Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

DAY 12: Medical Exam and the market in Guangzhou

Click for Guangzhou, Guangdong Forecast

Vivi slept so late today that Papi (aka baba) took Tonito down to breakfast by himself. They loved how the restaurant overlooked the Pearl River and they could watch the boats going by- and Tonio taught Tonito the word for boat in Spanish: "barco." That means his 2 non-Chinese words up to this morning had to do with transportation (the other one is "coche," which is "car").
Vivi finally woke up around 9:30, which is when we had to start filling out the paperwork for Tonito's visa into the US. So Tonio went to start the paperwork, and I got to take both Vivi and Tonito down to breakfast so we could eat. I couldn't push both strollers (that we had borrowed from a little shop outside the hotel), so one of the kids had to walk, and no one wants to walk while their brother or sister gets to ride, so we had one crying three year old anyway you look at it. Once we got to breakfast, food calmed all tantrums. For his second breakfast, Tonito had some sauteed cabbage (which he loves) and Vivi had oatmeal congee and mandarin oranges. I had lemon fish and sauteed cabbage- the seafood here is great! (for those of you who'd like more Western food they have cereal, omelets, fruit, fried rice, fried noodles, veggie-type-pizza, boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, and more)..

After filling out all the paperwork, we went to the doctor to get the kids' medical exams for their visas. The doctor had absolutely no bedside manner and I hated the cold way he treated Tonito, who laid naked on the table with tears streaming down his cheeks while being poked and proded. Poor little guy has probably not had the best experiences with doctors (this included). But fortunately playing in the waiting room with his best buddy Drew brought back his giggling smile. They are so cute together!!!

After the traumatic dr.'s appointment, we all went to a huge nearby park where the kids ran around, climbed, jumped, and worked out on this unusual public exercise equipment that they shared with elderly Chinese men. It is no surprise that Chinese people live long and are not overweight- every morning we see so much group exercise in the parks, people walking, running, biking, stretching, doing tai chi, playing hackey-sack, playing badminton, swinging swords, and just being active outdoors the whole day. The kids (and parents) were dripping with sweat in minutes with what seemed like 100% humidity and almost 90 degrees- but they loved every minute of it!!

After the fun in the park, we went back to the room for a little lunch (peanut butter sandwiches and milk) and a long nap for the kids. I walked around the whole island while they were sleeping and found so many cute stores with souvenirs!! The whole Shamian Island is definitely made for adoptive parents- tons of little kids' traditional Chinese clothes, stores that do your laundry, memory etchings, etc. We are a captive audience that will pay high prices for convenience! Although Tonio and I tomorrow are taking a taxi to try to find cheaper markets with the same goods:).

The kids woke up in much better moods after their long nap, and Elsie (our national guide) took a couple of families to a small supermarket where the local people from the neighborhood shop. First, check out what was for sale on the main road (this is OFF the island and away from all things touristy)...

Some dried legumes, grains, and dried mushrooms, and then dried noodles and bewlo is very tropical fruit (cute baby mangoes!)- OK, I would know what to do with these:

But how do you cook live scropions? (how do you transport them home? They put them in a plastic coke bottle for you)...

Turtles and geckos- this ain't no petco:)-

What do you do with dried snakes (would you rehydrate them first? Or just stir-fry them dry?? What about the live ones??

Live frogs- pick out the plumpest and she will gut them right there (saving the guts for another dish):

Pick out the plumpest chicken, rabbit or duck for dinner:

Vivi and Tonito kept trying to pick up the baby scorpions. The shopkeepers were really nice and thought we were a riot taking pictures. They would tip the bins of scorpions over so we could get a better picture,m and then laugh at me jumping back (I really thought they would all tip out!). Everyone loves Vivi and Tonito- they point to both of them, and then point at us and say "baba, mama" and give us a thumbs up. When we were leaving the supermarket, we stopped traffic for 15 minutes because a huge crowd of little grandmas came up and were talking to us (well, talking, and talking in Chinese while Tonio and I just smiled and Tonito answered them). One woman spoke a little English and told everyone we were their mama and baba, and people were smling, giving us thumbs up, grabbing Tonito's cheeks. They apparently asked him how old he was (he said three in Chinese), and asked about us, and he pointed and said mama and baba. CUTE!!!:) Everyone has been so nice- the older generation really likes that we are adopting (I mean we as a huge group of adoptive parents) and the younger generation loves to help with the kids, help translate for us (since many speak some English). (see the live baby scorpions in the big red bowls):


Christi said...

What an unbelievable day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a market! I guess I wouldn't eat much from there. The pictures are cool, and I'll bet the kids thought it was fun to see all the animals. Happy shopping! Love, Mom