Saturday, September 6, 2008
Day #1 in China- done!
I wish there were words to describe this day. There are none to suffice.
I will say that I always thought I wasn't made for foreign travel... and now I am certain of it. Don't get me wrong. I am going to enjoy every second I am here..... but....
A couple of things... First of all, I don't think that I am sick from the food or anything else in China. I had one of the worst headaches known to man. Paul thought I was dehydrated (Who made him the doctor??) So, he made me drink a lot of water. The water was the only thing I threw up. Then, I get all worked up about not feeling well and being in CHINA and my stomach goes crazy. Hence, the vast amount of time in the bathroom- that's what happens when I get nervous. Sorry for the detail, but I wanted to be clear that it was my nerves and not food.
Next, he thinks we should go eat. Before I go into detail about the eating, why didn't anyone warn me about the smell in China?? And, what in the world is the smell?? It's everywhere! It makes my stomach do flips... and not the good kind of flips. So, we go to eat breakfast in the hotel. I could barely look at the food. I got 2 tiny pieces of french toast and some cereal. I took ZERO bites of anything! The thoughts of the unrecognizable foods combined with the smell... no way I could eat! We were to meet our guide at 10 am in the lobby so I ate 1/2 of a poptart that we brought.
Then we were off to the Forbidden City. It lies to the north of Tiananmen Square and rectangular in shape, Forbidden City is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. 74 hectares is about 1000 miles... at least that's what it felt like. It was interesting and very big!
After the Forbidden City, we went to heaven. Our guide took us to some massage place. It was beautiful. Paul and I were taken into this room with really comfortable chairs and a tv. We had our feet washed and massaged for the next 70 minutes. It was amazing! Then, we left that room and had our neck and back massaged for 30 minutes. Yes, that is 100 minutes of massaging. And, guess how much it cost?? For both of us??? $60 US dollars! And, worth every penny.
It was about 3 pm by then and we hadn't eaten so our guide took us to this restaurant next door to the massage place. I left heaven because that smell smacked me in the face the minute I walked in the door of that restaurant. As were walking to our table we passed lots of things floating in jars. In one of the jars, there were sea horses, lots of them. So, I asked our guide, whose name is Grace, "WHAT IS THAT??"
I gotta tell you, she may speak English, but I don't know what the heck she is saying half of the time. I did get that it is some sort of alcohol... for men. I didn't ask anymore questions. And, those of you who have been here, I know there are things that I am going to see that are far worse than this, but I couldn't even look at the menu. Salted duck liver, duck blood soup... I was done.!! Paul ordered some form of Kung pao chicken and Grace ordered tofu. I ate about 3 bites of rice and one bite of the chicken, while gagging!! I am not sure if I believe anything is really chicken.
After this, we went to an acrobat show. That was amazing! I LOVED IT! I didn't know people could do things like that with there bodies. It was really one of the best live performances I have ever seen. But, the smell, yep! It was there too!
We were dropped off at our hotel for the evening. We decided to play frogger down the road to find McDonalds. Someone once said that the traffic rules in China were at best suggestions. Truer words have never been spoken.
We made it to the Golden Arches. The smell had followed us down the street and it too stopped when we stopped. I choked down a cheeseburger. Besides all the reasons listed above as being reasons why I would have to choke something down, I had another reason. Last week when I mentioned to my brother that McDonalds was in China and that would probably be all I could eat... he told me that it was made out of rat meat.
There really are reasons for everything. Now I know why I gained 15 pounds waiting for this little girl! (I am hoping to leave everyone of those pounds here.)
Speaking of little Emme girl, I honestly keep forgetting why I am here. That's why they send us to Beijing first. They have to give us time to get used to the culture shock.
So, we are going to bed. It's 8pm and we are dead. I am typing to the sound of Paul sawing logs while I watch the paraolympics opening ceremony on tv. Yep, there are just down the road. Seems like I shouldn't be watching them on tv.
Tomorrow Emme will spend her last day without a family. We are headed to the Summer Palace and The Great Wall. I wonder if the smell will be there??
P.S. Please don't feel left out if you don't have a day to pray. My friends had a shower for me and everyone signed up for a day. If you don't have a specific day, that means you have to pray everyday. And, as you can see, I need it!