Today was a very busy day. We took a nice walk before we left through a garden at the hotel.
A cross bearing the date of when the massacre took place:
This comes to a point to represent the end of all wars, there is grass growing to represent regrowth.
We had tour busses and one guy in our group, Wade, wasn’t on the bus. He was sitting in front of us. Barb and I told the tour guide that he wasn’t there, and offered to go look for him, but they said “No, that would be a waste of time.” So… we ended up leaving him. Once we got back to the hotel he came walking in (he took a cab) and said, “Hey. Thanks for telling them I wasn’t on the bus!” all sarcastic. Barb was like, “you’re welcome…” and I was wondering what was going on. Apparently, he thinks we didn’t tell them, and he ended up quitting and just leaving. I don’t think it was just because of that, everyone said he was complaining since we got here.
After the Nanjing Museum we went to the Brocade/Silk Museum. I didn’t understand almost anything our guide said because she was told to hurry and spoke way to fast. With her accent I couldn’t understand her or keep up. So I didn’t get a lot out of that one. Luckilly, when I got back to the bus one of the ladies who has been to China 10 times explained it a little more. It’s pretty cool and amazingly intricate.
Then we went to this famous guy’s weekend palace… (Zijin Shan Mountain? Shank hai Sheck?). It was pretty cool. The house was built around 70 years ago. I think it would have been cooler if all of the original furniture was in there, but most of it wasn’t.
Next, we went to an oyster farm. A lady demonstrated how they keep the oysters. She got one out, cut him open and got out 29 pearls! They had a pearl shop connected to the farm where you could get some freshwater pearls for pretty inexpensive. I didn’t get anything but a lot of other girls did. There was a really cool park, which from what I hear is pretty uncommon here. It was almost like a circus. There was a big bounce house, ride on toys, paint, and exercise equipment, just like in Union.
After the Oyster farm we went to the Confucius Temple. They only brought us to the outside and told us we had to pay if we wanted to go in because that wasn’t part of the tour (We were in a shopping district, so that is what he expected us to do). Our guide said it wasn’t really that cool; it was just a stage and a few pictures. But we decided to go in anyways ($5) and spent most of our hour he gave us in the temple (because it was cool!). We got these awesome pictures made. Some “famous” guy would write your name in Chinese and a poem about you. Then, there’s a picture of Confucius on the front. My poem says something about being “beautiful, well known (famous in the future), talented young woman,” and one other thing I can’t recall right now. I didn’t really believe it said that, so when Peggy (the first guide girl I told you about) came up to our room I asked her. She told me what it meant, and it was the same! Cool!
Next, we went to our “snack dinner,” 16 small servings of food. After that, I can officially say I don’t like Chinese food. If it wasn’t super bland, it was jalapeno hot. Or it tasted like play-doh, or nothing at all. There was a lot of Tofu, which is really gross, and a lot of soups and broths. There was also this weird looking black egg. I found out that they boiled it in tea (it wasn’t good, but a few people did like it). I politely tried everything! I even tried using chopsticks and spilled my soup all over. No, I wasn’t trying to eat soup with chopsticks; I was trying to eat the thing in the soup. I’m getting pretty good at chop-sticks. Rice is the hardest thing to eat, but I’ve been managing. Last night was the first place that didn’t give us forks.
Our Pretty Table
Egg boiled in tea with nuts Tasting. This was actually pretty good.
The bathroom situation is… hard to get used to. Yesterday, in Confucious Temple, I had to go to the bathroom. So I went in and there was a girl pooping with the door open! The other stall was full, so I had to stand there and wait. I looked away. I was embarrassed, but I don’t think she was. It smelled so bad in there that I just did my business and ran out. I fixed my skirt once I left. I have seen babies peeing in the street. Some other people said they saw grown men doing it, but I haven’t.
A nicer ladies toilet which you can actually flush with your foot: Bleh. Not so nice. And no... toilet paper...ever.
I have been wondering…
Many babies don’t wear diapers, even ones that are 6 months old. How on Earth do the mothers know when they’re going to go pee? Or poop? Their little butts are just resting on the mother’s arm. (I figured this out later...)
There was also a change of plans. The original plan was that Barb and I were going to teach 3 weeks. Then, Barb’s 3rd week was cancelled, so she was going to come stay with me the third week. Charles and Gloria came to tell us that my program might be cancelled altogether and they wouldn’t know until tomorrow. If that was the case we had 2 options. We could take the $150 Barb was supposed to be paid and leave. Or we could stay at the hotel for free the third week. I looked at changing our plane tickets and it was nearly $300 per ticket, so I suppose we will have to vacation our third week if this is the case.
I met Brittany. She is the girl I will be with if we teach the children. She didn’t know any more than I did. She’s from Missouri; I think she said she was from the southwest part (Neosho). She is going to stay a year. I took a picture with her at the hotel in Nanjing in case we didn't see each other again...