Today we met our guide, Helen, in the lobby of our hotel at 10 a.m. to walk around the area.
With Chinese New Year getting closer, many people from all over the province come to the closest big city to shop.
We didn't see another "white" person the entire day, so you can imagine how much we stood out!
Some people would come up to us and just stare us down, quite likely we were the first white people they had ever seen face to face. It was pretty funny. When we would say hello, the ladies would just laugh and wave imitating our American, "Hi!" and giggle. One man kept shaking our hands and smiling from ear to ear.
There was an area where calligraphers were writing out Chinese blessings to be hung on the doorways the day before Chinese New Year. There was a massive line, but this man came up to our guide and the next thing we know, he's broken to the front of the line to have a special blessing written for us since we are "foreigners".
Here we are with the calligraphist who painted the Chinese characters. The tradition is to hang the short one above the door frame of your home and the other two on the sides. The top one says, "Happy New Year" and the two down the sides say something about a dragon flying down from the sky bringing blessings to your home. Of course, it could also very well say, "This is the home of stupid Americans."
This is us with the calligrapher along with the man who saved us from waiting a long time in line. Apparently he is a famous performer -- our guide was trying to convey what a big deal he is, but I think a lot of it was lost in translation. Evidently he performs as Mao Zedong at the civic center. He gave us his business card and wrote his email address down for us to send a copy of our picture with him.
We are still trying to acclimate to the time zone, which is 14 hours ahead of our central time zone.
I'm writing this at 5:01 a.m. at home, while it's 7:01 p.m. here.
We're about to order some room service and hopefully get a good night's rest.
Tomorrow is the BIG day.
We will be meeting our little Shisi around Noon in the lobby of our hotel!
I can hardly believe it.
Our next post should have pictures of her in our arms!
Oh my heart...