We have had two days this week that are down days… waiting for the passports to be processed. All of them were delivered to the hotel this afternoon – complete in 3 days! Yesterday we visited the Henan Museum which is one of China’s largest history museums. It was really neat – tons of artifacts dating back to 500 BC. There were just rooms and rooms full of artifacts… and it was dark and kinda smelly. It is interesting to see that throughout China’s history, there really has never been a respect for human life. There were countless tombs ‘featured’ in the museum where there were basically mass graves of human sacrifices to ‘protect’ the royalty buried there. As this worldview pervades every aspect of life here, it makes for chaos. The cars have no fear or respect for people walking down the road, or the mopeds which are everywhere – I really can’t explain it. It is absolutely insane. Words cannot do the chaos justice! I have to close my eyes as we’re driving through town – mopeds weaving in and out of oncoming traffic, with small children resting on the seat in front of them. The cars come within inches – literally – of the people riding on the mopeds and they just honk away, expecting you to get out of their way. Life doesn’t matter. There is no privacy for private matters – bathrooms without doors, kids in split pants with wee wee’s hanging in the breeze – men pooping on the side of the highway. If someone is injured in a car accident or on the sidewalk, people will gather around and take pictures but no one will touch them. A guy will bleed out on the street before someone will jump in to help – they might be held liable! And of course babies abandonded and worse, because of physical deformaties. The people here really have no idea why we would want to adopt these children. It doesn’t make sense to them – it doesn’t fit into their world view. Our guide today, Tiger, has his driver’s license but chooses not to use it as he feels like it is way too crazy – and he said tonight “I respect life! This is crazy, I will not drive like this!” His words, not mine.
The people here are very very curious about foreigners… and especially white people carrying Chinese babies. Oh my, if I had just a dollar for everyone whose mouth gaped open, finger pointing at us – I’d have a good pocket of change going on. Today at the temple a lady came and grabbed my arm, not giving me any choice, and posed for a picture with me. Ha! She hadn’t even noticed QiQi sleeping on my chest at that point. It was just good ol me.
So yesterday QiQi seemed to be picking up on “more” in sign language, and today at breakfaast when I reminded him of it, he busted out his little hands, said “more” and even said with his mouth “mo!” He is one smart cookie. He is constantly copying us, and trying to do what we’re doing. We have learned a few key words in Chinese, oh how I wish I knew more, and we are often saying in Chinese “no” and “gentle”. He is a ball full of energy. He’s also quite the lovebug. Today as we were walking around, he would often wrap his arms around me and squeeze several times. He’ll suck his thumb and cuddle up. The past couple nights I’ve also rocked him to sleep. He came to bed with us the last two nights in the early morning hours… he is obviously not used to sharing a bed as he spins 360 all night long! He now wants to be held to fall asleep, which is just fine, and then I put him in his crib. Sleep and waking up are definitely not easy on him – he is easily disoriented and upset. Thankfully he is pretty easy to comfort at this point. This morning as we were getting ready to leave, QiQi was walking around the lobby with me close behind. At one point, a Chinese lady knelt down and gestured to him to come to her… he took a few steps, maybe halfway, but all of a sudden, he turned back towards me and ran into my arms. Yes! Score one for me! China may be 99, but today I scored 1. It was awfully nice.
Today we drove two hours southwest of ZZ to Shao Lin which is the birth place of Kung Fu and the Buddhist Temple. The buildings are dated about 400 years old, some having burned and were rebuilt. There were monks all over, who are in charge of the property and the ‘business’. There is also the largest kung fu school – 35,000 students – they are who preformed at the Beijing Olympics. We got to see a show of some of the younger students – that was a lot of fun and made up for the acrobatic show in Beijing (was that really only a week ago?!). We were in the mountains where the air was much cleaner, but the fog was low and thick so we still couldn’t see anything. One week in ZZ and nary a blue sky or sun!
Tomorrow marks 7 days here and we fly south to Guangzhou for our visa appointment and health exam. One more week in China.