Welcome to southern China. Our flight was delayed this morning because a group of domestic tourists were angry that their flight was cancelled so they protested by forming a blockade to the buses that were supposed to transport passengers to the plane. The most interesting thing about the tourist protest was that they ordered food from a cart and were sitting down and enjoying a meal while they held the buses hostage. Only in China.
We finally flew out of Xi’an 40 minutes late. We arrived in Nanning – the capital city of Guangxi province and met our guide, Cindy, before loading on a bus for the four-hour drive to Guiping. The bus lost tread on a tire about an hour into the trip, so we spent another half hour waiting at a truck stop for the tire to be repaired. We did buy some local snacks in the truck stop. Not exactly Love’s, but interesting.
Guiping has very little hint of Western culture. We feel as though we are tucked into China and experiencing the real thing. We shopped at a local supermarket this evening and stocked up on items for Alison’s orphanage, which we’ll visit tomorrow. We bought diapers, play-dough (this was a new concept for our guide), soccer balls, clothing, legos, and some super-sized matchbox cars. The orphanage director will come pick us up at 9:45 in the morning, and we will visit the Guiping Social Welfare Institute, Alison’s finding location, and then have lunch with the director and other “notables” from the orphanage. It’s a very formal lunch and protocol is important, so we’ll all be on our best behavior.
I wanted to post a photo of Alison eating pig’s feet, but for some reason uploading photos on the blog seems to be almost impossible from China. Maybe better luck tomorrow night. Actually, she only nibbled an edge of a pig’s foot, but she posed well for the camera. The pig’s feet were delicious (really!), and our traditional Chinese meal in Guiping also included cooked pumpkin stalks, a corn drink, egg dumplings, rice, noodles, chicken, beef, and peanuts! We’ve decided we do love the local food.
We’re all looking forward to visiting the orphanage and seeing more of the city tomorrow. Here’s some perspective: Guiping is a very small “village” in China – only 500,000 people!
So…goodnight from the village of Guiping.