We are walking in the Long Tan Hu Park in Taiyuan. Taking a walk in the park is full of surprises! It had rained that afternoon and it was a beautiful evening. We have picked up on the habits of the natives and only leave our hotel in the mornings and the evenings. In the afternoons, the sun is typically beating relentlessly.
Playing under a big pot with other children. We are following the advice of our agency and trying to spend time with Norah in public places where she can interact with other people.
Walking through the park, we saw people keeping busy with all kinds of different activities. This man was writing Chinese characters on the walking path using rain water and a long handled brush. Even though the letters would evaporate, he was very purposeful in his writin. There are also tables and tables of elders playing cards, poker, and various other games around the whole city (see below).
While walking through the park, we came across a group of about forty people singing incredible harmony. This was my favorite park concert yet! Here you can see Norah standing with her arms crossed. Ba Ba had just told her not to jump through any more puddles and she is not happy with him.
Most of the grass is fenced off, but we found a section that was open. Norah wanted to touch it and was very excited to run through it. Later our guide told us that the Chinese don't let their children get in the grass because it isn't clean. So we see people spitting in the streets and children peeing in the streets, but they don't let their children walk through grass. We are encountering many interesting cultural differences here!
Can you see all the people in the background staring at us? Well that happens a lot around here, so we didn't think much about it Then a nearby girl came up and started gesturing excitedly and speaking in rapid Chinese. We couldn't understand her, but she was persistent. Eventually, a girl who spoke some English came over and told us people were concerned that she would get dirty on the slide. She said that Chinese children slide down on their feet. Silly Americans!
|Alter to Buddha|
Wherever we go, Norah is a hit with the adults. Here she is eating an apple from a lady who was going to leave them for Buddha. I guess Buddha has one less apple because of this cutie! In the temple, we saw a lot of food being left and women chanting to multiple images of Buddha. It broke my heart to think of the futility of it all.
We started to climb up one of the pagodas which turned out to be eleven stories. About half way up, we rethought the wisdom in climbing that high with a wiggly two year old who wanted to explore and so we turned around.
The people of China are about to have a festival and the city is being decorated with brightly colored pinwheels and various banners. The Chinese people love color! Norah is fascinated by it all. She told us today (through our escort) that she had a pinwheel at her other home, so we promised to get her one when we get back to her new home.
Here is another shot of the pagodas. The dragon and the beast were outside guarding the temple entrance.