I hope you are all satisfied with the pictures of me (end of post). See what she does when I hold her. She pitches a fit! I hope you feel good about the pain and anguish you caused her so you could believe I was really in China. And, by the way, she doesn't hate getting her diaper changed, her clothes changed or getting a bath. She just hates it when I am the one doing those things. If Paul does it, she's fine. What is up with that??
So, today we went to Green Mountain Park. And, if I lived in Nanning, I'd build myself a hole in the side of the mountain in that beautiful park so I could get away from the 6.5 million people who live in this city. Before I go on, I absolutely love Chinese people! (Good thing...cuz one is my daughter, right?) They are kind and patient. When we walk into a restaurant, someone sweeps us off to the side (usually someone who speaks a bit of English). They give us a picture menu, take our order, allow us to pay apart from the others in line... even at McDonald's. I don't think we treat foreigners this way. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I really do love them. I am sure there is crime, but I feel really safe here too.
Anyway, back to living in Nanning. I am pretty sure that 3 million of those people live right around our hotel. There is a constant flow of bikes, motor scooters and cars. I have said it before and I will say it again and unless you see it for yourself, it's hard to believe, but traffic rules are just a suggestion. Please, let me give you an example. Today, when Cindy and our driver picked us up at our hotel, the area was engulfed in a sea of people. This in part is due to the fact that The Moon Festival is this weekend and apparently, the hot spot to buy these moon cakes is next to our hotel. So, we finally get out of the drive by our hotel that leads to the main road and there are cars and bikes everywhere. We are sitting in the middle of the road of oncoming traffic trying to get over to the three lanes that went North, the direction we needed to go. Our driver, John couldn't get to those lanes, so he just makes a new lane heading north which is in the direction of the oncoming traffic headed South. And, SOMEHOW, this is ok with everyone. No one honks. The cars coming South try to move over for him. Then, I guess John doesn't want to wait to turn left, so he turns right, going RIGHT IN FRONT of the other three lanes of traffic waiting to go North. Again, no one honks or anything. So, he goes down the road a bit, and decides to do a Uturn right in the middle of the road with traffic coming straight at us. Then there are 20 bikes/scooters trying to get across the road and John just goes at them like they are bowling pins. Somehow, by the grace of God almighty, people either veer or stop. And, this kind of behavior is going on all over this city. And, everyone just drives with a straight face acting like this is NORMAL! I guess to them it is. I have yet to see a car accident or any of the 5oo,ooo motor scooters get hit. This in and of itself should tell you how kind and patient the Chinese are. In our country, there would be road rage all over the place.
Whew... I am worn out!
So, we make it to this haven in Nanning where I only see like 100 people in this whole huge park. The first thing we do it feed these fish. If you ask me, by the size of these things, they don't need to be feed. But, what they do need is a one fish policy among this school of fish living in this lake.
Then we climb up the Great Wall of Nanning (it felt like it anyway!) to a 9 story pagoda. Once at the top, we are at the highest point in Nanning, so we can see the whole city. And, with all due respect and somberness, it is very easy to understand how so many people can die here in an earthquake. I have never seen a house in Nanning or Beijing. People live in massive high rises. Many of them should not be able to pass a building inspection let alone stand up through an earthquake. Very sad!
By the time we left the park, we were again covered in sweat. We came back ate a noodle lunch again and sat in this silly hotel room until 6. Emme took a long nap. I read and read. Paul did some work and then worked out.
I can't exercise here because the Fitness Center is behind our hotel in another building. It just looks shady to me. And, I think the pool outside the workout facility belongs to the hotel. But, every time I look down from my room I see lots of Chinese people doing the breast stroke. They all do the breast stroke. I haven't figured this exercise out for them yet. It's not like they are doing the Michael Phelps breast stroke. It is very leisurely. Then, the men, who have on these European bathing suits, hiked up to their chest, go into the workout room and workout in these same shorts with no shirts. It's just too much for me!
Dinner, again with our friends Vince, Mary and Malia: roasted crocodile steak, conger eel spaghetti, superior sharks fin with conpoy and crab cream, boiled fish lip with mustard and ginkgo, ox shin with edible fungus and satay, braised turtle with cereal in chicken sauce, stewed superior fish maw (what the heck?? Actually, I don't want to know) with french mushrooms, stewed turtle with mushrooms OR PIZZA HUT? HMMMMM we chose Pizza Hut. We got a little crazy and got some spicy chicken on our pizza. How about that for wild eating in China??
I'm going to wrap it all up with this final thought... I was looking at little Emme tonight and feeling sad for her thinking about all the time she must have gone hungry. When I thought, "Had she not had not gone through this horrible time, she would not be special needs. If she wasn't a special needs child, she would likely not be ours." What others meant for evil, GOD used for good. (See the story of Joseph in Genesis) And all God's people said..... AMEN!