Saturday, June 21, 2008

Guangzhou: People Power

Wow, I just watched last night's video again, and I was in pretty bad shape. I told Soulmate this morning that I have no idea why I picked up the camcorder at that point, except that I must have remembered that my adoring public demanded it of me. If you're reading this, it must be you, but don't feel guilty--the video is pretty entertaining. Soulmate and I just laughed ourselves to tears watching it.

More entertaining video clips: after a tasty breakfast buffet at the Novotel, we were picked up by Judy Wu's sister Kelly who lives in Guangzhou and works with Judy facilitating adoption trips like ours. She is a wonderful lady who speaks excellent English and really knows her way around the town.

The Novotel is basically connected to the Guangzhou Baiyun airport, which is maybe 40 minutes' cab ride from the city center. It cost us a whopping 120 yuan ($17) to get to town. I've paid that much to go a mile in a New York cab. We stopped at a gift shop with the most beautiful porcelain china cups, teapots, and figurines, as well as many other one-of-a-kind gift items. I scored a Beijing 2008 Olympics ballcap (the closest I'm going to get to the Olympics), and Soulmate scored several very pretty items at low cost.

Next we took a short cab ride to a mall chock full of little shops going up 6 or 7 floors. We looked at jade, silver jewelry, and hair doodads. Here's a brief video to give some perspective:

We went to a restaurant on the 4th floor of the mall and had Dim Sum (Red Lantern, eat your heart out--this was the real deal). This was just one cart among many. We had the best spring rolls, fried rice, shrimp dumplings, mini custard tarts, sweet & sour pork, and wonton soup with the biggest shrimp wontons I've ever eaten.

Oh, and I had a Coke. I could tell by the red can. It had one of those true pull tabs that we haven't seen in the States in 20 years because some kid swallowed one and choked and Coke got sued. It was rather satisfying to pull the tab off and throw it in the trash (not into the can, which is how the kid ended up swallowing it, at least according to one urban legend).

Here's a shot of the mall from the 4th floor, just outside the restaurant:

As we left the mall to find a taxi back to the Novotel, we entered Guangzhou's version of Times Square. People power! Here's a clip of the central square (open to foot traffic only):

By the time we got back to the Novotel, I could hardly keep my eyes open. The sun and the clock say it's 6:30pm, but my body knows it's 5:30am. Once I put the finishing touches on this post, I think I'll turn in. Tomorrow we fly to Nanning at 10:10am and meet the 3 other families in our group who are adopting.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Great post with lots of info packed in. Love the multi-story shopping mall and we're jealous of the spring rolls, wonton soup, etc (Joel is tearing up over wanting real Oriental food-alas I guess we'll have to live with Wok-n-Roll)

Thanks also for chuckling with the rest of us over last nights for the Cragle archive of funny stuff. I was thinking that at least you would have only fallen asleep with the recording running, rather than falling asleep during a telephone call (hmmm, seems I remember a few of those during med school, eh?)

Anyway, we're excited for your journey and impending arrival of Katie to your loving arms.

Love from the crew of PacNorthWest Cragles!