Tea house, purse shopping and a buddy bath system... (Tuesday, Feb 13)

**I need to clarify something to relieve Kylie's LaoLao (maternal grandmother) and Aunt. Sorry if I made you worry that you had missed Kylie's first steps. She is walking with assistance, but not on her own just yet!

Today we got a taste of Chinese culture by going to a tea house. We learned several things. First of all, tea is the "national drink" of China, only the younger generation drinks coffee. Guess that is a nod to the western influence here. Second, the Chinese are "tea snobs." They told us that only the "junk" tea goes into tea bags. Tea purists refuse to drink tea that comes in bags. We also learned that good Chinese tea needs to be "washed" with boiling water and then you drink the tea from the second water. And they only steep their tea for about 30 seconds. It is a beautiful process to watch the pouring which matches the beauty of the teacups and pots they make.

The tea house itself was beautiful and provided a few photo opportunities. Kylie is now making eye contact with us when we hold her and doesn't fight being held close as much as she did a week ago. She seems to be curious to really figure us out and will explore our faces with her hands while gazing into our eyes as we give her bottles. I'm loving this snugly time so much that I don't mind the aversion she is having to solid foods.

After we got back from the tea house, we had a little floor play time. Then I had the opportunity to go purse shopping with Cindy, Shannon, and Maria. We took a taxi to the leather store that is something like a three story mall filled with tiny purse shops. They are divided into different levels of "knockoffs", levels A - D. After a harrowing taxi ride (I will walk or take the metro anywhere else I need to go here...) we got out to discover that the purse mall is closed for Chinese New Year. Yep, the new year starts on Sunday, but they are already closed down until the 26th. Wow, we should learn a bit about national holidays ~ most folks in America are lucky to have two days off for the 4th of July! So anyway, with the mall closed we figured we were already in the area anyway and decided to check out the side streets. Once again I got a look at "the other side" of China. The stalls were tiny and cramped and the streets were crammed with people. They were selling their wares ~ in this area mostly purses, luggage, belts, and backpacks ~ eating noodles out of metal hotpots, playing cards, and talking loudly. It was a curious mayhem. I wished that I had taken the camcorder to record what I saw and heard, but if I had, I'm sure I wouldn't have had the guts to use it...

While I was gone, Ian took Kylie on a walk. You can read all about it in the previous post. I did just have to add one photo he took of her in our hotel courtyard. I love that we have learned what makes her laugh now!

After a bit more floor playtime, we ordered dinner from Danny's Bagel (reliable Western style food) and took it down to the Martens' room. Cindy's daughters Abby and Mindy were babysitting baby Kristin while her parents were out for their anniversary. Kylie enjoyed getting to play for a little while with her former roommate. (Okay, so she enjoyed taking toys away from her former roommate, but it was fun to take pictures anyway).Now as I had mentioned before, Kylie really HATES bath time. Ian and I feel almost guilty giving her one, but with as hot as it is here and with as much pollution as is in the air, she gets pretty dirty each day. We are afraid that if we don't keep her little neck clean that the heat rash she had when we first received her will come back. Baby Caroline loves the bath, so Cindy suggested that we try putting them both in the little inflatable tub at the same time in hopes that Kylie will see how much fun she has and learn from it.
At first it looked like it was going to work. Kylie didn't start screaming when she saw the tub. And then we started to lower her into the water. There was a bit of fussing, but with Caroline there to comfort her, she began to enjoy it ~ for about 2 minutes. Then the wailing started again and we couldn't get her calmed down so we hurried to rinse her off and pulled her out. Thanks for a bit of bath therapy Martens family!

All better now ~ time for jamies and bed!


LaoLao Shultz said...

Seeing how she is relating with you and Ian warms my heart. Those precious faces that she makes! Too bad the bath didn't go any better...she'll get it eventually -that it really is a good, fun and relaxing thing. I love the close-ups!
Can't wait to see you Friday night!

*~*~*MEL*~*~* said...

Aww I love reading about your adventures everyday! That one picture of Kylie and Ian is adorable, it looks like she is trying to kiss his cheek! I love you guys and can't wait for you to get home!

LaoLao Shultz said...

Almost forgot - Happy Valentine's Day to the new Miller family of three! Found out that Tally Sessions is in the Broadway play "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" that we are going to see this evening. Shouls make it extra interesting. We will surely miss you guys!
Love you,

Aunt Traci said...

phshew! I am glad that she isn't walking yet... Not that I may see her first steps anyway but I don't want to miss a whole week of walking! :)
Sounds like the Chinese are more particular about their tea than the Brits! Wow!
Sounds like you have had fun and getting some good shopping time in. Are you going to have enough room to bring everything back?!
I wonder why Kylie has such an aversion to bath time? Hopefully that will get better. She is soooo stinking cute!
Can't wait to see you!

Allison said...

The bath will get better, I PROMISE! It was no fun while we were in China, either. Have fun these last few days!