Our 2nd day: Visiting the Park

posted Aug 17, 2010, 10:23 PM by Charles Boling   [ updated Aug 17, 2010, 10:45 PM ]

Tuesday 2010-08-17

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Jonathan surprised us by sleeping in until almost 8:00. Unfortunately we didn't sleep as well as he did. It will be so nice to get home to our own bed and room!

This morning we tried to talk to the kids at home, but the Internet connection wasn't very good so we are going to try again tomorrow. We had breakfast down in the cafe again - same strange food, except this time we had another mouth to feed. Jonathan wasn't all that thrilled about much of what was there. He really didn't eat all that much today – probably because of the big adjustment of being with us. After breakfast we went out with Helen for a walk. 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity was nasty, but we ended up being out in it for a couple of hours. We walked around the lake that gives our hotel it's name: “Lakeside Hotel”. Most of the area around the lake, and the islands in the lake are parks. Helen showed us the parks and flowers and monuments. It was all rather interesting and there were some really pretty things. We also found out about a new insect (new to us anyway). It sounds like a cricket, but is out during the day instead of evening. But it is REALLY loud - It makes a series of clicks and when you get a lot of them the volume almost hurts your hears. They are called “achoon” or something like that. They are about the size of large beetles (like roaches). We saw coconut trees and lots of Banyan trees and a funny “barkless” type of tree that the natives have nicknamed the naked tree.

On one of the islands we stopped for a couple of minutes at a little playground. It was reminiscent of playgrounds in American of 30 years ago. In many ways, we've seen that China is about a generation behind America. Jonathan LOVED the slide (and wasn't happy when we had to leave). He was very good at climbing ladders. He was very good in the park – he didn't run off or anything. By the time we got back we were SOOO soaked we looked like we had jumped in the lake instead of walking around it. Helen was very surprised because she was just lightly sweaty. It was quite obvious then, that our reluctance to being out in the heat wasn't just because we were “wimpy” but that our bodies physically couldn't handle the heat in the same way her's (and other natives) did.

After that we changed clothes, put Jonathan down for a nap (he fell asleep in Michele's arms on the way home) and washed clothes. Here in China they don't have laundromats. EVERYONE has a washing machine. They do have professional dry cleaners though – which get a lot of business by being located near hotels. It would have cost $1.50 (U.S.) just to have one shirt washed there (and taken 2 days to get it back). Helen took us to the store yesterday and we bought a bar of laundry soap (similar to the Fels Naptha back home) for 30 cents (U.S.). We have since handwashed all our laundry in the sink in the bathroom and hung it to dry in interesting places around the room.

While Jonathan slept Michele worked on writing captions for the pictures she had taken. After that, Charles worked on the website about Jonathan. During that time Jonathan woke up and so Michele and Jonathan went for a walk outside around the hotel building (easier said than done!). By the time they got back they were both soaked again. So Michele again changed her clothes and washed them. Helen was nice enough to bring us dinner from a local Chinese restaurant. Michele and Jonathan went out and investigated the pool. The hotel had a small children's wading pool in addition to a “normal” one. By evening time it was in the shade (and since it was still 80 degrees out it was quite pleasant). Jonathan really didn't like it though. He spent only a few minutes in it before handing Michele her shoes and trying to put them on her. No subtle hint there! He didn't want to go to bed later either – he climbed out of his crib whenever Michele put him in. But he was really tired by 7:30 and Michele rubbed his back like she does for Steven when he's troubled and it put Jonathan right to sleep.

Jonathan is starting to “attach” to Michele (and Charles somewhat). He cries whenever she goes in the bathroom and he isn't allowed in. He makes sure he can always see her. And he likes to sit on daddy's lap and push any computer buttons he can. He also likes being carried by daddy and holding his hand.