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Marc, Lori, Justin and Katie Starr!
May 12, 2006
Do You Think They have Pastrami in China? - My ode to Mary Mia
First let me begin by answering that question...Yes, they do. I will elaborate more on that later.

Last night Marc and I had dinner with a few Great Wall Families and had a great time getting to know them. Unfortunately, Justin was severely jet lagged and did not feel well enough to join us. We took food back to the room for him; he woke up, ate it and rolled over as if he never really woke at all and slept for an additional 10 hours. I on the other hand woke up at 1:30 am and stayed up through 3:30 am. Then I fell back asleep until 6:30. Marc is having no problem with his sleep as usual…smirk.

We woke up excited to start our second day in China. The weather was a bit chilly and rainy but we had a Hutong Tour planned and we were very excited to see the historic Hutongs planned for us. Hutongs are the Quadrangles and back alley marketplaces and neighborhoods that are slowly being replaced by the development that has happened in this massive city. There are areas of the city near the center where the Hutongs have been deemed historic and cannot be touched by that development.

We were driven to the Hutong and then from there rode by rickshaw through the alleys. It was the most amazing experience that we found to be very eye opening as well as terrifying due to the fact that the rickshaws jockey for space on the same roads as the bikes, cars and buses. Justin and I rode in one rickshaw and Marc on another. We rode through areas that showed the everyday life of the people of this city. There are some areas within the Hutong where 100 people share one bathroom. We were invited into the homes of two families who were both very gracious and kind to us; offering us food, tea and information about their lives. One of the families was very famous for Cricket Fighting – yes I mean the bugs. We got to see how he did that and saw his crickets. He also had many different types of caged birds who spoke several languages. His son is a very well known chef and he is recognized on the street as a famous person in China. We then went to a silk factory to see the process from which silk is made and we took the opportunity to buy a couple of nice items, one for Katie Starr and one for Marc.

After our tours we came back and had lunch with a couple from Tennessee that is adopting a waiting child. We had such fun getting to know them and we talked and laughed for couple of hours. We rested during the afternoon and then again joined other GWCA families for dinner. On the menu we found many American items including a Rueben. I was intrigued so I ordered that. Unfortunately, it was not very good. We then discussed the blog that is entitled "Do you think they have Salsa in China?" and I knew that I had to title my post like I did today. Mary-Mia: If they have Pastrami; I am sure that they have Salsa.

Well, we have a big day tomorrow so I am signing off for now; enjoy the pictures.

BTW, If you would like to see Mary-Mia's "Do you think they Salsa in China" at
Making our way through the Hutong
Marc following closely behind
Controlled Chaos in an intersection viewed from the rickshaw
Making Friends during our Hutong Tour
with the Cricket Fighting Champ and Wife
Silk Factory
Marc in front of the Silk Factory