Today was such a welcome relief!
We briefly visited the clinic to confirm Ruth's negative TB test. Then Molly, our local facilitator, took us to her temple for a blessing by a monk. No 400 steps this time! Barely 3 steps from the car to the entrance - my kind of temple! It was the Six Banyu (sp?) Tree temple and there were many flowers, trees and offerings. I think I have this right but David will correct if not - offering peanuts = happiness, apples = long life. In the ancestor's building, there were many apples, then there was one plate with an apple, a peach and a granola bar. I could just see a little child picking out the granola bar to offer to their grand parents.
The monk who gave the blessing was very peaceful and kind. We learned that Buddhists often do things in threes - once for the past, once for the present and once for the future. There was some exquisite embroidery there too. We were there for all of about 30 minutes. Then Molly took us shopping in a huge complex equivalent to 2-3 times the size of Mall of America. She whipped us through that joint like a pro. She knew all the good shops and where the good bathrooms were (gotta love that!) Then took us back to the hotel through a farmer's market where we saw live scorpions. Once prepared, scorpions are thought to clense the body. I couldn't even take a picture of them I was so freaked out - but I did take a number of other pictures.
The rest of the farmer's market was pretty cool though. Many teas, herbs, vegetables, rice, etc.
Tonight we are going to try a Thai restaurant close to the hotel. We've been told they can make it spicy or not spicy. Wonder if they can make it Scandinavian not spicy???
Tomorrow we are set to go see the US Consulate office to get Ruth's visa started so we can hopefully pick it up on Wednesday. At first, we were going to try to see if we could move our flight up by one day as that is the last step. Molly cautioned against it as there were three US couples last week who were told they could "anticipate" their visas on Friday but then the printer broke and they couldn't get them until Monday. They lost all of their reservations in Hong Kong and had to rebook their flight - yep, they lost the money on the flight too. How many relatives of those families do you think contacted the state department to complain about a freakin' printer breaking in one of the largest commercial cities in China? And trust me, there should be enough staff here who could have fixed it. Kind of makes a person wonder whazzup........
We DON'T want to be in that situation obviously so we will stay with the existing schedule - anticipating being back in MSP by Friday morning and crashing until noonish.
Peace & Love to all,