Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 1 in Nanchang: The Great Walmart Adventure

View from my room on the 11th floor.

My guide, Karen.

Here is the Walmart as the Chinese know it!

Okay, now every single blog tells about the traffic adventures and grave risk to one's life when getting into a taxi or trying to cross the road. I've lived in Asia and thought they were just not quite used to it and exagerated. I am here to emphatically tell you that everyone was being conservative in their descriptions. The way they drive here is UTTERLY INSANE!!!

The horns are used constantly, but no one swears. In fact, one driver whose car ended up within a hair's width of our taxi actually made kissy flirty lips at me. Imagine a video game where the objective is to move your car at breakneck speed through any and every tiny space that isn't really there between all the other cars, people, bicycles, scooters, tripeds, wagons, busses, etc... It's a game of chicken to see who will slam on their brakes to avoid vehicle contact. The people don't even flinch when the cars come within millimeters of them at high speed. These drives have reflexes to envy! Talk about eye-hand-foot coordination! It's like a great huge contest between everyone to see who can come the closest to wrecking without actually doing it.

I was laughing all the way, I tell you. I've missed Asia. I lived in Okinawa in the 1980s and China does feel a bit like home. I love the free-for-all here, every man for himself, get it or get out of the way mode. The smells are so dearly familiar and I've already snagged a pair of soft cotton jammies for Jei Jei.

Later today is the big day. The culmanation of 5 years effort. It's not even dawn yet, but I'm glad I'm up to begin getting things ready, first the blog, then the room, her backpack, my paperwork, then myself.

I thank you all for your prayers. I have felt them and the blessings they brought have sustained me. I cannot go back and think of those months at the end of 2010 when my precious child's file was out of my reach. I cry every time I remember how that felt.

I can read all of your comments and I met The Straights
right away. My room is directly across from the playroom and I heard them in there my very first day. They'd just arrived back from the Civil Affairs Office with their new little girl. She's doing as well as can be expected. I have a new appreciation for how hard it is for family and friends to follow the "parent's only" nurturing rule. I craved to reach out and reassuringly pat this dear little girl on her back, but did not, of course, even though it would have been a motion to emphasize that her new mama was wonderful and loved her.

Now about the Walmart. It's huge, it's body to body, it's wonderful, crazy and very, very affordable. I didn't plan on going to Walmart right away, but we needed provisions: food provisions and a little shelf to organize things on. I got bread, yogurt, fruit, Skippy peanut butter in little tiny squeeze packets, pork buns and more. I took the obligatory pictures of the live creatures. This is not the pet department, in case you didn't know, this is the food department. What you can't see in the pictures is that these creatures are alive and moving. I have to not think about it. I have a video to post when I return home.

The dawn is starting to break! The moon is up outside my window over the temple. Today is the day I become a family with my precious girl!


Anonymous said...

I love your updates!! It feels like I'm right there with you. Cant wait to see you and Jie Jie!

bella said...

K, I am So excited for you and Jie JIe, and the birth of your family. Praying that you both have endurance and understanding, and a bonding love. Your updates are wonderful and appreciated. Praying that all is going well,
Bella , MD

Anonymous said...

wow, looks amazing, Im so excited for you. Today is going to be unforgettable. Cant wait to see the first picture of you and your daughter. Thinking of you,

D and A and Jade