Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sweating and Shopping

August 19 10:03 PM China Time

The title of this post pretty much describes what we’ve been doing for the past few days. I really quite enjoy Guangzhou. I love the association of so many people with big hearts here to adopt kids. I love the shopping. I love the fact that I really don’t have anything to do while I’m here other than wait for Xander’s visa to be processed. We just hang out at the hotel, shop, swim, enjoy each other’s company, shop, eat, wander around the streets and shop. There are so many little shops around this area. They sell some really cool stuff. One of my favorite parts is bargaining. For example, today I was looking at some North Face knock-off hiking backpacks. Real ones would probably go for $150 in the states. The lady started at $55.00 for a big one and $28.00 for a small one. I ended up getting two big ones and two small ones for a total of $92.00 :) I’m pretty good at it. Two years in Thailand and an ornery streak give me the background and the personality to get some pretty deep discounts.

We also sweat a lot here. It was 97 degrees here today and about 75% humidity. I tend to take a couple of showers a day. At least there’s great air conditioning in the hotel. You have to feel bad for the shopkeepers here. None of them own the shops they’re working in, and the owners will only let the employees turn on the air conditioning when there’s a customer in the shop. So I guess I can look at it like this. The longer I stand there trying to get my cost down, the longer the employee gets to enjoy the cool air. I never realized what a nice guy I was!

Hope you like the pics. Xander Commander is a nickname that one of the other dads in our travel group has given the X-man, and I kind of like it:) The red couch pictures are a tradition for adoptive families here. It is in the White Swan hotel-the place that most adoptive families stay while in Guangzhou. (We’re on the cheap side of the tracks over at the Victory, but honestly, we’re so glad we chose this hotel. We got two rooms together, which we couldn’t have afforded at the White Swan, and it makes evenings quite relaxing.) Xander with the swords is in front of one of the shops I referred to. You can see some of their various and sundry items in the background. Jesi LOVES to pose for the camera (or just for you, if you’re willing to pay attention:) and Christi loves to take pictures of her kids. So we’ve included just a small portion of the pics she took.

Last night we took a cruise on the Pearl River. It included dinner and some entertainment. The entertainment was a clown who juggled and spun things on her hand. Not terribly exciting, but Graci did get called up from the audience. The clown held Graci’s finger up and spun a soccer ball on it. Graci was nervous, but excited to be part of the show.

All in all, things are going GREAT. We are still so in love with Xander. There continue to be opportunities for learning and some boundary issues, but we really can’t believe how much he is fitting in to our family. He seems extremely happy to have a mom and dad. He loves to play. He’s absolutely adorable. We’ll be home on Saturday-call us and you can come meet him:)

I’ll leave you with this romantic note. Christi and I are going to watch an episode of I Love Lucy as soon as I’m done with this post. She ran down to 7-11 to buy us each a candy bar for the show. She got a Snickers for her and a Dove bar for me. She just opened her Snickers and leaned over and offered me the first bite. She said, “That’s so I can have a bite of yours…not because I love you.” Hey, I’m still the luckiest man alive!