Sep 19

A trip to the Market (2 kinds) and Mission accomplished.

Category: In China

Well, with not too much stuff on either day (3 and 4) I decided to roll two posts into one. Now I must tell you, today was a historic day for our family unit. I will get to the weird stuff in a minute, but first the pressing info. Today Kelly and I, along with our Madison, officially became a family unit in the eyes of Uncle Sammy. This afternoon (actually, yesterday pm, as I am writing this at 12:30 Thurs am) we took the Oath at the US Consulate here in Guangzhou. It was administered by the Chief for American Citizen Services and Adoptions, Kathryn Gelner at 4:25 pm local. In the eyes of both governments we are a family now, Madison will “officially” become a US citizen once we clear immigration in San Francisco on Friday morning, but she has her visa, we took the Oath, and have signed all the necessary forms. So, its done now, mission completed. Just over 26 months of paperwork and what seemed like endless waiting, comes to a conclusion in a few short sentences. Hard to believe, I chuckle at the thought even now. When it was over, most of us just sort of looked at each other with some very large grins, and a few high fives were exchanged as well. I must admit, as proud of Madison’s homeland as I am (enamored is more like it), I got a little worked up taking that oath, and realizing that our journey was finally coming to its conclusion. Kelly did also. It has at times been hard, and frustrating, but today it is finished. Thanks to all of you out there as well, who have helped us realize our dreams of a beautiful daughter. We are very lucky people. You’re all going to love this girl, she is really a gift. You’ll see.

So Thursday will be a day to tie up the loose ends, pack, and re-pack. Take in one last day/night of outstanding and exotic eats, and pick up any last minute things not already acquired. Most of our group leaves on Thursday, but a number of us do not go until early Friday morning, so maybe we will have some company for dinner. It was somewhat sad to see some of them on Wednesday night at dinner and later at the hotel. Many of us bonded quite well through this journey. First on the web, then in person. We have not only shared this experience as adult parents, but our daughters will forever have a link to one-another. I expect that this will definitely mean visitors to Denver, but also new places for us to take Madison as well.

O.K. so the markets……….what can I say? The Qing Ping free market is well known for its, how shall we say??, wealth of diversity. Never in my life have I seen so many different things in one setting. there are blocks after blocks of spice and dry goods vendors. Selling every conceivable thing I know, and many I do not. Do you remember those scenes in the “Indiana Jones” movies?? The ones where he’s being pursued through the middle-eastern bazaar?? Well, its like that. Between the smell of the spices, animals, and incense, the food being cooked, the sounds of the marketeers selling their goods, and of course the things one sees, well, its a feast for all your senses. You see the usual assortment of schlock, from which I am now confident, every “Chinatown” type store receives its inventory. But you also see such an array of foodstuffs, some prepared (dumplings, noodles, stews, whole fish cooked) and many dry goods that are not ( dried vegetables, fruits, spices, grains, rices). There are of course some things that are a little “off the beaten path”. The dried Scorpions, Seahorses, Flies, Beetles, and Centipedes are something not many of us were used to seeing. But either were the “live” tubs of Scorpions, Ants, spiders and Centipedes. Say nothing of the Bengal Tigers paws, obtained through poaching I am sure. The Chinese consider some of these items delicacies, and incorporate them into their meals, while others grind them up and use the powder to ward of evil spirits, and are used in medicinal practices. Crazy? Sure, but then again, I am sure they would look at parts of our diet and say the same.

We also took time on Tuesday to visit the wholesale Pearl and jewelry market. Now I will tell you that some deals were had, even by us. But Tom Shane I ain’t, so we will see how we did when we get home. We had help from our CCAI Guangzhou guides for this part. They took us to a number of stores that reportedly sell only higher quality goods, and whose reputation they can trust.

Photo’s from both of these places are now in the gallery, so go check ’em out, there is plenty to see. We were not allowed to take anything into the Consulate, the only exceptions being the babies and a clear plastic ziploc with a diaper change in it. Security, and all that it entails.

I gotta go now, need some sleep, will post once more tomorrow night (Thursday in US) before we begin the trip home (26.5 hrs).

We are a family, and its soooo sweet.

Kurt

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