Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rollin' on the Pearl River

Yeah, I know, I'm a day behind. I'm really, really sorry. The days are all starting to run together and seem the same. Get up, eat breakfast, go to Starbucks, shop, eat lunch, more shopping, dinner, watch our favorite Chinese soap opera and go to bed.

But yet they aren't all the same. Different things do happen. Like on Wednesday. (I confess that sometimes I have trouble remembering what day it is especially when I also try to compare it to what day it is in the US)

The first different thing that we did on Wednesday was go the the White Swan Clinic. All the kids have had minor colds but yesterday Emma woke up with a green crusty eye and it was all red and swollen. So off to the clinic we went where we were greeted by an very kind elderly Chinese doctor who thought Emma was adorable and strong (Strong must be the Chinese word for "fat." We hear it over and over again.) My own diagnosis was correct: pink eye. He gave me one set of bacterial eye drops, one set of viral eyedrops, one tube of eye ointment for bed time and one prescription for Zithromax.

My grand total for a doctor's visit and all this medication? About $28 -- US dollars! Incredible. The prescription for the Zithromax alone would have been more than that back home!

I would love to insert some photos here of the small clinic room, the very cute elderly doctor, the ancient looking prescription counter but I don't have any. I really thought the doctor would have thought I lost my mind if I had snapped away so I refrained. Use your imagination. ;>)

That afternoon I made sure to get naps for the children because we had an evening out planned. We were going on a dinner cruise!

The mother river of Guangdong province is the Pearl River. It runs through Guangzhou and in fact creates Shamian Island, the island we are staying on. This is the river that the cruise was on. We met our group at the White Swan and took a bus to the wharf.

Here is Julia holding Ryan as we are waiting for the bus.

I have Emma in the wrap because we had to walk the 2+ blocks to the White Swan. Ryan walked willingly and sometimes didn't even want to hold my hand! Yeah!

Jenna is wearing her Chinese silk dress. She loves this dress so I thought "Why not?" when she asked to wear it.

We rode the bus for about 20 minutes and we were there.

The wharf is to the left. We were warned about beggars and people selling things or trying to steal your stuff, like pickpocketing, but there really wasn't that many people there doing anything like that.

We entered the doors and were ushered into a room.

This sign was for us! We were taken to the VIP room.

A nice, air conditioned room with comfortable chairs. Ok, if we HAVE to go in here...

Ryan just hanging out. If you compare this photo to one taken a week or so ago you see a totally different face. He's so much more relaxed, not always, but most of the time.

We didn't wait long and then we could board the boat. Yes, that glass building in the background is actually the boat!

We were then ushered up the stairs into ANOTHER VIP room. I was really feeling special!

Here is the buffet table before most of the people had arrived.

And this is after. I sent Julia and Jenna to get their food while I waited with Emma and Ryan.

The buffet was mostly Chinese food. I really like a lot of Chinese food, the real Chinese food, but I confess that there are some things I just can't eat. There was one plate that looked like it had eel or snake pieces. EEHHHH!!! But I did find enough to make me happy. But there was one thing I got that I wasn't sure what it was. They were little green balls.

I asked the girls if they thought I should try it. Julia said yes, Jenna wasn't so sure. Emma just wanted her to eat her noodles.

Notice the chopstick skills!!!

I'm eating it... Jenna's on the edge of her seat. Emma just wants her noodles.

And it was ok. I have no idea what it was. I didn't eat another though.

Ryan had a plate, really, its there to the right, but for some reason he's eating rice off the table.

Emma with her noodles.

So after dinner you make your way to the top of the boat where you can see the city lights as you cruise. I found this somewhat disappointing because we had done this when we adopted Jenna and it wasn't as good this time. For one thing, there were chairs on top last time so you could sit to watch. The other thing is that apparently there was some show up on top that we missed during dinner and the stage and backdrop were still there so we couldn't see the front of the boat. And finally, last time it seemed like 4 years ago there were more buildings with bright, colorful lights.

But it wasn't a total loss.

Another river boat also cruising. It was very colorfully lit.

Some of the buildings. These pictures didn't turn out that well because you can't turn the flash off on my little camera.

Here is a bridge. It was fun to go under them because they were pretty close to you when we went under. We couldn't touch them but it felt like you could.

The cruise lasted about an hour and a half and then it was over. Back to the Victory- maybe we could catch the end of our soap opera!!!

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