A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thoughts on China

I love China. It's good to be back. Even on the airplane, hearing the announcements in Mandarin and indecipherable English, it felt like coming home in a way. When we adopted Hannah, by the time we got to GZ, Paul was ready to go home. I never hit that point. Maybe it's because being in China is like a vacation for me.

I'd forgotten about the honking. When people in the US honk, they're usually annoyed.  Drivers here just honk all the time. It is how they let each other know they're there. Almost like echolocation. The ride from the airport to the hotel in the wee hours of the morning brought it all back for me. We barely saw any other cars, and our driver still honked several times, usually while chatting amiably with our guide, so you could tell he wasn't upset at all. It's just how they do things. 

My room is on the 14th floor, and the honking below bounces off all the tall buildings around me. It's actually not an unpleasant cacophony, I'm just not used to it yet.  

I love the misinterpreted signs. I've taken pictures of a few of them.  

I'm fascinated at the way this can exist right next door to a 5 star hotel. That's taken from my window. 

And that was taken in the lobby. Actually, it would be nice if all new moms got to spend the first couple weeks in 5 star hotels.  Friendly people and amazing customer service trump nurses and BP cuffs by a long shot.  But I can imagine people asking, "Wait, you saved and scrimped and fundraised to get to China, and now you're blowing it all on super nice hotels?"  It does create a mini culture shock for me, actually.  But it's not our decision.  Agencies used to tell you exactly where to stay and it was just part of the process.  Now there's a little more flexibility.  You get to pick between 2-3 5 star hotels in each province.  I think the reason for this is two fold.  Agencies want to make sure their clients have a positive experience, overall.  And I think they want families to be safe.  Whatever the reasons, it is fascinating to stay in a place nicer than most of the places I've stayed at in the USA.  

My bathroom has a barrier across the threshold.  

You can kind of see why, as there's no containment for the shower area.  

Just a lower threshold between the bathing area and the other part of the bathroom.  I stubbed my toe on the first one the night I got here, and have been hyper aware of it ever since.  

Another fun thing about hotel life is the newspaper slid under my door every night.  I get the English version of China Daily, and this morning, I discovered Global Times, as well.  I'm going to keep an issue for Luke's memory box, so he can see what China was like when we were here.  

Elevators area are another way things are different here.  People smoke in elevators, for one thing.  For another, people think nothing of cramming 12 people and a stroller into an elevator that most Americans would consider full at half as many people.  Americans generally will wait for the next elevator.  Chinese people just scrunch up a little closer.  

Speaking of elevators, I love having the boy outside the elevator ask, "What's your number?" instead of "What floor are you on?"  It's the closest I've come to being hit on in many years, lol.

I met a European woman yesterday who spoke excellent, although somewhat accented English (I was trying to buy ice cream in the lobby and the other employees called her over to interpret).  I asked her where she was from, and she said, "Italy."  "Wow, how did you end up here?" I asked.  She told me she wanted to work in hospitality, and she didn't want to loose her Chinese.  I told her that was really impressive.  

This post was actually started before I got Luke, but the internet and my VPN are spotty here, and so I've gotten distracted and not finished or been unable to upload since.  I figure I'd better toss it out there now, or it will never get posted.  

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