We’ve been in China for a little over twenty-four hours now, and it’s been great! The jet-lag was pretty bad on the plane. I was expecting it, but not that bad, and (for some reason) not until we got home; but I perked up when we got to Xi’an… and could go to bed. I’m never sleepy when I’m supposed to be–like, never!
I had my first conundrum about food at lunch yesterday, when almost everything was SPICY, but we found some mild noodles and some pork that was only… flavorful. But breakfast is wonderful. They have Asianie things like noodles and rice and baked yams (for breakfast?), but they also have some more western things like fried eggs, pancakes, bacon, and french-toast. And they also have different flavors of juice–one of which was grapefruit which I had never seen before.
Our hotel is very nice, and it is a lot like American hotels. The view out of the window is just short of breathtaking! There’s a pond out there that the building is kind-of built around so it’s almost like a courtyard. In some places the water comes right up to the hotel-walls, and in some places there’s a little patio or strip of land in between. It is SO beautiful! With the goldfish clustering around in the water, the little trees and patches of green grass, the vines climbing up the yellow walls, the red roofs, the palm-trees, the little wooden porches and long wooden benches, the stepping-stones; with big Chinese buildings and a foggy Chinese sky rising behind it… can you tell I’m in raptures about this little spot? 🙂
Our guide is also very nice. She is organized and friendly and cheerful. She’s the only guide I’ve ever had, so I don’t have anything to compare her to; but I decided I liked her before I’d known her for an hour!
I stick out here like a banana in a smoke-house! People stare at us a lot. Sometimes people stare at you in America, but I think it’s worse here…. though I could, of course, just be making that up. We were standing by the fence around our hotel today, and people on the street outside kept looking at us as they walked by. “It’s like we’re in a zoo!” mom said! 🙂 Sometimes I just ignore people that stare at me, sometimes I smile (especially if they’re children), and sometimes I just stare back. I’m not sure how I should be responding!
WE’RE MEETING LUCY TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The two king-sized beds in our room are pretty close together; and I think it was a long time after we all woke up, but shortly after we turned on the light and all admitted that we were awake (which was a long time before we all got up), mom looked over at me and said, “It’s Lucy-day!” I just grinned, because it was too early to freak out–but I was freaking out inside! FREAKIN’ OUT!!!
I can’t believe it! I’m meeting my sister today! I’ve wondered about this for a long time. I wonder what she’ll be like. What she’ll think of me. But all my anxiety melts into absolute insignificance when I think about what she might be thinking! Does she know that she’s meeting her family today? I hope so. Is she happy? I hope so. Is she excited? I hope so. Is she scared? I hope not. Is she nervous? Probably. Is she curious? How could she not be?! I pray she is not scared or confused!
There is so much more I could tell you! This is in a nutshell.
And speaking of nuts, I got to try roasted chess-nuts yesterday for the first time! They were… interesting. They reminded me of potatoes, honestly. It was fun to get to try them, because now I know what they are. You hear about them a lot in English literature!
So far China has been great! Becca told me before we left: “I think you’ll like it (paraphrased) if you just think of it as an adventure.”
And that’s what I’m doing. I just keep telling myself: “It’s an adventure. Just have fun! Don’t lose your bag. DON’T DROP YOUR PASSPORT! Stay under your umbrella (it’s been COLD and WET here!) but don’t bump into anything with it (even though our guide already hit someone on the head with hers). Look both ways. See as much as you can without losing mom and dad.
“Live it up. Breathe it in–even the smog.
“It is beautiful.”
“Then let’s look on the bright side: we’re having an adventure…”
-The Princess Bride, by William Goldman, page 295