Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wal Mart and The Forbidden City

We went to a Chinese Walmart here in Guiyang yesterday. Hannah needed a diaper change so we found a bathroom. Little did we know the bathroom was not in the store. As we made our way to the bathroom with a buggy full of baby clothes (nothing we brought fits Hannah, she is so little) we passed the exit of the store which is not marked in english. We had not paid for anything and the Walmart security force quickly stopped us. Luckily, our Chinese guide was with us and quickly helped. As Deann went to the bathroom I began watching the check out lines. There were so many people I decided to take a picture...bad idea. Again the security people start chatting away and pointing at me. Soon thereafter, the Manager who spoke broken english came over to me and told me to stop taking pictures. At this point all the security people are staring at me, even more so than before. My guide was gone when this happened and I was left standing there wondering if they would confiscate my camera. I told them in english I would not take anymore pictures. I guess they understood. I am sure I have made it harder for every American who steps foot in this Walmart in the future. As I was waiting on Deann, I briefly thought about what it would be like in a Chinese jail.

I don't think I have written about this incident at the Forbidden City. I am having a hard time remembering what I have placed on the blog because I cannot see it here in China. I will explain later, if you care to know. Anyway, at the Forbidden City in Beijing we saw a small political protest. As we were entering the outer gate a commotion began near the middle bridge. Police came from everwhere and started evacuating the area near the gate. Later we learned that some young men passed over the middle bridge to try and enter the Forbidden City. That bridge is reserved for the Emporer (they do not have an Emporer now)and to pass over is taboo. There is a guard standing right in the middle of the bridge. There are several bridges to pass over, but not the middle one, which is guarded by a chain. I saw the police placing one suspect in a van. Oddly enough he put him in the front seat. They where handling the protestors very roughly, but for some reason it seemed like it was choreographed. just my perception, but if i was going to fight the police it would be much harder than the protestors were fighting. It seemed like they were just making it a little harder to be arrested, but not really fighting. I guess they were making a statement. After it was all over we made our way into the city. We were a little unerved as we pushed our way through the gates. Yes, pushed...we were in a throng a people and MaCayla was scared. It was like arriving just after kickoff at a Georgia game, but not as much pushing and shoving. i don't think there were and drunk rabid Dawg fans in the crowd. Except for me...minus the drunk part.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Patrick,

Oh what fun, you almost got hauled off to the Chinese pokey too (at Wal-mart). :-) That's what I thought had happened to Rich when we were in the Guangzhou airport. After we passed through security, he remembered that he left his laptop on the plane. An hour and 20 minutes later he returned with the laptop and a very interesting story which I'm sure you read on our group page.

I'm so glad to hear that Hannah is feeling better and adjusting to you all. It really is amazing how quickly the babies adapt to a completely new life. She sure is a happy little thing and I am looking forward to meeting her. Isn't China a great adventure? It really is a wonderful experience.