I had expected to be much more nervous but so far was handling everything very well. I had gotten teared up that morning eating breakfast in the hotel but had decided that it was best not to think about what was coming and to just concentrate on what was at hand. We were seeing so many cool things.
Until they handed me that red album.
(Nancy saw a picture of Lyric and her foster parents and told me, “They are the age of grandparents, she’ll be spoiled.” I should have listened but that's a story for later. :) )
When they handed me that red album, that switch in my head flipped. I was no longer "A-Girl, the tourist, happily spending her time checking out Beijing." I became, "A-Girl, the mommy - where's my baby????!"
The truth of the fact that I'd left "tourist" far behind, was made clear to me when we headed out later that afternoon. I forget what we were looking for but we ended up at a mall which consisted of FLOORS and FLOORS of luxury items - MOUNDS of candy, rows of watch stores and make-up stores and perfume stores and women's clothing - we just walked around in awe. The mall sat on a street closed to traffic, surrounded by more stores and market-like alleys. This area was ... oh, my! There were people CRAMMED everywhere. It was like the pendulum had shifted from the Hutong days and reminded me very much of the American "too much" 1980s. It also reminded me of a sci-fi movie where there are crowds of people and weird fashions and tall signs in Chinese. Outside in the market I even saw wiggling scorpions on a stick, ready to be deep fried at your convenience! (Seriously, Cal Dude has pictures of BIG tarantulas, also wiggling, and other such delicacies.)
Earlier in the day, I would have been fascinated. Purely trying to take it all in. But since they'd given me that red album all I could think was, I'm tired of Beijing, it's crowded and hot and is my baby here? Why no, she's not! I'm ready to go get my baby!
Good thing we'd leave the next day.
|Last page of the red album - I think they're trying to kill me. :)|