was that Mimi would come visit in May and that Elizabeth wouldn't miss her too much.

After lunch, we went back to the Swan Room. This time there were 3 sets of adoptive parents there, including one with a little girl named Maya! The girls had fun playing with the babies, but really enjoyed the almost-two-year-old who followed them around and grinned at their antics.

Zoe fell asleep on the way back in the taxi, and then both girls fell asleep when we got back to the room -- even though I told them they didn't need to take a nap (I was hoping to avoid the midnight awakening!). I had a heck of a time waking them up to eat dinner, and they went back to sleep before 8 p.m. Sigh. Looks like we'll have another topsy-turvy jet-lagged night! On the plus side, I seem to have adjusted just fine! It's around 10 p.m., and I'm just now thinking of beddy-bye.

BTW, I've changed the settings on the comment section -- you can leave a comment without having to register now. We'd love to hear from you!


Anonymous said...

Whoo hoo! I am glad to see you are now able to access your blog. It sounds like the girls are enjoying China. Hope the jetlag is over soon. Bises

mimifrancoise said...

Oops, I just signed in as anonymous. I loved to read it this morning. I'am on my way to art class. re-bises

Debbie Johnsen said...

I am really enjoying reading your blog. I adopted my daughter from Fujian province in March 2005 and we visited Xiamen so I am looking forward to following your trip. Thanks for letting me tag along.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you had a smooth trip and are enjoying your visit to Guangzhou. Meredith and Maggie really enjoyed that park when we were there in 2004. Good luck getting over jet lag! Sue

joseph said...

I am glad you kept your promise to write home.

Today I opened your blog for the first time, and I really enjoyed your sharing with us your experience.

I look forward to the next instalments. Now i must go back to my current obsession: graduating!

All the best