The Group at Hutong Home

26 06 2008

The Group at Hutong Home

Originally uploaded by cathyse97.

Yesterday morning we met our guide, Jerry, for the Hutong Tour, at 8:30 in the Hotel Lobby. Jerry works for “Delight Travel”, a travel agency that Great Wall China Adoption utilizes for their adoption groups. We also met two more GWCA couples also adopting on this trip, ones I’ve been in touch with through the yahoo group. (plug: for anyone adopting from anywhere, get on a yahoo group.. if it doesn’t exist, create it!) We met a third couple the night before. Today we’ll meet even more.

We got on a bus, with Jerry and some driver, and began riding through Beijing, passing bicycles upon bicycles, people out walking, busy streets, lots of businesses… busy Beijing. The most alarming thing to me about Beijing: the pollution! Unbelievable. Yesterday afternoon Jim and I saw the sun trying to shine through, but it was having a hard time through all the haze. Quite amazing. I’d heard about it, but seeing it? Wow… Apparently Beijing is going to limit auto traffic beginning July 20th (according to Jerry) before the Olympics… even numbered cars get to drive on even-numbered days; odd-numbered cars on odd-numbered days.

The rickshaw ride took us through the Hutong district of Beijing. The Hutong area of Beijing is like “Old Beijing”. Hutongs are old alleyways and courtyard homes, which used to be all over Beijing. Similar to a labyrinth, or paths connected to one another, the Hutongs form a quieter, somewhat-peaceful neighborhood to wander through. But wander with a guide, or a rickshaw.. I doubt I could have found my way out otherwise!

We visited one man and his home.. his hutong. I can’t remember his name, but he was fun and funny. He served us tea, Hutong Grace translated his conversation about the Hutongs, and life there, and his daughter, who was at school. This man also works at the airport, fixing airplanes. We asked if he would be going to the Olympics, and he said not, it was more important for him to make sure the airplanes all work, and that he hoped to see some Olympics on TV.

More later.. Check out more photos at my flickr site. You can link to it from the bar of 4 photos to the right of this blog.


26 06 2008

The Rickshaw Ride

Originally uploaded by cathyse97.

We are here! In Beijing, China…

I have spent about 2 hours today trying to blog, trying to create new blogs, etc. nothing’s working. This is my second-to-last resort. My last resort is to contact JoAnn or Sue to post for us.

Anyhow… aside from blogging woes, China is so fun! We’re exhausted, we’re thrilled, we’re travel-weary, we love it, we wish our hotel room AC was working a little better, we wish we didn’t have to tip so many people so frequently, (more about that later, probably), we can’t wait to meet Kajsa on Sunday.. we can’t believe we’re here in China!

Pretty fun.
For the past year or two, I’ve been part of a yahoo group that consists of other adoptive parents from our adoption agency. Parents with the same LID (Log In Date) as us, and thus, traveling at the same time. So far we’ve met three other families. Fun. In many respects I feel as though I know them already.

The night before we left, I never slept. I wasn’t ready, believe it or not. Jim only slept for 30-45 minutes. Poor Sandie was the one who came to pick us up and take us to the airport at the horrible hour of 3:30-4:00 a.m… Craziness. I haven’t pulled an all-nighter in about 10 years, I think!

ok, there’s thunder and lightning outside our hotel. I’m going to log off and hopefully post later.