Thursday, July 09, 2009

A forest full of stones?

We had been looking forward to our visit to Stone Forest and we were not disappointed. P had looked it up Online and thought it was a good idea to tag along. The tour guide was very good as was his English. There we were in a remote part of China, able to communicate only due to our tour guide's knowledge of our language. We grow up with such a sense of entitlement, and experiences like this are humbling. We expect everyone to cater to us, no matter where we are, and we can be really childish about that expectation. For P and I, it was embarrassing, because we felt that we owed SS and the Chinese people the courtesy of having a rudimentary knowledge of their language.

The place was very crowded but my phobia of crowds did not kick in. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was focused on SS. The tour was really long, and our guide (not the tour guide) neglected to accommodate lunch in the schedule. For us adults not a problem, and the babies had formula and baby food. But not everyone brought theirs from the bus. Also, we had three little girls who were hungry and overwhelmed*. But, we were not done, we had a scheduled stop at the jade market. We would have gladly skip the jewelery shopping, but it was scheduled, and non negotiable. Dude, it's China, we could get jade anywhere. The needs of the little ones were not exactly at the top.

We had some time to hit the food stands before departing, because one of the couples just disappeared. Our guide was not amused, as they were the only ones with a China (those cards from W@lly M@rt) cell phone, but did not answer their phone. The rest of us wondered long enough to get something to drink, but did not want to delay the group, so we all skipped eating. Our guide bought some fruit and corn on the cob for those who wanted them. He offered a banana to SS, one of the biggest bananas we have ever seen. SS chomped on it and would not stop, much to the surprise of the adults. The guide dubbed her Banana Baby. SS still loves bananas, "nanas."

During that very uncomfortable drive and all others, we fared better than most. The closeness to me in the Ergo (I don't think P ever held her on the bus) seemed to make her feel safe. SS also did not have the ability to squirm on our laps, or play the I want Mama, no wait, I now want Baba game. We were very lucky, she never cried during the bus rides . That was the first time that our travel mates began to question if SS was capable of doing anything. They were concerned that she was unable to vocalize or move on her own. Nope, to this day, SS has very well honed front stage/back stage boundaries. Our first night with SS, we were concerned about her lack of vocalization and we thought she could not sit on her own. It was all part of her "PSYCH!, Welcome to parenting a toddler" gift to us. SS still loves to mess with our rapidly declining minds.

Of the hundreds of pictures we took in China, we chose a SF picture for our header.

Stone Forest post, and the dinner that led to our first Public Service Announcement.

Our baby girl was having a hard time getting her legs to support her.

Baba is there merely for continuity, SS did not want his help, and let him (and everyone there) know. It took quite a few shots to allow him to hold her hands.

Our Kunming travel group. While we were posing, there was a huge crowd taking pictures and filming us. There was no getting away, and we were sitting ducks, facing them. They freaked out the little girls. I can't fathom how people who deal with such attention in their daily lives cope.

Of course P took this picture (and the one below).


I really need an exorcism, some evil spirit has taken over my mind and body. SS had bows on her hair twice (gasp!) today. Really, what's up with that? Must rid self of the ES before I start projectile vomiting, and my head spins 360 degrees. Wait, that sounds like a lot of fun.

SS earlier today:

Today, a 6.0 earthquake struck SS's province, Yunnan. Truly heartbreaking news, as thousands have lost their homes and hundreds are injured. As we safely tucked in our sleeping SS, our prayers were with them.

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