December 18


Dec 4/5

Dec 6

Dec 7

Dec 8

Dec 9

Dec 10

Dec 11

Dec 12

Dec 13

Dec 14

Dec 15

Dec 16

Dec 17

Dec 18

Dec 19

Dec 20

Dec 21

Dec 22

Dec 23

Dec 24

Dec 25

Dec 26

Dec 27

Dec 28

Dec 29

Dec 30

Dec 31

So, what do you do in Zhanjiang, China, with no vehicle other than taxis?  You shop some more.  Actually, shopping is fun, because it’s so incredibly cheap, but we have to be careful because we’re on a domestic flight tomorrow back to Hong Kong and they are really strict about luggage weights.

Everybody here has been bugging me like crazy because the kids aren’t dressed warmly enough by local standards.  It’s been quite cool this few days (12-15) but with the dampness it does feel much colder.  (Not cold like you’re experiencing at home, mind you, so I already know I’m getting no sympathy).  So we decided to let the girls buy vests instead of continuing to hear “dong n dong eh?”....them asking if they’re cold.  Back to Walmart we go. 

We got the cute little pink vests (and cheap too!) and then Emily announced that she’d decided she did want the same boots as Stephanie, after all.  We weren’t sure the biggest size would fit her--and I’m still not sure they do--but she had to have them, so we bought them for her.  As you can see by all the smiles in the photos, they made her a very happy kid, so I guess it is ok, even if they do hurt and end up stunting the growth of her feet!!

We are hosting lunch today, with about 20 people, at the same restaurant as last night’s dinner.  We’re again hoping that Danny’s uncle can make it out, since this will likely be his mom’s last ever chance to see him. 

We arrived to the restaurant, and they told us that he was coming, and within minutes they brought the poor old soul in.  He looked about 20 years older than when we saw him just 12 months ago.  He could not recognize Danny, his mom or any of us, and in spite of everyone trying to tell him who we were, it wouldn’t get through. 

Danny’s cousin’s wife arrived with pretty hair clips and bows for the kids, and a comb, and she wanted to style their hair.  The side effect of the one child policy in China is that most families have only little boys, so they had a son, who has a son, and they have no little girls to spoil.  It’s so obvious that she would love to have girls to spoil.  She was beaming while styling my girls’ hair and they let her do it happily, so everyone was smiling.  Oh, and get this, she genuinely LOVED their boots.  Yes, they both wore their shiny, tacky, sequined boots to lunch. 

After lunch, you guessed it, we talked about dinner.  Here’s where the real fun began.  Danny’s cousin wanted to take me for “Western food.”  Oh crap, the one thing I really avoid in China is eating any kind of Western food.  Local food is so much safer not to mention cheaper.  In spite of our initial protests we agreed to be taken for a “Western dinner.” 

We did some more shopping in the afternoon, without really buying much, and our lunch had only barely started to digest when they arrived to take us to dinner.

We went to a steak restaurant.  For real.  Expensive steak, too, which they claimed was Angus steak from the US.  Ok, sure, if you say so.  Have a look at the photos of the menu and the description of the steaks.  Now, go change your undies, ‘cause I’m sure you were peeing your pants, too!!  I had to choose one of those for dinner.  Stop laughing now.  Please, that’s my dinner you’re laughing at.

We all picked something from the menu.  Stephy picked spaghetti and meat sauce, which turned out to be some pasta with a weird sauce and a plate full of what looked like meat stew or something??  She ate the bread and butter that came with it, and asked for more bread and butter, and that was mostly what she ate for dinner.   For Emily, I ordered beef ribs that actually did look like beef ribs.  She ate them, and multiple servings of bread and butter, and she was happy.

I ordered what I can only assume was a rib eye steak (though naked eye steak sounds more intriguing!!) but what arrived on my plate was anything but a rib eye.  It was a funny colour, weird texture, nasty taste, and a funny shape.  And I ate it.  All of it.  Because you don’t have a choice when people go to such trouble to do something nice for you.

We ordered beer to drink because we were afraid for our tummies and we got through it.  Dessert was some kind of strange, purple ice cream that I couldn’t identify the flavour of, but it must have tasted ok, because both kids ate it.

Back to the hotel, waiting to see if our tummies would revolt and called it a night.  Yikes, what a meal!!

Tomorrow is our last day, as we fly back to Hong Kong in the afternoon, YAY!!