Settling Into Guangzhou

It’s nice to be back in Guangzhou. We spent a week at the same hotel last trip, so everything here feels very familiar. This morning we went down to the breakfast buffet. No more crepes or pan au chocolat but otherwise this buffet has about four times as many choices as that of our Beijing hotel.

After breakfast Matt took August to the medical exam required for his visa. Vincent and I stayed at the hotel where he asked me 572 times if we could go swimming. Guangzhou may be semi-tropical but it’s about 50 degrees and rainy. I had told him that the pool wouuldn’t be open but he had immediately noticed that people were swimming in it. All day long there were a few people swimming laps, always Asian men. Sometimes their wives and children stood on the sidelines bundled in winter coats to watch them. Cast your bets now as to whether Vincent will wear Matt down by the end of the week. I mean, I’d certainly be happy to take him but August didn’t like swimming in Beijing so I feel it’s really best for him if I keep him company.

After nap time we headed out to find a place to eat. I had heard from other adoptive parents that there is a great noodle place a short walk from our hotel. It was surprising to us how much had changed from our trip two years ago. Many of the little local shops where now different little local shops. The noodle place turned out to be run by Chinese Muslims, presumably from Xinjiang because a few of the dishes said Xinjiang style. I find the Xinjiang province to be a fascinating place, so I was very excited by this. The food was excellent. My favorite was a roasted mutton noodle dish which was heavy on curry and allspice, so it had a very middle eastern flavor. Vincent liked his dish better than anything else he’s eaten in China so far. It was spaghetti noodles (all the noodles served were hand pulled) with beef and tomato paste. The flavor reminded me a lot of spaghetti-os.

When we finished eating we walked down the block a little further. We wanted to get a birthday cake for Vincent and August to share. We hadn’t seen any western style bakeries in Beijing but last time there were two on this block. We did find one and placed an order to pick up tomorrow. Then we headed back to the hotel where Vincent watched Frozen while August ran amok in the room. August found the travel yesterday very scary and upsetting. He seemed to really appreciate our low key day spent mostly at the hotel. I think we’re going to try to venture out more tomorrow. He should enjoy the cake at least!

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