Monday, January 05, 2009

Sorry to disappoint you....

that this post is not of Flora. But truth be told this has been a long day, and it is only 1:00. We are anxiously waiting for 2:00 as that is when the ball starts rolling. But I do have to share what happened today, and if I don't do it now, then it will never happen. We had breakfast and video chatted with a few people this morning. We then had a quick meeting regarding paperwork. We walked to the people's park where some of our families were playing football. We and some other families decided to head back to the market Joe hit yesterday. It is quite a far distance, and the weather is beautiful but warm, so we took a cab. We needed two cabs due to all the people. Our cab arrived before theirs so we agreed on a meeting place, the McDonald's. Claire was SO excited! She ate two (yes, tiny Claire ate two) cheeseburgers. Joe, Emily, and I enjoyed cokes with ICE! We waited and waited for the others to arrive, but they never did. Apparently there are two McDonald's near the market. We started walking to the market and encountered an older Chinese gentleman with his granddaughter (14 months). He started to ask questions in Chinese like how old our daughters are. I was able to sign their ages. He then asked for a pen, reached in his bag and pulled out a scrap piece of paper and started to write. This was perplexing, since we can't speak Chinese then how were we able to read it? But he kept talking to us. Many people walked by and stared at us, finally a young man stopped. He spoke English and started to translate for us. The old man asked the girls ages. He asked where we were from. What I did for a living. What Joe did for a living. Why we were in China. Why weren't Emily and Claire in school. Do we know Yao Ming? (Basketball is HUGELY popular here!) They asked if we were here for the Olympics. Did we know "One world, one dream." Then the older man reached in his bag and handed Claire 5 clementines. We summized that he had just come from the store we were heading to. His granddaughter was absolutely stunning. She was entertained by all four of us waving at her and the special treat she had in her hand. The young man said, "I have something to do. Thank you. Good-bye." We then bid ado to the older gentleman and his granddaughter. But before we parted, he reached in that bag once again and broke off a piece of that sweet sesame pastry and handed it to Claire. It was an amazing encounter. I have found, as many people have, said the Chinese people are genuinely kind and interested in us. I have had only one or two encounters where that wasn't quite the case, but they were far from rude, just not as truly pleasant as the majority of the people.
Okay, I promise next post F-L-O-R-A!!!

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