Panda World

posted Aug 19, 2010, 6:18 AM by Charles Boling

Thursday 2010-08-19

This morning Jonathan woke up early – about 5:30 and it took Michele some time to quite him back down. He slept fitfully for another hour but then settled down and let his parents get some more sleep, until he got up at 7:30. We took a short stroll outside and then went to breakfast in the cafe again.

For our morning adventure, Helen came over and we took a taxi around the lake to a place called “Panda World”. They have seven Pandas there, including one that travels all over the world doing performances (she's 30 years old which is really old for a panda – they usually live in captivity to about 20). We saw red panda's too that look like red raccoons – we even saw a “show” where they did tricks with their trainers. We then walked from there back to the lake, through parks (with rides like the fair) and back around where we walked last night. All in all it was a couple of miles. The weather was a bit more bearable today – probably in the high 80's. It rained more last night and kept it a little cooler. The humidity was REALLY high though. Michele ended up carrying Jonathan most of the way – by the time we were nearing the end he was sound asleep in her arms.

After washing out our clothes when we got back, we sat down with Helen and went over the next set of paperwork for Jonathan's passport. After she left we talked with each set of our parents (both IM'ing and talking on the phone).

Michele was thrilled yesterday – Jonathan gave his first hug and kiss. She was bent over playing with him and he put his chubby little arms around her, squeezed and kissed the top of her head. She grinned, hugged and kissed him back and he did it again.

Interesting cultural difference here when it comes to potty training. Children are in diapers as infants, but once they are up and walking, the diapers are removed (except for sleeping) and they wear pants with the crotch missing. Then they just “go” where ever they happen to be. Carpet isn't common at all here – most floors are tile or wood. The parent just mops it up and gradually helps the child to figure out to do it in the toilet. Even when they go out in public, the child wears “open crotched” pants (or a dress with no underpants for a girl). If they are out at the park, they just squat and “go” like a dog. We assume if it's a poo, then the parent does something to clean it up. Its not unusual to be out and see a little boy squatting and watering the flowers :-).

Jonathan ended up taking a long nap today – between getting to bed a little late last night and getting up early this morning, he slept 3 ½ hours! Michele napped a bit during that time and Charles even got a little sleep off and on. It was nice just relaxing though, after the craziness of the last few days.

After nap time Michele took Jonathan for another “get your energy out” stroll, while Charles figured out what to do for dinner. We had originally planned on eating at the cafe downstairs for dinner tonight. But then we saw the prices! Ugh. It was equivalent to about $27 US dollars each! Ouch. Considering one of our previous dinners this week was only $1.50 each. (We eat breakfast at the cafe each morning because it's included in the price of our hotel – which Charles corrected me on, including breakfast it's about $75 a night – not bad!). So for dinner, we ended up taking a walk into town. Walking into town is a bit difficult with a rather stubborn little boy. He would only let Michele carry him and half the time he wanted to walk – the other direction. We finally found a restaurant that was the “cheap Chinese” version of McDonalds. It only cost us a total of about $5.50 US dollars to eat there – not too bad and the food, was well, “interesting” (Charles had sandwich that was pretty good). Then we came home, bathed Jonathan and “forced” him to go to bed. He wasn't cooperating much in that department – but he finally settled down :-).