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Monday, November 19, 2012

The People's Park

We were making progress.  But it was time to get out of the hotel.  Mimi was still scared of so much, but it was becoming apparent that staying in the hotel room was actually making things worse.  There were no distractions in the room.  So we tried plan B.  I strapped Mimi in the Ergo, and and we decided to get out of the hotel.  Our whole travel group was headed to explore more of Nanchang, Jiangxi, and visit The People's Park.
I stroked Mimi's temples, she looked around, and we felt each other's heart beats.
And we walked
and walked
and walked.
Of course there was a lot of dancing going on.  Oh my, these women are so serious about the dancing!  And I can not tell you how much I love to see these women practicing their art.  It is gorgeous to watch and each women, whether she's just learning or showing the others, holds such strength and grace.  They were one of my favorite parts of visiting China's parks.  
By this part of our China trip, my father had joined us.  He traveled by himself, for 3 calendar day, to meet us in Jiangxi.  The final leg of his travel was from the Nanchang airport to our hotel via city bus.  Yep, I said bus.  He adores the adventure.  And I adore him for being there with us.  
And while the women dance, the men play games.  Some version of Chinese chess.  Games were scattered all over the park.  
Here's Livy admiring the koi.  And the locals admiring Livy.  They were so colorful and definitely worth admiring.  Both the koi and Livy that is!
Tess saw this photo and said it is Mulan's house!  I'm not sure what it was... except gorgeous   I love the dichotomy of the old style building with the modern high rise in the background.  
How about a game of mahjong?  Each park we went to had large banquet-type rooms where folks played mahjong.  Sometimes the rooms were packs with folks, men and women, playing the game.  The rooms were pretty quiet except for the tiles clinking, and most of the players were seniors.  Notice the arm warmers on the participants, at least that's what I think they are.  I've been looking for someone to teach me mahjong for a few years now.  
This park also had a children's section complete with amusement park rides.  Not sure I would trust the safety standards, but many of the locals were enjoying them!  Below is one of the many children's attractions.  There was a large pool of water filled with goldfish.  The children tried to fish out a goldfish and then got to keep it.  This little guy was so adorable!
There was time to take a little break, sit back, and watch China.
Mimi stayed all bundled up in the Ergo.  My coat was big enough to be wrap around her and the Ergo and zipped up. 
This might be a good time to tell you about the local Is-Your-Child-Warm-Enough Granny Police.  
The senior women in China take the responsibility to make sure that us foreigners are properly taking care of our new Chinese children.  This includes the warmth of the children and if they are properly dressed. And by properly, I mean Chinese properly.  In cooler weather, (not cold by any means) one might think that would mean a light jacket, long sleeves, pants and perhaps a hat.  And one would be wrong.  Very wrong!  In cooler temperatures children in China are expected to dress with multiple layers until they look like little Michelin men and can't actually move.  I'm sure they are sweating beneath all this clothing.  
The Granny Police have no problem invading your personal space to see if your child meets their standards.  I doubt the Granny Police have ever even heard of personal space.  
On our visit to this park, the grannys were out in force.  Both my dear friend Carry and I had our new daughters in our Ergos.  We were approached multiple times by the Granny Police.  They would pry their hands into our Ergos and peer inside to see what our children were wearing.  No introduction.  No getting to know you.  Just some getting felt up and a quick judgement.  And judge they did!  Papa and I had experience with the Granny Police in VietNam and came well prepared.  So I often received many thumbs up from the grannys.  But poor Carry didn't fare so well.   Her daughter wanted nothing to do with her hat, and she was pretty comfortable.  Where as Mimi and I were sweating bullets   Poor Carry was admonished many times over.  There was a lot of finger wagging going on in her direction.  Meanwhile there were a lot rashes in unmentionable places being created for Mimi and me.  
Patch had fun playing in the bamboo.  I think boys can find fun anywhere.  
The last photo is our travel group minus one dad and a couple cute-as-can-be new big brothers. All welcoming 3 new little girls into their new families.  

8 comments:

  1. Yeah...the Asian granny police are a formidable group. They take taking care of the young ones seriously. They believe it is their responsibility to make sure the young mothers are caring for their young properly...no matter who they are...believe me you weren't being singled out. I'm sure if you were Chinese, you would have received even more unsolicited...but well meaning advice!!

    I love these posts. I feel like I'm visiting China too!

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  2. We, too, get scolded by the Granny police. Our kids are 11, 9, and 7 and we often get stopped and asked if they are warm enough. People reach out and feel their hands and cheeks. I finally learned a phrase that helps, 我们不怕冷。 meaning: "We don't fear the cold." Mind you, it doesn't take it all away, it just helps.

    And just as a fyi, the arm coverings are not necessarily arm warmers. While that is a side benefit, for the most part it is to keep their jackets (that most people wear all the time inside and outside) from getting too dirty. Much easier to wash these than the whole jacket!

    Sarah

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    1. I wondered about the arm coverings. Thank you for sharing! Pretty ingenious if you ask me!
      thank you for dropping by, Sarah!
      nancy

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  3. When we were out sight seeing in February, my little one waited quietly in the Ergo, all properly bundled up, until a granny approached-- at which point she would whip off her hat and giggle. Of course that led to finger wagging at me. And when the novelty of that wore off? She started wiggling out of her coat, too. Little One thought this was The. Best. Game. Ever. The up side of a guide who didn't feel like translating was that we have no idea just how badly the grannys were cursing us and our poor parenting skills.

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  4. When we were out sight seeing in February, my little one waited quietly in the Ergo, all properly bundled up, until a granny approached-- at which point she would whip off her hat and giggle. Of course that led to finger wagging at me. And when the novelty of that wore off? She started wiggling out of her coat, too. Little One thought this was The. Best. Game. Ever. The up side of a guide who didn't feel like translating was that we have no idea just how badly the grannys were cursing us and our poor parenting skills.

    (Having connection issues-- if this posts multiple times, I apologize!)

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  5. I love China - absolutly LOVE the country - and can't wait to go back. Perhaps I'm a lot like your Dad that way. But one of the things I love is the total 'honesty' of the people, they are extremely 'real'. Different standards and behaviors - but no shame in them. We traveled on one trip with a pretty blonde daughter as well - and had a lot of folks just staring - we met the Granny Squads a lot too - but we also had things like elderly strangers just grabbing one end of an overloaded stroller (being used as a 'shopping cart' to carry it down a bazillion steps just to help and American stranger and his wife managing 3 kids as well as the results of a supply run. No words spoken - just walked up and grabbed one end and started for the steps - and at the bottom disappeared into the never ending crowd.

    And that's something you just don't see here in the US today...

    thanks for the reminder!

    hugs - aus and co.

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  6. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your adoption journals.. I read about Tess and Jude and I am absolutely loving your journals about Mimi.. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ren! I can't wait to publish it for our girl someday!

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