Friday, March 29, 2013

2 Museums

When Babes was off for the Chinese New Year, we took the opportunity to visit some of the museums Wuhan has to offer.  The first, The Wuhan Art Museum, is actually a very nice art museum, empty, but nice.  I've seen two exhibits there and I thought both of them were very well done.  But the museum itself is very very empty.  I think it has the capacity to hold 4 or 5 exhibits, but only has 2. 

The science and technology museum, on the other hand, was nice at some point.  Babes had a good time, but I thought the place was starting to look a little dingy.  Most of the exhibits looked frayed or dingy, and about half of them were out of order or not really working.  But, I thought it could have been a very nice Children's museum with just a little bit of work.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why China is so fascinating

Yep, there was a camel in front of the park the other day.  I think they were offering camel rides (or sits, as I don't think the camel actually went anywhere).  I suppose it's not THAT crazy, except that it wasn't part of a fair, or anything, just a camel. 

Where has the week gone?

So I've been meaning to get these pics up for a week now, but somehow the time has just flown by.
Last week we went to the opening of the Wuhan Zall's Soccer season (Zall is the name of Wuhan's team).  It's actually pretty interesting how similar going to a sporting event in China is to going to a US sporting event.  There were people in team colors, wearing wigs, and jerseys.  There was the section of die hard fans for both teams.  The stadium was very similar, except that it was really big for a soccer stadium.  They even did the wave!  Unfortunately, the Zalls lost, but we'll get 'em next time! Anyway, here are some shots of the game (I took them with my phone so.....)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

6 years

Has it been 6 years already?  Yes, I actually know it has been.  The time goes by so fast, but then that is a lie.  The minutes, the hours that I've had with you, my darling daughter, have ticked by in my heart.  I count every heart beat, yours and mine.  I know what they mean, each second, each heart beat- it's here now, but in a moment it will be a memory, and then it's gone.  When I look back in my heart to that first year the minutes still seem to last an eternity.  I learned so much, that first year, and little did I know, but you would not change nearly as much as I have.  I mean, yes, you are bigger, you are stronger, you are more capable.  You've gone from a tiny creature that could not eat by herself, to a kid who can get herself together in the mornings with such little help from me.  But so many things that I learned about you in that first year still hold true.  You love snuggles, you are serious about eating, you don't liked to be constrained, you WILL figure this out, and you're so happy most of the time.  I, however, am nothing like the girl I was before you came to me.  I have become a snuggler, I am more serious about all things, I think less about myself but always about you, I no longer want a career or even a job other than to watch you grow, I cry more, I can't read suspenseful novels or watch movies where kids are in danger, and I love pink and frills and flowers just because you love them.
I have loved watching you grow.  It is a hard thing, being a mom, I know that you have to do all these things.  That I must give you space in order for you to grow, but I want nothing more than to hold you all the tighter as you move away from me.  I'm sorry if you think I never let you do things, but I want to spare you all the mistakes that I made, even though I know that those mistakes, those tears, paved the way for me to become who I am. 
Know that I am here for you, little one, know that I love you, and that we'll continue to grow together.  I look forward to not only who you are going to become, but to who you are going to make me into.  Happy 6th birthday, Babes, may you have 200 more! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

International Women's day (March 8)

Interestingly enough, the US does not celebrate International Women's Day, but in China, all the ladies get half a day off.  There are also usually special activities for women, sales, and discounts to encourage the ladies to shop and have fun (I guess?).  Anyway, this year for International Women's day I, and a busload of foreigners, took advantage of the opportunity to visit East Lake and view the plum blossoms that were blooming.

 It was a free event, so of course there was press.  For every picture that I took, I think there were five other pictures taken. 

Then we went to Moshan, which was also quite pretty, but only for a group photo.

 But I snuck in and had my picture taken by myself before everyone arrived. 
  And of course, there was lunch.  There was way more food but I got busy eating and forgot to take anymore pictures. 
They then went to an embroidery workshop, but I had to go home to pick up Babes from the bus stop.  The subways were a mess! It took me two hours to get home in a subway car where I was packed in like sardines in a can. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lantern Festival--village shrines

Another cool thing about being invited to the village celebration was being part of the celebrations and seeing things up close.  We were treated as participants and encouraged to participate--especially Babes.  (and yes, those are sparklers lit in the house)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lantern Festival --the fireworks

A large part of the Chinese New Year celebrations include the use of fireworks and loud noises to ward off evil spirits.  As far as I can tell people will set off fireworks from the day before Chinese New Year (sometimes even earlier) until the Lantern Festival.  The village celebration was no different.  As we wandered from place to place following the dragon and lion dancers they would set off fireworks in each location.  Sometimes the fireworks were so close we'd have firework debris raining down on our heads.  (My American sense of safety was severely threatened by this) 
The big fireworks displays came in boxes.  Basically you lit one fuse and the whole box would (in theory) ignite one by one, creating a brilliant, effortless display.  I don't know how many boxes were purchased for just the Lantern festival but there were fireworks all day and well into the night.  
 There were also the strings of little noisemakers that just pop pop pop on the ground.  I can't even begin to estimate how many, but the carnage was massive.  Here are just two shots of firecracker carcasses (and remember we did this at every family shrine, and in the fields, and by the temple, and in several other spots)
The smoke was crazy when we went home we smelled of fireworks, but they were pretty.   And every house had a pretty good display.