The morning started with J. waking me up to tell me he had been sick most of the night. He is feeling better now, though tired from lack of sleep and feeling a bit weak from the ordeal. We are thinking food poisoning. Not fun, but hopefully he will be better after a good night's sleep. To let him rest, I took TM, A., and H. to the clinic because H. was due to have her TB test checked. I didn't think it looked like a positive reaction, but because it was red from the injection, I stuck the chest x-ray fee in my bag just in case. I was relieved (and a little surprised given our treatment the other day) to have H. be given a clean bill of health. All the children who had TB tests had negative reactions so the trip was blessedly quick. H. was not happy about going back into the clinic and fell asleep in the room after we returned.
On top of the stress of the clinic, I think it is just exhausting being with us all the time. It's a completely different language, we go a lot of places, we do a lot of walking, and each day is filled with new experiences. No wonder she's tired. To let her rest, we left A. in the room with TM and H. while J. and I ran (well, walked) down the street to the 7-Eleven. We picked up some bread and peanut butter, plus some steamed buns and noodles.
We needed everyone to be well rested because we had an appointment to meet a guide to take us shopping this afternoon. On the basis of a recommendation from friends, we had arranged with Ann from Red Thread China to take us to the various markets. Ann couldn't have been sweeter. She was so patient with H. and did a lot of translating for us. She also took the time to really talk with her and asking H.'s opinion about things. I think H. really enjoyed having someone she could talk to. I was a little worried that it would be hard for her to say good-bye to Ann once the shopping was done, but Ann is very experienced with adoption and did a great job of affirming our place as H.'s parents. One great bonus of the afternoon was that Ann was able to really explain how escalators work and H. now has no difficulty getting on and off them now.
Not only is Ann really nice, she is a power shopper. We were all over and moved very quickly from place to place. We probably covered the same distance as yesterday, but in a fraction of the time. Our first stop was the pearl market. It was amazing. I've never seen so many pearls all in one place. I got some good deals for the friends who had sent orders with me and bought a couple of things that I needed. I was sorely tempted by the lavender pearls, but I don't wear a lot of lavender so restrained myself.
The next stop was a handcraft stall where I picked up some other goodies, and it was fascinating walking through the jade markets to get there. It would be very, very easy to spend far more money than one wanted. It was also helpful to have Ann along since she negotiated the prices for us. That wasn't something we felt quite up to.
A subway ride came next so we could go buy some traditional clothes for H. Up until this point, H. wasn't terribly enthusiastic about our little shopping venture, but then we rode the subway. Suddenly, life looked a lot better and H. told Ann that she liked riding the subway a lot. I have to say we were pretty impressed with it. It was clean, really inexpensive, very comfortable temperature-wise. It also looked as though it would be really easy to navigate... if you could read Chinese characters. There wasn't a lot of English. I also want to say how polite we have found the Chinese people to be. On every train we were on, someone would invariably give up their seat so that at least H. and sometimes more of us could sit. I can't say that I see things like that all too often on Chicago's public transportation.
When we were done, Ann was going to find a taxi for us, but H. expressed her desire to ride the subway one more time so Ann rode with us to our stop. On the way to the subway we passed a stall selling nuts and Ann told us that H. told her that she really, really would like some sunflower seeds. We went back and bought them plus some pistachios and H. was a happy girl hold her bag of nuts on the way back to the hotel.
It was a productive afternoon, both in terms of purchasing things we wanted to get and learning a little more about our daughter. If you're even in Guangzhou, I highly recommend using Ann's services. Our little shopping trip was perhaps a bit too much for J. too soon, so instead of going out we're ordering in Papa John's. A. and TM are pretty excited about the prospect of pizza. I have no idea what H. will think of it.