Monday, August 29, 2011

day 15

Day 15. Sunday. Another pretty great day. If the weather were about 20 or 30 degrees cooler, it would qualify as a perfect day.

We went to church on a the island. It's the same church we went to two years ago when we were here so we knew what to expect. Besides the family that is with us now, we were the only white Americans there but it was a Chinese/English service so we were able to understand most of it. We had to leave early just into the sermon b/c Hope had reached her limit of sitting still. Actually, she had reached her limit before we even sat down but we bribed her with snacks and that bought us about 40 minutes worth of church. Sometimes you just do what you need to do. You know?

We met our guide at noon and went together with the other family to a shopping area in town. We stopped at McDonald's first and enjoyed it more than one really should ever enjoy any of their food. And we had a coke with ice. It's the small things that make us happy here. We walked around the shopping area and I restrained myself and bought just a few things. One thing I bought was a fancy umbrella. The women all carry umbrellas in China not to keep out of the rain but to keep out of the sun. While we aim for darker, suntanned skin, they all desire light skin and try to stay out of the sun as much as possible. The umbrellas they use are all fancy and sparkly and shimmery. So if you happen to see a tourquoise-ish umbrella blinding your eyes one rainy day, it will be mine. It is gawdy and lacey and sequined and I love it. And if I attract some odd stares from people it will bring me back to my days in China and I'll smile.

The shopping area we were in was crazy busy and pretty much put us all in sensory overload. I had a headache when we got "home." There was a whole street full of traditional Chinese medicine stores. There were stores and stores selling things like live scorpions to cook (apparently they are "good medicine" for some ailment I don't remember) and dried leaves and berries. It was like walking back into time a few hundred years. There was also a whole street full of stores selling animals and pet supplies. Hope loved seeing the dogs and cats and rabbits and chickens and fish and squirrels and turtles and birds.

We got back in time for Hope to take a nap and then went out for dinner to a very small local Chinese restaurant. It was on the fifth floor of a building and the only way up was to walk. Walking up five flights of stairs when it's 100 degress is not an easy walk. But it ended up being the best Chinese food ever. It may, just may tie with my dumpling restaurant as the best restaurant in the world. And it only cost us $10. We had a chicken and peanut dish, a fried noodles, potatoes, fried but not really fried, more like sauteed green beans, and rice. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I took pictures. And I will dream about dumplings and this meal for years to come.

Click here

and here to see photos from today

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