This morning, we followed our regular routines. We got up, had breakfast, got ready and prepared to go upstairs to see the kids. But they came to see us! We were doing a video and photos of the kids with some diapers to say thanks to the company who sent them. So the older kids were sent downstairs and we spent some time playing with them and taking photos and videos. Then, we followed through on our routine and went upstairs to visit.
It seemed extra mayhem and noisy today. Some of the children were crying while others squabbling over toys.Mom went to check up on tiny Caitlin while I set about looking for my little Lily. I had taken quite a shine to her by now.
It's funny how each day, a new baby seems to warm to me. First couple days, it was Lily, then Heather, then Danielle, then finally today it was Jade. She got so attached to me, in fact, that she wouldn't let me walk away alone. She clung to my leg and cried until I picked her up again.
We had a lunch of dumplings and went back downstairs to prepare for our next big adventure. The Muslim Market. For centuries, a population of Chinese Muslim people lived in a village downtown from where we are. Today, it is a very popular and busy market.
With Brittany as our guide, we snagged a cab and headed downtown. The city is huge with over 10 million people. Each building is at least twenty stories high, if not, higher. New buildings are being constructed all the time and there are cranes everywhere. The cost of going all the way downtown was a total of $2 dollars. Really a lot of things in China are cheap. You can have a standard meal in a restaurant for two or three bucks and we got three popsicles today for 3 yuan (¥) which is about 42 cents.
When we arrived downtown, I discovered that there were no sidewalks on the busy road between us and the entrance to the Muslim Market. Brittany said we had to go under the road. Gee, UNDER the road? Why can't it be over? We went under the road and through a gateway into the market. There were people everywhere. And there were cars too. People had just enough time to get out of the way before a car came down the road. It seems way too busy for cars to be there, but there was all sorts of traffic. Cars, bikes, motorcycles..... The air was really musty and smelled constantly of smoke. I had to breathe into my hand a couple times and right now, I believe my lungs are slightly less pink than before.
It's really exhausting to shop in the Muslim Market. You have to barter for everything you buy and when they see foreigners purchasing something, they raise the price. We're lucky we had Brittany with us. Though she doesn't have a very good sense of direction, she's good at bartering since she's Chinese and can speak the language. We bought a few presents to bring back with us before returning to the cabs. The Muslim Market really was interesting and it was something different, a new experience. Despite the exhausting shopping, we really enjoyed it. There were little colourful birds in cages hanging outside many of the shops and these were the owners pets.
Tomorrow, we are going to visit an orphanage, here in Xi'an. I do not want to though because I think that it will be too sad for me. Even sadder than the foster home. Mom say we don't have to go in, we can just stay in reception. But still, even the thought of all those orphaned children makes me sad. Westerners seldom get the opportunity so we should take advantage of that. We will get to view some of the countryside on the way there and sometimes, you have to be aware of things even if they are sad.
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