Monday, September 21, 2009

Buddhist Monks and Chinese Pizza

Today was a very interesting day. We woke up early and called grandma Joan on the phone. It was about 8AM here so 8PM in New Jersey. I told Joan everything was fine here and brought her up to speed on our progress. She said that Aunt Cindy had been keeping her updated and reading the blog to her. She acted surprised we had not told her about the blog. Well, that is because she would have said blog, blog, what the hell is that? Then when I told her it had anything to do with a computer, she would have said, "forgetabbout I ain't getin one of those freakin things" in her best Tony Soprano voice. So, mom sorry we didn't tell you about the blog and we have email too. Sorry, Joan a little fun at your expense to make up for all those years of having some at mine. Oh, and by the way remember all those years of you putting the kabash Irish curse on me by saying, I hope you have a kid just like you. Sorry, it did not work. Anyway back to the blog.

After talking with Joan, we set out for the oldest Buddhist temple in Guangzhou, China called the Liurong Temple. According to the guide Buddhism is the largest religion in China followed by Taoism, Muslim then Christianity. It was built during the Song Dynasty in 420 AD and took seven years to build. It had an amazing pagoda that has been on sight for the last 1000 years. It was pretty amazing to look at the intricate wood and stone work that must have taken pain staking hours to complete. The landscaping was pretty amazing also and it creates a breath taking retreat in the middle of a busy city. The city of Guangzhou has between 14-15 million people. I have been in awe at the natural beauty, the amazing architecture, and the freakin' heat. And did I mention how hot it is here. I can't see how you could be a Buddhist sitting in the same spot on a roof carving some intricate dragon with the sun beating down on you at 120 degrees. I guess the religion must really preach peacefulness because I would beat the guy with a stick that made me climb on the roof, but that's just me.

Rebecca Xiu was not happy at the temple. She did not see the beauty on the landscape or the years of her cultural heritage we were trying to take in, she was just hot and bothered. We spent a couple of hours here and I was once again impressed. We then made our way to the Guangdong Folk Art Museum. This place was set in a park. It again was pretty nice with different types of wood working and artwork on display. This was again an outdoor activity, so no air conditioning. It was nice enough. We went back out the entrance a little before the crowd and me and two other dads spent time playing with a "hacky-sack" type toy we bought from a woman in the park. She played with us for a little bit to show she had some skills. I thought it was strange but she moved better than a three of us and at least two of us were in shape. I let you figure out which. Anyway look to see her in the next Olympics. It cost us 5 CNY to have that much fun, that's like 75 cents. It was well worth the money because I got to see my little girl laugh, even though she was laughing at me.

After the folk museum Margo and Rebecca went back to the room and I went to the Carrefour which is China's Wal-Mart. I bought my girls a 500 piece puzzle since the 250 was too easy and a DVD player. Of course, the puzzle had the Goat on it. When I got back to the room, Rebecca was excited and started on it right away with Margo. I sat on the bed and watched. It is funny because Rebecca gets so focused on the puzzle, she circles the puzzle and hunts for the right piece and then the right place until it's found. I never had that attention span when I was a kid. Of course, as soon as you put the Goat in the DVD player she becomes entranced.

Later in the evening we went to an Italian Restaurant nearby and it was excellent, complete with a bowlegged guy with a limp with an Italian accent. When you entered the restaurant he was standing near a brick oven with two Chinese guys teaching them how to make pizza. The part that made this as close to a Seinfeld episode as possible was he was talking Italian, they were talking Chinese and at the same time he was flirting with the Chinese hostess. Of course, he was covered in hair, was about fifty and she was twenty. The only thing I cared about was that my pizza was great. It didn't hurt that I got to sit about 3 feet away from this to watch this whole spectacle. When one hostess walked away he moved to the next and the funny part was you could tell they were flattered and disgusted at the same time but they had to keep walking back to place and pickup orders. It was quite a racket he has going until another Italian guy moves in to town that knows how to cook pizza. Anyway if the pizza cook thing doesn't work he can get an eye patch and board the first ship and he would be a great fit.

The bottom line was the food was good, the company was good (we ate with Sandy, Tom and Zack), the entertainment better, and my baby still sat in her little shell with the bottom lip dragging. She has her high points throughout the day and her lows but she is like every other kid. I just wish we saw a few more highs than the lows.


  1. Hang in there!!! There will be more highs than lows soon!!! That is one thing that I have found is unuversal with kids...The lows make you think "Was I out of my mind when I decided I wanted to have kids?" Then those prescious moments come when your little one smiles at you, simply grabs your hand just for the sake of holding it, or tells you they love you...They make your heart melt!!!! And you forget about the 5 meltdowns that day!
    Those times will come for you too!! Be patient & enjoy those little rays of sunshine that come your way!!!

  2. You have made progress. Xiu laughed at you. I think this is a bigger deal that you know. She was paying attention to her dad. With time the lows will be less and the highs will increase. Your little girl is coming around.

  3. To everyone: Margo called me last night and put Rebecca on the phone a few times. Hello grandpa (in Mandarin) and Hello Rebecca in English snippets and such.

    Rebecca has a small distinct breathy voice.

    Rebecca and Grandpa Rick seem to have a lot in common. Grandpa Rick is a lifetime gamer starting with Chess at age 5 or so.

    I am looking forward to meeting her in person in December.

    Grandpa Rick