Baby Eris is 20 days old and is ready for her first bath and a weighing. But first, Chris takes Julie and me out for lunch. We head to a Muslim restaurant where we get a mutton noodle soup and yummy, roasted peanut & tofu side.
Back at Chinese Grandfather's apartment, the new family strikes out on the journey. This is only the second time Xiao Xiao and Eris have ventured out of the apartment. Since there are no baby seats, we urge Chris to sit in the back of the car directly behind one of the front seats instead of the middle seat. Is there any science to this? Who knows, but it makes us feel better about an unsecured baby in a car.
Our first stop is for Chris and Xiao Xiao to visit an office where they are attempting to get the birth certificate. The computer at the birth hospital can only handle a certain number of characters and her name doesn’t fit. The birth certificate has to be manually typed since Mom and Dad want the American name on the document of record.
Chris and Xiao Xiao head into the office building leaving Chinese
LunchMutton noodle soup with roasted peanut and tofu side.
Grandfather, Julie and myself to watch over Eris. I get to hold Eris this time as Chinese Grandfather decides to run an errand. Now I am even more anxious since I am physically holding the baby who isn’t in a car seat. She dozes in and out of sleep soothed by the engine hum and the turns and stops.
Once the new parents are done ordering the birth certificate, its on to the hospital for a bath and weighing. All of the nurses have on uniforms that look straight out of the 1950s. Eris is whisked behind doors where we are unable to see the bathing process. She starts to cry loudly and Xiao Xiao is glued to the door where Eris disappeared. Finally the nurse immerges with Eris sparkly-clean and smelling fresh. She is re-wrapped in her blankets like a little papoose.
But the visit isn’t over. Once word starts to spread that the half-American baby is back, more and more nurses and doctors start to gather around us. We get to meet the doctor who delivered Eris and the picture snaps start. Everyone wants to pose with the American-Chinese family. Eris starts to really take her
crying up a notch. Xiao Xiao disappears into a conference room to nurse Eris. The staff asks if they can download the photos onto their computers. We toil on finding cables and SD card slots. Eventually we find a PC that will accept the SD card. They finally have their prized photos to share with their friends on QQ (Chinese on-line social network).
Once all items on the agenda are accomplished, Xiao Xiao wanted to peek inside the baby stores that are near the hospital. The stores all seem upscale and were sold out or didn't carry any of the items we wanted to show her. One place of note was an infant swim facility. The employee places a floaty around the infant's neck and let them float around and kick. We also saw one of these tanks for sale in the fancy department store. Here's a random video I found showing what it looks like in action (this is not Eris). Sorry friends in China, the video on YouTube.
Later we visit with the Chinese Great Grandparents for the second time during our trip. Chinese Great Grandmother is very sweet and affectionate. She greets us
with hugs and smiles. Often she takes Julie’s hand and holds it. The restaurant specializes in Beijing Duck. My mouth has been watering all day in anticipation of the delightful dinner. Waves and waves of food come to the table. A green salad starts us off with gelled pork and chopped poultry. Sliced duck is also served and a yummy soup with very crunchy fried bread. Sweat and sour chicken/pork arrives. They must think the Americans like this dish since the last time we ate out with Chinese Grandfather this dish was served. This is all before the actual Beijing Duck. A chef is cutting up the duck and several employees are rolling the meat and toppings into the pancakes so they can be easily consumed. Partially baked rolls arrive with somewhat cooked, very thick bacon. We can hardly move out of our chairs once the meal is over.
Once we get back to the apartment, we are amazed at the night view. Since the rains came through, the sky is unclouded and the view is remarkable. We even spot a star or two in the night sky.
For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. A...more info