Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Chillin' in China

After nearly a week on the train, our plan for today was nada. We wanted to let everyone sleep in, run around outside, chat with family in Texas, and just chill. And, that's just what we did. We chose this particular apartment on Air BnB because of it's proximity to a wonderful park, with walking trails, playgrounds, sport courts, and open grassy areas. The boys had a ball playing there most of the afternoon, and they even met some friends. I never ceased to be amazed at how well kids can get on at the playground with other kids they can barely communicate with. Hide-and-seek is universal. I think one of the great benefits of traveling is seeing that kids (and all other humans) are essentially the same the world over and are therefore easier to get along with than our close-mindedness and ignorance sometimes deceive us into believing.

One thing we didn't plan on was finding a Chinese market set up across the street this morning. That was an added bonus. We had so much fun looking at all of the beautiful, interesting, and, frankly, odd things in each of the booths, and we bought most of our groceries for the week, which included baby bok choy, cilantro, garlic, red peppers, corn on the cob, onions, bean sprouts, broccoli, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, quail eggs, duck eggs, chicken eggs, pork, rice, homemade noodles, grilled chicken skewers, fried chicken legs, and a variety of savory Chinese flatbreads. We passed on the hog's head, the live chickens, and the dental services. It was a great day and a perfect way to recover from our long train ride.

The Chinese Market

The vendor at the market cut the skin and off our pineapple and
removed the eyes, leaving us with just edible fruit that looked like art.

Lunch from the market: a sesame cake, a spinach/dill cake,
grilled chicken on a skewer, and Chinese flatbread.

Clay was so proud of himself for helping to shuck the corn.

Clay says he "runs like fire" when he pushes the merry-go-round.

Our boys made fast friends with a group of Chinese boys,
and it was so fun to watch them all play together,
just as if there were no language barrier whatsoever.
(To be fair, the boys spoke a little English, and Weston was able to use some of his Chinese.)

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