Friday, March 16, 2007

Our Journey (part 4)

We went to Mt. Tai'Shan which is one of the five sacred mountains. We were going to take the cable car to the top (some of us were anyway - not me!) but it was closed due to fog. We went to a nearby temple for a while to see if the cable car would open later.

Here is our guide tickling a tree. He said if you tickle this tree all the branches move.

Here is Jason with what John called a Chinese Tie. He said they were used before there was writing to tell people things. I'm not sure how it's supposed to work.

After going to the temple, we went back to the mountain. The cable car still wasn't working so we decided to take the bus to the halfway point and walk around. Before going up on the bus, I had to go to the bathroom. This was my only interaction with a squatty potty. I'd seen others but there'd always been western toilets as well; there weren't any western toilets here and I couldn't wait. This one didn't even have hand rails or the marks of where to put your feet. I'd left Jess with Mike because I knew I wouldn't be able to balance her there and there was no way I was putting her on that floor.

We had lunch at a tea house. I don't normally like tea but I really liked the one we had here so I bought a package. We had to haggle; when we first asked the price we were told 80 yuan which was fine; then suddenly it was part of a package and much more expensive. We weren't going for that so we said no. The owner came back and went back down in his price. At the tea house, we tried these large pancakes that are folded up over an egg. We added soy sauce and spring onions to them; I avoided the egg part as I can't stand eggs. Jason tried the pancake which was good since he rarely tries anything new to eat. Bea (the other baby in our group) and Jess needed to be changed so our guide asked the waiter where we could change them. He led us through some sort of hotel (rooms with bunk beds) and out the backdoor and showed us a very dirty, little room with a squatty potty in it. There was no way I was laying Jess down in that room and she can't stand while I change her yet. We changed the girls on the bench outside the bathroom. It was a little cold since we were outside but much better than the alternative.

After we finished eating, we walked around for a bit. There were a good deal of stairs going up the mountain. I went up for a while and then couldn't walk anymore so Jess and I waited on a landing while the others continued to climb up. We checked out some of the stores that were on the side of the stairs and watched someone make some pancakes like we'd just had. Afterward, we sat doing fingerplays and nursery songs. A man came up to me and asked if she was my daughter. I said yes and he asked if my husband was Chinese. I said no and he said "So she's not your daughter?" Again, I said yes she was and he wanted to know how she could be if we're not Chinese and she is. I told him she was adopted. There's only one way up and down the stairs so when I got tired of waiting, Jess and I went up some more figuring we'd meet up with the others.

When we got back from the mountain, we went to the park and watched the watershow at the Lotus Flower.

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