Saturday, April 21, 2012

Strolls and split pants

We set out Saturday morning for the park near our hotel. I must say, China this morning felt like home. We had our stroller, our ball, and the kids faces were filled with delight. We were early, but then again we are always early. Jet lag has us still getting up well before dawn.
The park is just down from our hotel. I had no idea how immense or beautiful. Saturday was our last official day in Zhengzhou and we wanted to breathe in more of this city. We were blessed yet again with glorious weather and a sunny day. Zhengzhou is a very industrial city and smog is an intense problem so sun and breeze are welcome!

We met several elderly people walking or doing Tai chi. For the most part we are greeted with smiles or the welcome conversation about the baby or "all" our children. We are an oddity here. We made it around to the waterway and watched the paddle boats, then walked upon a little fair of sorts. Beau and Lily got to ride a little ride and then we sat down to enjoy some Chinese children and bubble wands. We soon learned bubbles transcend all language.

We attracted a little brother and sister and got up close and personal with a little boy in split pants. This is a novel potty training device here in China. I am guessing it works very well and so very funny to see children stop, use their splits, potty and move on. I must say our little bubble buddy with the split pants drew some chuckles from my children, but it has to save a bundle in diapers.
We also found an open area where folks were doing Tai chi with fans. There was music playing in the background. It was beautiful to watch the folks rythmically snap the fans open and coordinate each move to the music. I am anxious to ask our coordinator today if the moves are tradition or made up to the music. It would seemed they had rehearsed for years. It was extraordinary. We could not have asked for a more magical morning. We treated the kids to our first Chinese McDonalds after the park. It was very much the same (other than McDonalds squatty potties). We ventured through some streets after lunch to observe the street vendors.

For the most part folks just set out on the sidewalk with their wares. We found live bunnies for sale, chicks and ducks. And yes, the Hill children campaigned to bring a few home.

We found an older woman displaying her hand knit booties. They really don’t fit Ava but were just so darn cute. We even found a book seller and found beautiful children’s books for 2.5 – 10 rmb, $.40 -$1.40. It is fascinating buying and bargaining with no common language. We felt so blessed to have this experience.

We have met a few scowls on our walks, perhaps preconceived notions of Americans, or adoptive families. But overwhelmingly, we have found the Chinese people extraordinarily kind, happy and friendly. They esteem their elders and give their elders the right and the duty to care for their children. The grandparents escort their grandchildren by the drove in the parks. These elders then dispense their wisdom to passerby’s of all cultures. I am confident we have gravely missed something in our country by not following suit.

We are packed and ready for Guangzhou. More from there!

1 comment:

  1. Great job capturing the atmosphere of Zhengzhou! We traveled in November of 2009 and everyone was friendly and helpful and generous. It is so heartwarming to read your appreciation of the culture rather than criticisms of things that seem different to us. Blessings to your family as you move to Guangzhou. It is lovely as well, but in a different way.