Matt went out bright and early today for the medical exam. He didn’t take any pictures since he was on his own, but he said everything went well for the exam. After he got back we had a few hours before I needed to go downstairs to fill out paperwork so we decided to go out to lunch. Matt was finally started to crave some American food, so he wanted to go across the street to eat at the Coffee Cafe, which the guide had suggested. I guess everyone else thought it sounded like a good idea because there were two other families with our group there. Our table had a combination of pancakes, sandwiches, and hamburgers and it was good, but we had some Western food sticker shock at the bill. One of the perks of liking Asian food is that it really saves you a lot of money when you’re traveling.
After we ate, we went back to the hotel so Leo could take a nap. He is still doing well, and turning into a very happy boy, just as the orphanage director said. He still prefers Matt to anyone else, but unless he’s very tired or something he will let me hold him in small amounts. He is a surprisingly picky eater for someone who loves to eat. Matt says he’s the equivalent to an American kid who only eats fries and chicken nuggets. He will eat congee, steamed buns, and watermelon for breakfast, but no other fruit. Oatmeal is the only American food we have tried him on that he will eat. He also loves rice. Matt was asking our guide for the correct way to order rice while we were in the van once and Leo perked right up at all the talk about “mi fan.” Although the orphanage personnel were quite adamant that he doesn’t take a bottle anymore, he has no idea how to drink from a cup, and he found drinking from a sippy cup (the kind without a valve because he can’t form a suction) frustrating. He is very comfortable drinking from a bottle though, so that is what we’re sticking with until we get back home.
I spent about an hour downstairs filling out paperwork for our consulate appointment. Once I got back then we decided to go walk around and find a place to eat. It is very warm and humid in Guangzhou. You see a lot of Spanish moss on trees, and palm trees as well. Again, we felt very safe walking around and had no problem finding lots of little shops and places to eat. We found one where they spoke no English but had a picture menu so we pointed at a few things and waited for the food. They first brought out three pots of what seemed to be duck broth. It was so delicious! Leo just ate and ate it, refusing even to take a bite of his beloved rice until Matt had the idea to pour some of the broth over the rice. Then the main dishes came out and we all shared them. They were all very tasty. We are teaching the children the cardinal rule of being a good traveler–if you like what you eat, then don’t ask what it is! And the total for tonight’s meal was $12 for the eight of us. I think we’ll stick with Asian food!
On the way back to the hotel, Matt stopped in a local bakery to buy some moon cakes for us to sample. The mid-autumn festival is approaching and moon cakes are a special food associated with the festival. In the airport we saw many people with gift bags of moon cakes with them. Our hotel has a large area near the door where people walk in off the street and buy moon cakes. I’ve walked by there four times, and each time it has been packed with people. They have a giant moon cake for sale in a shop off the lobby. We only bought three to sample because Chinese desserts aren’t usually what American’s consider good in a dessert. We really like sweet desserts. The moon cakes weren’t bad (unlike the green gelatinous bean curd covered with raw garlic sauce that we had at the orphanage) but we decided the next time we go by the bakery we’ll get a cake instead of the 12 pack of moon cakes.