10/12/09 – China Update – Shopping!

We are staying at the White Swan which is the kind of luxury resort hotel people stay at in the movie verisions of Danielle Steele novels. Goungzhou is a tropical city with palm trees and these wide trees with vines and something–moss?–hanging down from them. Absolutely beautiful! The hotel is on an island between the huge river and a canal. People come here to take wedding pictures, so there are brides in absolutely gorgeous dresses everywhere you look. And statues of people doing normal but interesting things, like children holding dragon masks or following a young woman with a violin. John saw a man with a camera stopping to take a picture of a statue of a man with a camera. (He wished he’d had our camera, so he, too, could have played. ;-)

We just came back from swimming at the White Swan’s pool, which Ping-Ping loved. I asked the other families who had done before us and no one had ever used the pool, so I left my suit home. So, today, instead of swimming in my nice, well-fitting suit, I had to buy an overpriced one that doesn’t really fit. But Ping looks lovely enough in hers to make up for any dismay on my part. They have two pools, a normal one and one with a waterfall and a fake rock grotto. Both overlook the huge river…really really lovely.

 Yesterday, we bought an entire shopping cart of treats for her friends at her primary school and high school (19 children) and today we went and delivered them. There were children everywhere, looking at us with great interest. Then, we took her three closest friends to MacDonalds and to a clothing mall for photos in a photo booth. All the girls went home with a handful of little pictures. It was just adorable.

We’ve been the parents of a teenager for less than a week now, and we’ve already been to the mall with her friends. ;-)

The mall was…weird. It was an underground area filled with little shop/booths that had nothing but girly stuff: clothes, bags, some jewelry, a little candy (such as lollypops of the popular Pleasant Goat, a sheep who fights a wolf in a cartoon.) There would be a shop/room of bras and undies, then one of bags, then shoes, then bras again, then shoes again. Kind of odd.

I’ve been impressed that almost everything Ping has wanted to buy has been for her friends. She is very outgoing and generous. Today we had the wonderful experience of getting to meet her "Auntie Mei", the house mother who has been like her mother. She told us a lot about Ping, how she has learned to be outgoing, is daring and a leader among her friends. We were just delighted.

DMcP postin for LJL(W) :)


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