Isabel is going back to China.....and now we are home

Isabel is going back to China.....and now we are home
we will be here until all our kids have a family of their own

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Back in Xi'an...

Yesterday was our first of rain but we didn't let it stop us. We were up and out to see the beautiful temple of WuHou. Another breakfast at Sim's and another cab ride through the bustling streets of Chengdu. The temple is thousands of years old and the gardens were incredible. They had the most amazing collection of bonsai trees. Lots of Tibetan monks around and very few westerners. I think it is the time of the year. We were back at the guesthouse to pick up our cab for 1pm. after a quick lunch and a char with Sim. We met a Mom & her 9yr old from Australian.......her name was Isabel too. We had a nice talk. Another good reason to travel off season. Quick ride to the airport and another uneventful flight to Shaanxi. We have a new British roommate who just came in. Looking forward to talking to her tomorrow. Can't say how lucky we are to have had Brittany with us this whole time. I am not at all sure our trip would have been as great without her. She has
been our guide and interpreter and our friend. We have been blessed not only to have had the chance to do this but to have had the bonus of meeting some really nice people.

In our time here we have seen only two near miss accidents....a bike cut off a motorcycle and a cab we were in cut off another cab. No one in China will reverse. We were centimeters from touching the fellow I mentioned last and yet he just would not back up and our guy had to move past him....he to wouldn't back millimeter by millimeter until he was clear. I think that since there are so many people in China that it has become a mob mentality and they have become desensitized to a lot. No one lines up for anything. If you don't push forward you will be trampled or left in the dust. Get used to being jostled roughly and crowding into buses, planes, supermarkets, you name it. Any small act of kindness is so appreciated. A gentleman on the shuttle to the plane helped me find a space for my bag! Another guy when we were out walking the babies in a stroller would have run has over rather than let us scoot in front of him. I find the Chinese very
suspicious of everyone. They think you are trying to cheat them at every turn. Shopping is exhausting because you have to bargain for everything and for such a small difference. I know the Chinese have very strong family bonds and that their friends are also important to them but they are very wary of westerners. The men seem so stern and unfriendly and scowl at us for the most part. With women you get a little more eye contact and the occasional smile. I feel better when I see them interacting with their children and being tender, or laughing with their family and friends And I have seen the nannies with the children and each other and how they have warmed up to us..So there is more than meets the eye here and I think you would have to live here a while to have them as friends or have any understanding of their reality. It is hard to say China is a welcoming country because for the most part it is not. I think because the people don't understand us and
because the language barrier is there. It is difficult to communicate. Chinese are not big on gestures. Sichuan province alone had 100 million people in 1999. I will say it again...everything here is cheap and you have to be strong to survive from the beginning. From the airport we passed many farming villages....every scrape of land is worked...which are owned by landlords and rented to peasants. There is often no water or electricity and the buildings are in terrible shape with dirt floors. These are the poorest of the poor and they make 1 yuan a Brittany says. We can't believe it and Isabel had some interesting questions about our poor and homeless when she heard this. In contrast we drove past so many car dealerships...Lexus, BMW etc. My mind is having a hard time processing it all.

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