Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday/Monday GZ pics

Monday morning, after her bottle. That's when she's the happiest baby!
Still so happy and pretty, even with bronchitis, as we'd soon find out.
A view from our window at night to the river below. Those are the cruise ships decked out in neon.
Pink Floyd has nothin on GZ. That is the Jiang Feng Hotel and the light show that happens on the hotel. The lights around the trees below is from a bar district. See the green laser that is projecting from the top of the building? The suspension bridge is to the right of the pic. It also has a laser. They spread out and dance around and hit the water. It's pretty cool.
Mommy, where is my congee? Stop giving me the sign for "more" and just feed me already!
The White Swan breakfast buffet taken from the bread/pastries table.
More river views at night. Not sure which one we will be on tonight, but we are going on a dinner cruise. We will get to see the light show from the water. WOOO!

Katie- where the HELL is that Starbucks??? I've found one so far in GZ and it's in a NINE STORY shopping mall. Oh yeah. Nine stories. One of several downtown. Like to shop? China is your country. This is shoppers paradise. It's insane how many bags I have NOT purchased. I'm running out of money!! I guess I will go ask the concierge. Mama needs a Starbucks fix. But seriously, GZ is fantastic for shopping.

The White Swan's walls are paper thin. I can hear the man coughing next door. I can hear the man above opening his shower curtain. I am lucky to have a quiet baby and no babies next door. Oh those beds, so so so rock hard. I discovered padding in the drawer under the TV. Even with two bed bads, one down comforter, and one blanket under my body, it's still too hard. And I'm so padded! I cannot wait for my comfy bed at home.

Wait, here's Matt. He wants to tell you what he did on his birthday night. He was just running out to the market to get some water and some wipes. This is what happened.

I went to the concierge and said I needed to go to the supermarket. 7-11 didn't have the wipes we needed, nor did they have any sort of dishwashing detergent (which is how we clean the bottles and nipples). She wrote down a bunch of Chinese on the back of a business card and said "Give this to the driver." I looked at the card and thought "Hmmm. I could go to 7-11 and do without some things that we really sort of need, or I could go on an adventure. So adventure it is." I hopped in a taxi out front, the doorman looked at the card and said something to the driver. He drove me off to the Carrefour about 12-14 minutes away (an 11 yuan ride, or $1.40 US).

The place is amazing. It's the biggest grocery store I've ever seen in my life. It makes the Super Wal-Mart look like a corner convenience store. It's underground, so you go down an escalator to the B1 floor where you get your cart. Then you travel across that entire floor past tons of kiosks that are not part of the store but have leased space from them (this is pretty common, Wal-Mart in Nanchang had the same sort of setup). Down to the B2 level where you will find furniture, hardware, cosmetics, electronics, fashion, household items, cleaning supplies, etc etc. This floor is the size of a very large Wal-Mart or Target. Then you go down to the B3 level where you find the actual grocery store. This floor is also the size of a very large Wal-Mart. And it's just groceries. The place was jam packed, as is everything here. Fighting through the aisles is quite an experience. I of course got lots of looks as I was one of three Westerners in the entire store. I was able to find everything I needed very quickly and get into a checkout line with no hassles. In the next lane were two young kids, probably 6 or 7, with their mom. They kept looking up at me and whispering to each other. The next time they looked up I smiled and said "Ni hao" and they laughed and hid behind their mom. 8 1.5L bottles of water, a twelve pack of Duracell batteries*, two packs of Pampers wipes, 70 yuan. Or about nine dollars U.S.

*Batteries in china apparently have less acid in them, they don't last nearly as long as U.S. batteries. I was warned about this by Vince.

The cab ride home was as curious an experience as the shopping. There are LCD TV's in a lot of the taxis and they run main video content with a crawler across the bottom and three boxes of ads down the right side. It's one step closer to the TV in Idiocracy. The music videos here are as goofy, creative, and outlandish as the best of the 80's in the U.S. where there were no rules.


Thanks, Matt. Great update. Now back to Mei.

Helloooo. Ok, so Chinese bottles? LOVE them. I have stopped using my drop ins and am using the Chinese bottles exclusively now. They are the Betty Bottle brand. They come with a long rubber straw with a ball thingie on the end. That keeps the bottle mixed up and acts as a straw so the baby sucks the formula into the nipple. I don't use that part. But it's cool to see how it works.

Chinese wipes? Too thin. Don't like.

Chinese baby and children's clothing? The regular clothes are like boutique clothing in the US. It's SOOOO cute and SOOOO cheap. About 3 USD per outfit and we're talking really elaborate little outfits. Pirated licensed characters, I'm sure. I've got tons of Hello Kitty and Disney outfits for the girls in designs and styles I've never seen before.

People always comment about the smells in China. It's true, they can be brutal. Nanchang smelled like exhaust fumes. Guangzhou can downright stink. There's a vegetable that's used in all the cooking here that rots very quickly in the trash cans and WOW, it knocks you over when you encounter the odor. It smells like garbage/sewage at the same time. You can be walking along, la la la, then AAAACK! GAGG! Then la la la everything smells fine again. You will look around- where is this coming from? No clue. But now that I have had enough Cantonese cooking, I know the smell.

Do I like the food here? I am sorry to say I liked the food in Nanchang so much better. There is a spice here that is used on everything that does not agree with me. It does not taste appealing and it does not digest AT ALL. Bahhhhh. Lucy's, the cafe across the street, sells American food. They use that spice on everything. We had a club last night that I couldn't eat. I literally took one bite and threw it away. I will scan the Lucy's menu for future travelers, but please... don't expect Western food to taste Western. Not with that spice on everything.

Today we have agency stuff to do, then we are going to visit a Chinese University with our local friend. Then it's time for the famous Red Couch picture at 330. Then the dinner cruise tonight. A fun packed day with a family who has plenty of sleep. The Chinese medicine? Baby is out cold AND she can breathe! Hurrah!

Talk to you later-

Oh someone update Marge for me? Tell her about our latest adventures and although we love China, we cannot wait to get home and see everyone.

Katie- how do I get to Cow and Bridge? Cantonese food? How are prices?.

1 comment:

Tara said...

I will call Marge and update her tomorrow. (Which will be Monday the 2nd here, probably late morning our time). I will email you after I talk to her.