Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday in Guangzhou

Thursday in Guangzhou was another big day. After breakfast we took a cab to Li Wan Plaza to go to the pearl market, for the second time. The first time we went with Kathy, our guide, and now we felt brave enough to go on our own. Kathy wrote us a note to give the cab driver and told us the fare would be about 9 to 11 yuan. She told us to hail a cab when ready to come back and just show that cab driver our hotel room key with White Swan logo. When the cab driver pulled over and let us out we noticed that the area didn't look the same as it did on Tuesday. I got the stroller out of the trunk and paid the driver, and Becky, Jewell, and Hope got out and there we were, lost in a city of eleven million and it looked like about a tenth of them were massed in our immediate vicinity.

We all looked around and came to the same conclusion. We were not where we were earlier in the week with our guide, Kathy. Hopefully we were close. We noticed a McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and KFC within walking distance and they were certainly not noticed on our first trip. We walked about a half a block to what seemed to be something like the pearl market and went in. It looked a little like the place, but it was not. We walked all the way to end of the building that opened out into a large courtyard, but this obviously wasn't the pearl market. We asked one or two passing by, but they didn't speak English. Two teenage girls and a boy came by that could speak a few words and we tried to ask them, showing them the note from Kathy. They shook their heads yes, this was Li Wan Plaza, but couldn't help us find the pearl market.

I turned on the Panda Phone and called Jason to ask for Kathy's number. I walked back outside so I could describe landmarks. Kathy happened to be with Jason and she took his phone, and began asking me how much the cab fare was. I guess she was afraid we might quite a ways farther off than we were supposed to be. I was telling her how much, when Jewell came outside and told me that the teenagers had returned and said they would show us where to go.I handed the phone to the boy and let him talk to Kathy. He hung up and gave me back the phone, then he and the girls led us back through the building, across the courtyard and into the back of what we knew as the pearl market. We thanked them and offered 20 yuan as gratitude, but they wouldn't take it. Once again we were impressed with the friendly actions of the Chinese people we have met.

After Becky and Jewell had purchased their wares we went to the McDonald's to eat, The food was good, chicken tenders and fries. I ordered two fried pies that I thought were apple and blueberry, turned out to be pineapple and sweet taro. After lunch we caught a cab and went back to the hotel. We had to go with all the group to the American Consulate in what I think was downtown Guangzhou about a half hour away for the visa for Hope and swearing the oath to care for her. It was handled really well by our guides, and was pretty mundane except when you realize that it is part of what makes Hope legally and forever our child.

When we got back to Shamian Island at about 4:30 Becky and Jewell went on their last minute shopping frenzy. I would say that they were spending money like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair-----to drunken sailors that is. We came in after dark and ordered pizza and pasta for supper. Becky is finishing packing now, trying to stuff 40 cubic feet of souvenirs and gifts into 20 cubic feet of luggage. Hope has had a bath and is asleep, and I'm trying to stay out of Becky's way. We leave for Hong Kong very early in the morning. We will be on planes and in airports for at least the next 24 hours. Please pray for Hope to make that long Hong Kong to San Francisco trip OK. You may not hear from us for a few days, unless Misty posts more pictures at times. Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us and encouraged us in this great adventure. For us and Hope the adventure is still to come.



Anonymous said...

You should be getting on plane right now.. it is 10 pm texas time, Thursday Night. I am praying for all of you
I pray that Hope is tired from all the running around and that she will sleep for most of the flight.

Anonymous said...

You should be close to landing now, if your not already landed in California.. Just a little bit longer and Hope will be offically a U.S.A citizen and yours forever. It is 10 am Texas time and 7 am California time
See ya'll real soon!!
I hope the flight was great. And I cant wait to hear how well Hope did on the flight back home.

Anonymous said...

Hope you had a peaceful trip. Glad you didn't stay lost to long. I'll be praying you make a safe trip home. Also that you have the right suitcases. Can't wait to see you.