Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yangshou (Young-show)

Again, are reasons for coming to Yangshou was because the boat ride was supposed to end here. It is a tourist town....only about 60,000 people live here....small in the way of Chinese cities. The biggest draw here is the bike-riding in the country, the night life and the shopping. Well, we couldn't ride bikes in the country because of the girls. We aren't much into night-life activities. As for shopping? Typically we are not shoppers, but we managed to buy a few things. I first have to share information about our hotel. We were told that the New Century Hotel was a four-star hotel. Yes, it is one of the better hotels in Yangshou, but....oh, oh....first impression was not good! I'd give it a two or three-star. Somehow the condoms on the bedside table was part of the not-so-good first impression. They are 10 yuan each, about $1.50 USD!!!! Oh, and next to that was a big sign on why condoms should be used! The girls room smelled pretty bad so I went through a bottle of "Febreeze To Go" on the curtains and the chairs. The housekeeper came up to help and insisted that leaving the windows open would help. I opened them while we were out to air out the room, but open windows on the sixth floor doesn't set well with me so they are now closed. Plus, a sign in the room says to keep the windows closed and locked so people won't come in!

Western Street in Yangshou is closed to cars and motor bikes. I would say it is similar to Gatlinburg, minus the Putt Putt Golf and Go Karts! Of course, you have to bargain with the shop owners as they always ask an extremely high price. Our guide will whisper in my ear how much is reasonable and then I tell Tom. When the shop owner refuses to bring the price down, we say "Tie gwala." That means "too high." We walk away and then they come after us and say, "ok, ok." The girls got a couple of fans and a new purse with some "happy goat" on it. The Happy Goat is a cartoon they have been watching...they love it. Ty bought a t-shirt. Dane bought a musical flute of sorts. It is actually some type of vegetable. Tom was able to play it rather quickly and several stopped to watch him play "Amazing Grace." Too funny! I also bout a few "love balls." Love balls are these silk balls with embroidery on them. The Zhuang people of Ghangxi used to use these silk balls for courting. The girls would make their own silk balls and form a line. The boys would line up in front of them. The girls would sing out a question one at at time and then toss their silk ball to a particular boy. He would catch the ball and then sing back his answer. At the end of the game the girl would decide who she wanted to court and toss it to the boy of her choosing. If he caught it, he was interested. If he let it drop to the ground, he wasn't interested. This was a custom from a long time ago. Since then, the silk balls are now given from one person to another to show their genuine love and/or appreciation to longer used for courting.

We are now back at our luxurious hotel! I've also attached the "Tan Leather Couch Photo of Yangshou."

Tomorrow morning we head back to Guilin where we will catch a bus to Nanning. I'm looking forward to Nanning and staying at the Majestic Hotel. This is where we stayed when we travelled to adopt Sarah. These next few days will be mostly about Sarah. We will visit Qinzhou City (Cheen-joe) where Sarah was found on a bridge. We'll visit the bridge where she was found by a police officer. I am hoping to also make contact with the officer while we are there. We'll stop at the first orphanage, but Sarah was not there very long and they do not allow visitors. Since Sarah was found to have a congenital heart defect, she was moved to A Mother's Love Orphanage in Nanning and immediately placed in a foster home. We will get a few pictures of the first orphanage...Qinzhou City Social Welfare Institute. While in Nanning we will also visit A Mother's Love. AML is actually an orphanage affiliated with the Catholic church out of Hong Kong. We will also spend some time with Sarah's foster family in Nanning. They did a great job caring for Sarah for the 22 months she lived in China prior to the adoption. It will be good to spend time with them.

We are enjoying the comments and the emails. Thank you! TJ, the girls saw the moon early this evening and Lily said, "I am thinking of TJ." TJ, the girls love you so much! You have a special connection with them because the three of you have all been adopted. I know that you and Lily especially have a special bond. I thank God for that! You know there is nothing that brings a smile to her face more than being scooped up by her TJ! Thank you for being so special to both of them!

Good night from Yangshou!


  1. Hello Alexanders! Had lots of technology problems down here in Hocking Co (imagine that) so I'm just getting caught up on all your posts.

    Cracking up on your Yangshou experience. Glad to see this city has not lost it's charm--Can't say I didn't warn you, ha!! We're laughing with you not at you :oD

    Loving all the pics. Making me homesick for China. I never grow tired of the Guilin mountains.

    Sounds like you're having a great trip. Praying for the entire family and especially the girls as you bein to process the adoption side of the trip with them.

    Keep up the couch photos--love them! Sure beats wrestling a dozen crying babies for a photo on a red couch.

    Vic and Jim Bennett

  2. I agree with the Bennett's...I'm homesick for China such a good way!!! Getting some good ideas for our return China trip someday. Kathy, you'll have to set up our China trip but minus the condom hotel! haha!!
    Praying as Sarah sees her foster family and to prepare Lily for Yangjiang!

  3. Why doesn't the hotel you described really surprise me? :(

    I just wanta say whoever planned your journey is doing a fabulous job!!! I'm not even with you guys, but, it sure looks like you are have an amazing time:) guys just don't even look like tourists, really, you all look so comfy in your photo's......can't wait to see where we're:) going next!!! I'm so thrilled you guys are experiencing this you have to pinch yourselves every now and then? :)