Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Going Native Alone
My new guide, my agency's main guide returned from abroad and began his turn with us. I'm sorry to say that I found it disruptive to our flow. He's missed our beginning and seeing how assimilated we are. He wanted to take us around to do the tourist stuff and we are soooo past that. We are going and doing like the Chinese do, taking the subway by ourselves and following our noses.
We did agree to go to the 6 Banyan Pagoda, but it was awful. Being Christian, it doesn't matter to me that the pagoda in Nanchang was for tourists, it all looks the same to me, gold Budha's and incense, red wishes, cushions for kneeling, etc... I think it's all very beautiful, but today was a huge holiday, the memorial day for remembering the deceased family members and I honestly felt intrusive and irreverant and disrespectful taking pictures at a holy place while so many people were worshipping. The smell of incense was over powering and even my little daughter was covering her face from the smell of it and the smoke. She's a little apprehensive of the darker chapels and huge gold statues so we don't go in.
The guide said he I could leave her with him and I said that I would not because she doesn't know him. He actually said, "She knows me better than you because I called her orphanage many times to arrange the adoption." I asked if he ever spoke to her or saw her and he said no. I was very angry, but instead of getting steamed, I simply dismissed him in my mind, told him that we would not be going on to the park we'd planned to visit and asked to go back to the hotel. He said that he'd take us to the market to buy something I'd mentioned we needed, and I was willing to get it later on my own, but my travelling companion over road me a bit, and it was okay in the end, though I didn't appreciate it at the time. At the market, I managed very well, getting the stroller up the escalator, etc... myself and the guide said I was very strong, the strongest woman he ever met and that it must be why I don't have a husband because men don't like women that strong, that I must be softer. Ha! I can definitely understand his view, I encounter it often, but I'll be darned if I'll land myself with a man I had to pretend to be helpless for. I told him that if the man wasn't stronger than I am then he wasn't the right man for me.
So, after lunch, I headed out on my own with my daughter to the Walking Street. I found all the shops Ann took us to yesterday and decided to take the subway to IKEA and see how it is in China vs. the USA. However, when I got to the station, it turned out to be a huge underground mall where the Chinese shop so I skipped IKEA and toured the mall. I found two pairs of shoes for my daughter for a total of about $10 and some cheap toys, cotton pjs for about $8.50 with Mickey and Minnie mouse on the front, and a foldable scooter for about $13! Jei Jei was so thrilled with it that she cruised up and down the hotel hallway until exhausted.
I bathed her and she went right to bed.
I didn't take many photos today. We both needed a break from it.
My friend headed out on her own in the opposite direction and encountered what she called Inner China, the real China, with chickens running around and the cleaver and chopping block nearby, bags of frogs, etc...