Wednesday in Urumqi ~ the bazzar and giant buddah (June 29)

**Several folks have asked via email about Daniel's age and size.  He will be 3 on August 31, so he is very close to the same age that Darcy was when we adopted her last February.  That means that for the month of September we'll have kids age 5, 4, 4, & 3.  Size wise, he is smaller than I anticipated at the very end after the most recent measurements.  I was worried that 2T would be snug, but that concern was for nothing.  He may have sweetly chubby little legs, but he is still small.   Three pairs of 2T shorts that I brought him don't have the adjustable waist in them and they slide right off his little hiney.  Those have made good back up shorts for Caleb.  Thankfully one pair has them and I brought two pairs of 18 month just in case!**

Well, our sound sleep was short lived last night.  Starting around 4 he began having a really rough time again, complete with crying, kicking and hitting.  But at least he went to bed quickly without crying, so we'll celebrate the small victories. 

We had a delicious breakfast again, complete with eggs, bacon, tons of fresh fruit and fresh made donuts.  Yes, donuts.  I think our family ate at least ten.  Then it was time to meet Alfred for our morning adventure.  Today's stop?  The International Grand Bazaar.  

The central courtyard of the bazaar with the largest mosque and minaret in the background.  What you may not be able to see without close inspection is that one of the buildings is a KFC.
Until 2003, the bazaar was in the streets.  Apparently it was dangerous for the venders and it created havoc for traffic patterns, so a huge complex was built to house it all.  It wasn't quite the same atmosphere that I'm sure it once was, but we had fun strolling through anyway.  

a section between two of the buildings
Basically it is stall after stall after stall of clothing, daggers, musical instruments, and dried fruits.

musical instruments
dried fruits
our favorite stalls were the dried fruits!  We bought over a kilo of golden raisins ~ they were Daniel approved!  (this province is well known for the grapes grown here, apparently the climate is just right for growing sweet ones ~ I'll agree)
We also got the boys little drums and got the girls some Uyghur dresses (that look more like gypsy dresses to me) that they will enjoy using for dress up.

The girls showing off their dresses.
While we were waiting for our driver to pick us up after we were done, the kids saw the camel statue and just had to have their picture taken.

The "big kids" with their loot at the camel.
 And then, just because we could…

May as well get a family picture at the camel, right?
When our driver came back, he had these little hats for the kids.  It was a totally sweet gesture and now Caleb especially thinks our driver (Mr. Liu) is the coolest in the world!

new hats from Mr. Liu
As we were driving across the city for our next stop,  (You know, the obligatory visit to a jade shop) I noticed this huge statue off to the right.  When I asked Alfred what it was, he said it was a giant golden Budda statue that was about 40 meters tall.  As we asked about it, he told us to hold on one second and turned to Mr. Liu and started rattling off in Mandarin.  Then he turned back and asked if we wanted to drive by it.  With nothing but time on our hands, we said sure.  Apparently it is a "working" monastery that is under construction, and while it is close to being finished, you can go in for free right now.  

It looked like a great place to let the kids stretch their legs, so we went for a stroll.

The big kids going ahead on one of the sets of stairs.  (note the hats)
 And Alfred wasn't kidding when he said it was tall!  Even from a good distance (we didn't feel the need to get too close) you could tell it was enormous.  

My darling kiddos
One of the other statues.  Made me think of Gulliver's Travels.
Daniel insisted on walking all the stairs himself.  (and if you are wondering, no, my shoes aren't impractical.  They are crocs and are perhaps the most comfortable summer shoes I've ever owned.  If you are coming over in the summer I highly recommend them!)

Then we went to the jade store.  One half was silk rugs, the other was jade.  I wish we could have afforded one of the more beautiful rugs there, but they were crazy (and I do mean CRAZY) expensive.  We went into the jade side and did select a pendent for Daniel made of the local white colored jade.  Ian also bought me a simple but beautiful ring to celebrate becoming a mother of four.  I'll have to get a picture of it on my hand, but can't tonight as I would wake someone up getting the camera back out.

When we got back Ian ran down to the street to get some breads and then we had a quick lunch followed by nap time.  Even I slept for a while today (which is probably why I can't sleep right now) and then Mom came up while we made plans for dinner.  Daniel woke up very unhappy ~ kinda as if he were thinking "Oh no, not here with you guys again." ~ and we were going to send Ian out to pick up street food.  Then the light switch turned and our happy little guy was back, so we all headed out for a dining adventure.  

The first restaurant we entered had pictures, but they were pretty far away from the counter where you had to order so we ended up walking out because no one spoke English.  That was so frustrating, but is simply life when you don't speak the language.  We ended up going back to Marwa and ordered some of the things we liked best from the other night.  

Daniel really enjoyed the rice!  It has some slightly sweet undertones for the spices and lots of big golden raisins and pieces of grilled meat.  It is SO GOOD!

Then we spent some time walking around the right very near our hotel.  I'll have to do a post in the next day or so just showing the foods available.  There was plenty that I'd never try in a million years, but some of the stuff looked delicious if we could only figure out the process of ordering and getting it cooked.  

We ended our walk with a stop by "our friend" the melon seller.  Tonight he selected a hami melon that was the best yet.  He cuts a small wedge and lets us taste it before we pay.  After we had selected it and started eating, he took a tiny piece from our half and nodded in agreement to the woman who was there working with him.  

 The Melon Stand

Daniel really enjoyed it too.  Notice how he frequently has food in his hands?

And just some random cuteness to end this post…

My boys in their matching "Dad's handyman" pajamas

 And all four showered and ready for bed.  

God has blessed us so!


Di said...

What a lovely day - and your "4" kids are so cute together! Hoping for a more settled night for you.

Emily H. said...

I also have those Crocs and LOVE them! I am taking them with me to England and Scotland next month.

Stefanie said...

PRECIOUS - you are blessed indeed!! I just love the matching jammies :)

Anonymous said...

Ian and Kristi,

God knew what he was doing when he put the two of you together. Your family of 6 is absolutely precious.

Love to all,
Dave and Cheryl

Anna said...

Thanks for sharing your adventures with us! We are continuing to pray for your family. :)

Jenna said...

MARWA!!!!! :) My mouth is watering.....what about the fresh pomegranate juice? :)

I'll be praying that now that going to sleep has been better that waking up will start to improve as well! For us, leaving Urumqi was just about the end of Cooper crying when going to sleep. Praying it is the same for you! I'm totally jealous though- having been to China before, you guys are being SO much more adventurous than we were AND clearly your guide isn't scaring the living daylights out of you by telling you how dangerous Urumqi is! I'm enjoying the pictures of all the things we DIDN'T see!

And your kids? ABSOLUTELY adorable! you are so blessed indeed!

Lindy D. said...

Daniel is just darling. You are clearly blessed! I hope that Daniel's sleeping woes improve soon. So hard when they mourn for their foster families.

Daniel's province is so interesting! I'm enjoying the pictures of the places you have visited. I have been wondering how Darcy is doing in China, since she is the latest one home.

Lindy D. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindy D. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mom2three said...

LOVE your pictures!! ANd Urumqi looks amazing!! Simply amazing Kristi! We are flying out today 3 pm to Guangzhou. We are staying at the Victory. Lets try to talk when we get to Guangzhou okay?

Can't wait to meet you in person!

Amy Murphy said...

Oh! I love seeing them all together! Enjoy your time there! Still praying for Daniel. He'll be sleeping and waking fine before you know, but in my experience, things always happen way slower than I think they should.

Amy Tubbs said...

Looks like a wonderful trip. When we were their the second time, our driver was wonderful too. He would show up with a plastic fork.knife for my mom who was chop stick challenged and he got my new daughter a little birthday gift when we celebrated her 4th birthday in China. So sweet!! Your family looks great!!

Heather said...

So cool! Grant has his Tubetika from Kazakhstan! He keeps it on his dresser. Love seeing all the kids together! Happy! Happy!

Andrea said...

Ps: I need those shoes! Flip flops on a daily basis is hurting my feet here in paradise.

5ennie said...

Kristi, thank you so much for the shoe recommendation!!! I had to pick up a new pair of crocs for my son, and when I did, I saw these sandals and remembered your blog post. I had to try the crocs on, and you were right! The most comfortable shoes ever! I put them on outside the store and haven't taken them off yet (even though we don't wear shoes in the house :)