Some last minute thoughts on China and my trip here. Since living in Asia before I've known how kind and loving and funny the Chinese people are. I had forgotten how many times one hears "Hello" out of the blue by kids and teenagers and sometimes even adults who love to say it to you. Or other times you will walk past someone and most likely the only English they know they say which is usually "hello how are you?" If I were to reply they wouldn't know what I was talking about. I usually say something back in Mandarin and they smile back. I love when an old man or old woman (like around 80 something)will smile or say "hello." I was saddened to find out that only 50 million people in all of China are in the middle class and the rest are either the poor or rich. 50 Million out of 1.3 Billion. That's staggering. It makes me very grateful for all that I have. I have loved all the historical sites I've seen. The people I've met like our guide Rosemary and some of the people that work at the Amazon office here in Beijing. I believe they would give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it. Beijing is huge and at times overwhelming. Yet you can get lost in a Hutong(the old alley's and area's of the city)and not hear the chaos of the city. That's where you feel peace and actually are able to walk a little slower and see the faces of the people.
I've loved the food we've eaten, well most of it. I've had hairy crab which I didn't think I'd like (only the shell is hairy not the crab meat)but I did. I've had duck hearts,little shrimps that you eat whole eyeballs, shell and all. I've eaten so much mutton I don't care to eat any again. China or maybe just Beijing seems to be big on Mutton. I've had dishes that look beautiful and dishes that don't. I burnt my hand on a hotpot so bad I wouldn't be surprised if it was a 2nd degree burn. I told Mark it will be my souvenir from China. I miss my kids like crazy. I can't wait to get back to them. It's funny because the day before coming to China I was so antsy and couldn't focus on anything because I was so excited,it's been the same today but instead it's because I can't wait to see my kids. I want to hug them all and talk to them. I want to have little hugs from Miles, Eskimo kisses from Sofi and hugs from Kiah followed by a long talk. It's been a great trip. One I will never forget. Traveling is wonderful and something everyone should do if possible but being with family is irreplaceable. Goodbye China, Hello Issaquah.