Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Yesterday at the Temple and the Mall

We visited a Buddhist temple yesterday. It was a beautiful place, and quite interesting, but I had mixed feelings visiting. Jaycie was not too sure what to think either. It gave us a good opportunity to talk about the issue of "little 'g'" gods, but I think she left still a little puzzled. I think it's hard to fathom that many people worshiping any other being than Jehovah. I was glad we didn't have the monks blessing the babies ceremony; we just walked around and observed.

After that, we went to a mall, with floors and floors of pearls and other beads. The number of stores with strands of necklaces and tons of jewelry showcases was overwhelming. I've suffered several times from sensory overload on this trip. It happened again when we went to find some lunch for us. We found a McDonald's nearby and encountered tons of people in a very crowded shopping mall area.

The huge numbers of people everywhere we've been highlight the severity of the population problem here. There are tons of high-rise apartments throughout the city, and the city stretches way into the countryside. The buses are typically packed, as are all the stores we've been to. Each store has more than enough people working there, too many by American standards. They have people doing every job you can imagine. There are people with brooms sweeping the street. There seems to be at least one salesperson for every customer at nearby shops. Here at the hotel, there are hosts/hostesses at every floor, just waiting for you to get on and off the elevator. They push the up/down buttons for you if you're leaving and indicate the hallway your room is on when you exit the elevator.

I'll have to say that we have encountered amazingly sweet, helpful people in all the stores and restaurants. It seems that they are appriciative of our being here and thankful for our business. Everyone is genuinely polite, although some of the salespeople's flattery seems a little thick. But who can blame them? They're trying hard to make a good living, which I really admire.


ben said...

Wow, I'm sure its hard to really grasp the overpopulation problem until you see it first hand. I wonder how the stores can afford so many employees? I'm very thankful you guys are blogging this experience. Its so interesting!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! Becky Senn here! I can't wait to see ya'll. I love the picture of all 4 of you in front of the fountain! I'll want that for our house! Let me know if your flight plans are the same. We would love to see you Friday when you get home, if you're up to it. Kelsey says hi to Jaycie! Love you all much!

Anonymous said...


I am Karen Caples Carpenter's cousin, Lisa Caples Osborn. Congratulations on this very precious gift you've received. Hannah is a doll. I've enjoyed reading tales of your journey. It brings back special memories of when we were in China 9 months ago to bring home our daughter, Lindy Li-Xiao. You have captured your experiences in such a warm and thoughtful way.

Enjoy every moment you have left in China and buy as many squeaky shoes as you can!!! I found the least expensive ones at Jordan's.

I pray you and your family will remain safe and healthy during the rest of your trip and that God will give you strength and extra rest when you get home.

I know you probably have a huge network of friends who have done this or who are going through this with you, but if you ever need some extra support, Karen can tell you where I am...

God bless all of you!
Lindy Li-Xiao's mother/Born 5/8/05 in Changsha, Hunan/Gotcha Day 4/3/06