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I have a beautiful granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome. She has enough challenges to face in her life and I want to make sure that finding appropriately fitting clothes will not be one of them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

China 2011 Day 6

May 14, 2011

I really need some American food!!!!  I’m not sure I can take one more plate of fried rice.  So I wake up early as usual and get myself ready for the day.  Today, Jacky is going to take us to his new office facility.  Not sure what time though and Yuan won’t be here for hours.  So I decide to venture out on my own…not real comfortable with this idea, but my need for something else to eat over rules my better judgment.
One problem I have here is the glares and stares and I get from EVERYONE when I walk down the street.  I don’t think there are too many blondes in China because of the way people look at me; it makes me feel like I have a big boil on my nose!  I’m not Asian which makes me unique to the area, but I think the blonde, curly hair must be the main cause for staring.  I’m actually getting a little upset with the glares because I start to give back dirty looks.  Not real smart on my part as I’m a little outnumbered. 

I know right where the McDonald’s is, it’s about 10 blocks away.  So I venture out for a tantalizing Egg McMuffin and glass of orange juice.  My mouth is starting to water as I think about the taste of something from Home.  As I get about half way there, I’m almost regretting my decision to make this walk on my own.  Even though it’s fairly early, the stores are beginning to open and people are everywhere.   I try walking faster so I can get inside and out of eyeball range. 
At last, I reach McDonalds and get inside as fast as I can.  Once I’m inside, it looks like every other McDonalds and the menu looks the same accept for one small thing…it’s all in Chinese.  The woman behind the counter hands me a picture page and has me point to my selection.   I’ve got plenty of Chinese money, so I get my tray, pay the bill and head for a seat way in the corner out of the way.  Ahhhhh, it tastes so good!  I can’t believe something so bad for me could taste this good.  At home, I would never stop at a McDonalds but today, it’s a piece of heaven! 

I sit for a while and enjoy my breakfast; I savor every bite.  When I’m finished, I’m already dreading the walk back.  But on the way back I duck into the little shops along the way and look through the tiny stores.  The clothes are too small, so clothes shopping is not an option; but I settle on a new pair of tennis shoes.  In Chinese money they cost about 250 RMB’s but in American money, it’s only around $35.00 or $40.00.  Not bad I think and I quickly head back to my hotel room. 
Back safe and sound in my room, I wait for Yuan to arrive.  He shows up about 11:00 AM and we chat for a while.  He’s such a dear friend, I really enjoy our conversations.  I’ve learned so much about China and their culture that I feel differently about this country now.  We hear and read things about their government, but actually being there and seeing for myself how they live their lives sheds a different light on how I think now. 

We waited for a few hours, but no sign of Jacky.  It’s about 1:00 PM and getting close to lunch; Yuan suggests we grab a bite to eat.  So, it’s back to the streets and the stares and the fried rice.  We finish our lunch at a local restaurant not far from the hotel and then go for a walk around the denim fabric market.  The streets all look alike in this section of town; denim shops everywhere.
Yuan explains that there are thousands of these shops here in Xintang, the jeans capital of the world.  I can’t imagine how so many denim shops all can stay in business but if you think about how many people there are in China alone, 1.3 billion, and they almost all wear jeans.  Then they also make jeans for the entire world here as well.  So I guess there is enough business for all of them to go around.

Jacky finally calls and tells us he can’t make it today and he will see us tomorrow.  So now what will we do; we decide to head for the local mall.  It’s quite a walk but finally we get to there.  This mall has about seven floors, so we spend quite a while walking around.  The top floor is a food market and Yuan wants to buy some fruit.  I don’t recognize anything too familiar in the fruit department.  There are some really strange looking fruits here.  But he carefully selects some funny looking items and he can’t wait for me to try them.  In the stores here, you aren’t allowed to walk around with packages so they have drop-off locations to check your packages.  It’s really a nice service because you don’t have to shop while carrying so many packages.  So after a long day, we head back to hotel.  We drop off the fruit in my room and guess what, its dinner time. 
Back out into the streets we go to find to another restaurant for dinner; oh nummy, another fine meal.  I’m really tired by this time so we go back to the hotel.  But, Yuan has been in touch with the factory and some of my samples are finished.  They have some questions about the waistband, so he suggests that we go there and talk with the sample maker.  It’s a hot night and I really just wanted to get into my jammies and relax, but I didn’t come here to relax.  So, we grab a taxi and go back to the factory.  After meeting with the sample maker we discuss the issues with the waistband.  Why are these jeans so difficult?  So many problems we have with them. 

It’s so hot, and I just want to go back to my room now.  Yuan calls for a taxi and I say goodnight; at least the taxi has air conditioning.   I’m really looking forward to a hot shower and a good night’s sleep. 

It doesn’t take long to fall asleep, but about 2:30 AM, my Skype rings in.  It’s a call from home; it’s my husband!  What, how can this be him; he can’t even turn on the computer?  But he's been out to lunch with his friend and his friend shows him how to use Skype (there's no way he could have done this on his own).  It was really nice to talk to him and check on my cat, too.  They are both doing fine and have become good friends by this time.  I’m starting to get a little homesick now and I think I’m ready to head for home soon.  I go back to bed, but sleep is now not so good.

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