Tuesday, December 16


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First off, you know you’ve been on vacation long enough when you can’t even figure out what day of the week it is!!  Took me about 5 minutes, and a couple of looks at my Blackberry, to believe it was Tuesday.

We had a very relaxed day with many meals.  Sadly, as I reported yesterday, the economy in Jiujiang is very, very bad.  What this means for us is that it isn’t safe (for me especially to go outside alone, even in the daytime).  I was also warned not to wear my necklace and to hide my camera and Blackberry.  It’s really too bad, because on previous visits, I’ve really enjoyed the freedom of doing some seriously cheap shopping.  Not going to happen this visit for safety reasons.  It makes me sad, because we really enjoy seeing the older relatives that live in the town, but the visit is becoming more and more difficult.

Fortunately, we didn’t have breakfast plans, since both kids were l-a-z-y this morning, and neither of them was out of bed before 9:15am.  We did have plans to have lunch with Danny’s nephew and some family members, though, so we had to get going eventually.

The hotel has a bathtub, but no plug, so I had to figure a way to clean the kids.  I’ll let your imagination work on that for a while, but suffice it to say that it wasn’t fun.  Given that we can’t drink the water at all, and I’m cautious about getting it in their eyes and ears, it makes for a heck of a challenge.

Speaking of challenges…..fingers crossed for us/Emily.  She has an ear ache.  One that’s bad enough to be crying about it.  Of course, this couldn’t happen while we were in modern, medically adept Hong Kong, it has to happen when we’re in Jiujiang, where medicine is bought off a shelf, without any medical advice, and you take your chances as to the authenticity of what you buy while relying on self diagnosis.

So, I have diagnosed Emily with an ear infection, likely bacterial in nature, and have started her on Ofloxacin drops.  Before you start Googling it, it is actually the right medicine, assuming it’s real, and assuming I’ve diagnosed her correctly.  Started the drops this afternoon, so please keep your fingers crossed, because we don’t return to Hong Kong until Sunday late afternoon, and that will be our next opportunity for medical help if need be.

After lunch, Danny wanted to go to visit his father’s gravesite, along with that of his maternal grandparents and other relatives.  We convinced Emily and Stephanie to go along.  Danny’s nephew drove us to the cemetery, and you can see that the girls actually did a good job.  Some funny questions along the way, like Stephanie wanted to know, “If grandpa’s in the ground here, where’s his head?  Is it here? Or here?”   And then of course, they wanted to understand the pouring of wine, and the burning of incense sticks.  Didn’t know a cemetery could be entertaining, did you?

Danny’s nephew’s wife took us out for a bit of a scenic drive.  She was showing us some of Jiujiang’s wealthiest homes.  A 10,000 square foot mansion is apparently about $100,000 CDN so if you figure you could handle it, you could live like a king here!!

We had a good leisurely walk along the boardwalk and it was a gorgeous 24 degrees and sunny again, so it was a great way to spend some time.  The girls enjoyed running around and every time I yelled “stop!” they bent over and looked back at me through their legs!  It was really very funny!

We were hosting a dinner for about 20 people at night, so we had to head back to the hotel in time for that.  Lots of Danny’s relatives came to dinner and really seemed happy to be with us.  It was a good chance for them to see how big the girls are getting and we had some lovely food.  In fact, we had a ton of food, very good tasting, and the bill for all 20+ people came to 800Y or about $100 CDN.  Seriously!

Funny lunchtime sidebar:  Danny’s nephew was hosting lunch, so they’d done the ordering.  A plate of silk worm cocoons was brought to the table and they all offered them to Danny and I.  Danny ate them, but that is definitely where I draw the line—they looked exactly like what they are!  Worm cocoons.  Not going there!  Danny’s nephew says you can’t be from Jiujiang if you don’t eat silkworm cocoons.  Damn, and here I thought I was ready to be mistaken for a Jiujiang local!

All in all, we had a good day.  The weather continues to be fabulous for us and we’re getting lots of visiting and touring in.  The staring was more invasive this time around than prior visits.  I tried to describe to Danny that this visit it actually felt more like I was being leered at than stared at, so it wasn’t a very comfortable time for me.