Saturday, December 09, 2006
Let's rewind a bit
Now that you've had a few photos of the Tingster to tide you over, I'd really like to go back and try to put some things in perspective. Don' t worry, we'll post more photos of her cuteness shortly.
We left Beijing last Sunday for Changsha, which is the capital of Hunan province (Lance thoughtfully provided a photo of THIS plane as well). While Beijing is a huge city preparing to welcome the world for the 2008 Olympics, Changsha is more rural, and more typical of most of China. Even so, it's a city of 15 million people, which still blows me away.
When we were overhead, the area around Changsha reminded me a bit of Nashville -- green and hilly. We boarded a big bus and drove through a rural area into the city, and the land flattened out a bit and got a bit less green. We were all fascinated by the scenery, though -- rice growing beside the road, men working in the fields with oxen, people carrying things in buckets on either end of a pole across their shoulders.
Then a few minutes later you'd drive past the BMW dealership.
We saw very little English on the billboards -- unlike Beijing -- and we were an unusual sight, even without our babies. When we'd pull up next to another bus, the people inside would stare at us. We were all a bit quiet on the ride in as we soaked it all in.
Beijing was full of cars -- our standing joke every time we got on the bus was that it must be rush hour. But in Changsha, we saw lots and lots of bicycles. We saw motorcycles. We saw . . . well, I'm not sure what some of them were. People used all means of transportation there.
And they hauled all kinds of things.
Sometimes we'd wave at people looking at us, and sometimes they would wave back, as this little boy did.
As we got closer to the central part of Changsha, things got livelier, and traffic increased. Bicycles, pedestrians, buses, taxis, private cars and people hauling lots of things all fought for the right of way.
Finally we arrived at the Dolton Hotel, our beautiful residence for the next several days. We were greeted by a doorman that other adoptive parents had told me about. He always had a smile on his face and a cheery "hulloh" for us.
He helped me off the bus.
Lance and I had a spacious room, all equipped for a baby. When I walked in and saw the crib, it really hit me that this was going to happen -- and soon! The hotel also provided a little baby bathtub and a "Hello Kitty" bowl and spoon. And the mini-bar also had juice and a jar of baby food.
We were on the 31st floor, so we had a beautiful view of the city.
And it was even better at night.