Ok so this will be a much longer post than yesterday, mostly b/c I am not sleep deprived and have found some much needed caffeine : ) So here are just some randomness that we have experienced, seen, or witnessed in the last 36 hours. Feel free to skip over parts. I am trying to document as much as I can so we can relay all this to Konnor when we talk about where he is from and review our adoption journey.
-The first 3 things our guide told us was: do not drink the water, only exchange money at the hotel or the Bank of China (apparently there are alot of counterfeits out right now), and be aware of your belongings b/c pickpocketing is an issue.
-We have ridden in a car, the bus and the subway and have not yet feared for our lives. Even crossing the street was not as bad as I thought it would be. As our guide Candy said, "Do not be scared to cross the street. They will not hit you b/c it is to expensive if they do." Good to know : ) I will tell you though that Washington DC subways have NOTHING on Beijing subways at rush hour! Good gravy they are busy. The subway system is like this whole other underground town. To say that you are packed in like sardines is totally an understatement.
-I am not a person who is claustrophobic, however, I do like my personal space. For anyone planning on traveling here that values personal space I would say this, "Get Over It!" Seriously there is no such thing as personal space here. Thankfully I was warned of this in advance so it wasn't a complete shock.
-We had also been warned that typically children here to not wear diapers. This is no joke! From what we have seen it seems like under 1 they have diapers, but once they start walking they have what basically looks like chaps. Their little booties hang out and they just "go" wherever and whenever the need strikes. It takes you a little aback the first time you see someone holding a child over the trash can (we were in the underground subway world) so the child can "do their business," or a toddler just stops in from of you and spreads his legs and starts peeing and when they hold a little girl up so she can pee on a tree in the middle of the square. At first you do a double take, but after a couple times of seeing it you just keep walking. I do try to make sure I avoid any puddles though b/c you just don't know if it is rain puddles or pee puddles!
-Travel tip: our guide was not joking about the pickpocketing. I highly suggest that you bring a small backpack and wear it on your front. We unfortunately only have big backpacks with us so it doesn't really wear on the front. Someone stole a bottle of water right out of the side of the bag while we were in subway land. The rest of the day we were very careful to keep an eye on the bag. We also are trying not to put anything in the bag that we can't live without.
-Lastly, apparently blonde is totally "in" over here. I was told that I would probably be a novelty b/c I am so fair skinned and have very blonde hair. Our guide was even asking if my hair was colored or natural. I had one lady stop me so that her husband could take a picture of us together and caught numerous other people snapping pictures of me. I am also pretty sure that at one point on the cram packed subway someone was petting my hair?!?
This concludes part 1 of Day 2. Just wanted to put some of our random stuff out there. I will blog about what we actually did today later. We bought some adapter thing at a Nikon store today so hopefully if we can figure out how to use it we will be able to upload pictures later.