Thursday, September 8, 2016

Xinjiang Grand Bazaar, passport and general craziness

Today (Thursday) our guide took us to the Xinjiang Grand Bazaar.  It's a huge shopping area with many, many vendors selling crafts, jewelry, rugs, silks, hats, instruments, decor, dries fruit, many things! I think there were 5 buildings and an outdoor market too. It is very Muslim there, with many more Muslim people than chinese, which  reminds us how close to the Middle East we are. Its only about 10 minutes from our hotel but has a totally different feel to it. It is very beautiful and a really neat cultural experience. We bought a little drum and a small, guitar-like instrument, called a rawap, which is local to this province, along with a couple other things. It was very crowded (per the norm here) and once again we were so thankful for our guide.

Then she took us to a local restaurant there and we had a local rice pilaf and lamb shish kabob and black, so good. I am still shocked by how much Zhao Yu eats. He loves all the local food here and isn't picky at all.

To get there we had to take two taxis...Jeremy and Ben in one and Wendy, Joey and I in another. It was the first time we split up in public and it was so nerve wracking! We don't have an international plan on our phones, so if we got lost it would not be good. Thankfully we met them pretty close to where she told the driver to drop them off. On the way back, she put the 4 of us in taxi and sent us to the hotel without her- our only time in public without her!   That ride took 10years off my life!! Being without her and being in a taxi with a stranger who literally plowed his way through traffic...and no seat belts...ahhhhh!! I had my arms in front of the boys and Ben told me I was hurting him I was pushing so hard! It was a wild ride for sure.

We realized we were only gone 2 hours but it felt like the whole day! Sensory overload for us here for sure. It's unbelievably loud, crowded, strong smells,etc. I'm so glad we're experiencing it but boy will I be glad to be home.

Joey is becoming quite difficult in public. He is very defiant and refuses to stay with us, walk, get in a car, get out of a car,etc. Basically he does the opposite of what we say. He even sits down in the middle of the sidewalk and just gives us a smug look.  That's especially stressful because of safety...he cannot get out of the car in the middle of the street! He can't walk off without us in public! It's a strong reminder to us that he is not really that attached to us and has no healthy fear for his own safety and welfare.   It's scary and stressful. He's 40 pounds and he can't bend his knees much and he just goes limp and refuses to move. So it's difficult to just pick him up.  Not to mention he doesn't understand what we're saying! We keep him in the back carrier as much as we can in public.  Needless to say, we're happiest here in our quiet hotels room where we can lock him in. :). Pray for us at the airport tomorrow!!

In other news, we got Joey's passport today, whoo-hoooo!!! We are good to head to Guangzhou tomorrow, I cannot tell you how excited I am to head to our last city.  Tomorrow will be a travel day, as our flight leaves mid afternoon and is 5 hours.

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