Walkabout │October 4th. By now, most of you know that we were at the hospital on Monday, with Claire and Hao, while they welcomed their first child into the world. The following day we wanted to take them some snacks and postpartum supplies, so we head back to the hospital. Elijah had fallen asleep in the taxi, on the way downtown, so we put him straight into his stroller for his nap. We were looking forward to seeing how he would react to Baby Autumn, but he didn’t make it there awake. As you know, this kid loves his naps! We spent some time with the Qui’s and then left them to rest while we wandered off for a little walk around the surrounding neighborhood.
Just before we left, Hao’s mother gave us a red bag filled with hard boiled eggs. This is a Chinese tradition that we have mention in previous blog posts. A Chinese family will hand out these hard boiled eggs, with a “Double Happiness” sticker on them, to all of their family members, friends, and co-workers. Whenever we got to work and found two of these eggs on our desks, we knew that one of the teachers had giving birth. It is a sweet tradition, and a nice way to share in the happiness with the new parents. Of course, it helps that I (Catherine, not Justin) love boiled eggs!
We assumed that we had never explored this area of Qingdao before, but within five minutes we realized THAT WE HAD! It is incredible just how small this city is becoming after these years spent here. We definitely haven’t explored every area, but suddenly they all seem a lot closer than they used to. We walked from the hospital to Marina City. Along the way we saw some regular China sights. For example, below, a sweet old man squeezing fresh orange and pomegranate juice.
It wouldn’t be a true walk in China if you didn’t see some “what the heck sights” too.
Above left, China has the dirtiest kids rides that we have ever seen. The small coin-operated machines outside of convenience stores look like they have been there since World war I. And then there are these furry covered ones that look more mangy than a stray dog.
Above top right, This guy is fixing something outside of a window. If you look closely, you will notice that he is held there by a old piece of rope, wrapped around the balcony rail and looped around his waist. There is another person holding the other end of this rope. This is a very common sight in China – there are barely any Health and Safety Regulations. When I lived in London, we weren’t allowed to open the windows on the third floor “due to health and safety regulations”, and now, I live in China… hahaha!
Above bottom right, This is a big no-no in many cities around the world, but here in China, hanging your laundry from your window is completely normal and acceptable. In fact, that is where the washing line is located in many of the older buildings. Yup, you just lean right out of the window to hang your washing!
We walked around Marina City and the surrounding area but due to the National Holiday, which is a seven day mini-break throughout China, there were just way too many people out and about! In China there are a lot of people on a normal day, so we have very little desire to be out on “busier than normal” days. We got some sushi take-out and a few drinks, and jumped in a taxi. The rest of the evening was spent watching movies and enjoying our take-out.