Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 2 – Guilin: Starting our OD of mountains & lakes

We woke up to sunny skies today after the rain last night, and I gave my girl a breakfast of yogurt and bread, both of which I’d saved from our flight, heh. Strangely enough, she pooed when she woke up in the morning, which is very rare.
Brother had booked a driver, Mr. Mo, for today, and he was really friendly, warm, and responsible, and we only pay Ctrip RMB50 a day for him (wonder how much he earns from this then…). We first headed to Solitary Peak, with roots dating back to the Southern Song Dynasty of 1127. That’s the gang at the entrance to the grounds, which was a 14th century palace of a Ming Dynasty prince, so we also walked around a little to explore the various exhibits situated all over.
There were inscriptions/poems carved into the hills…
However, when it came to climbing the peak, the girls decided to give it a miss, with my Dad, Brother, Boa and Simon heading up (apparently you get a panaromic view from the pavilion up there), and us girls taking a break downstairs with some snacks bought from the vendors. Our girl had some egg, corn, biscuits, and chocolates to recharge…
Whilst we took some photos as we lazed around…
Simon was being cheeky and donned Boa’s and my brother’s glasses…
Our girl even took some time to admire the view and pose around when we went to visit the washroom…
Next stop was then the boat ride to see the double river and four lakes, but our driver first stopped us to get authentic 桂林米粉 for lunch. He had good intentions, but when he told us to go into a shop similar to 成都小吃, and the first patron I saw was a construction worker (still wearing his safety helmet) sitting near the doorway, we had to turn back and ask him to bring us to a better restaurant. Heh…
And so we headed to another one just next to the pier, where we had to order and finish lunch within 30 minutes – thankfully the kids were quite cooperative, and when we were hastily getting ready to dress up and go to catch the boat, my brother said that he might have looked rather impatiently at Rosabelle who was still putting on her scarf. She went on to sort of explain, ‘玥玥在系围脖,外面冷呢...' – he was quite amused. We managed to catch the boat, even squeezing in time to teach and play with Simon the ‘木头人' game, where Rosabelle will always cheekily purposely move about to get tickled after.

It was a one-hour ride on the small boat.
And very soon, Rosabelle started bullying Simon, contorting his face with her hands…
That’s me with the kiddos…
The double rivers are the Li and Taohua Rivers, with the lakes being Mulong, Gui, Rong, and Shan Lakes. Hundreds of years ago, the city planners created an integrated network of 19 bridges connecting them all, and the entire area has become a massive garden of flowers, trees, and pavilions like these.
It was very nice and serene as we took the sights in from the windy deck.
Many of the bridges were modeled on famous bridges around China and abroad.
And this glass bridge is my favourite – we saw everything twice as the boat took the same route back.
Rosabelle was quite happy to be on board, but liked to climb up and down the flight of steps, which were too steep for my liking, and quite dangerous.
We gave the kids snacks of hawthorn and seaweed on board. That is Simon looking greedily on at Rosabelle’s hawthorn as he had gobbled his share down, so he is most grateful whenever Rosabelle gives him one meagre piece…
It’s great to see my brother loving the bond with Simon – no matter how long we have not seen each other, kids really warm up fast to blood relations…
In the end, I had to make Rosabelle promise to not come up again when she wanted to, for the umpteenth time, climb down the deck. She really kept her promise and stayed downstairs in the cabin with my parents – heh!

The boat ride finally ended and we had one last stop to go – Yao Mountain, where our girl helped herself to the luge on display when we reached the entrance.
We took a cable car up – the open-air kinds, if you are wondering, and enjoyed the view…
Rosabelle was on her best behavior, clutching on tightly to the rails without me asking her to (whilst danger-oblivious mother continues to camwhore under such dangerous circumstances – ‘Just hold the baby tight, damn woman!’…)
It was quite cold when we reached the top, and Rosabelle refused to don the beanie I brought along. Maybe it was because her nap-time was due (it was around 4pm by then) and she decided to turn uncooperative and grouchy, wanting to be carried. I just ignored and let her cry, and she was quite easily placated, getting into position for a shot around this 佛 carving even…
Addendum added 19 Dec 2010: I forgot to blog about this bit – my parents took the cable car down whilst Boa, my brother, and I went down the luge! Yes, it did look quite scary/unsafe for a toddler, but it was quite ok in the end – my brother went with Simon behind us, whilst Rosabelle and I went in after Boa. Ended up Simon kept steering the luge to almost bang into us as I was going too slow – I kept braking as I sure did not want to fall off with Rosabelle! Our girl was very brave and held tightly throughout, not fussing nor showing any signs of being afraid. Think I was more nervous than she was, haha!

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was already close to 6pm and I hastily went back to our room, thinking she might be too tired and want to take a rest but oh no, she had other things planned! She refused to ‘milk milk and sleep’, saying she wanted to go to 哥哥家 (i.e. Simon’s room), so I left her to harass him as I unpacked and even took my bath first. When we were all ready, we once again headed out for dinner at Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, this time going into the correct restaurant. When the food came at around 8pm and I prepared a bowl for Rosabelle, she started becoming grouchy and pushing the food away, and within seconds, this!
Wahahahaha… I was so amused I sent an MMS to Wayne, who found it hilarious that his girl was so tired out, but it was really something for her to hold on for one whole day without any sleep, knocking out only when she really couldn’t take it anymore… And so I got to eat my dinner in peace…
I had packed her small portion of dinner to go, ready to carry her back and feed her when she wakes up, when she suddenly got up after 30 minutes of rest and decided she wanted to continue playing, haha! With Simon around, no grouchy just-woke-up-from-sleep mood! We then took a walk down the street and bought enough bread to feed an army the next day, going back to the hotel only at around 10pm, where I mixed her dinner with some boiled water and had her finish the whole cup of food, heh!

Since she wanted to play with Simon, I washed some clothes and let her stick to him awhile longer until I had to call her back to bathe and brush her teeth. As Simon brought her back into the room, he told me that ‘Gong Gong beat Rosie on the buttock just now. Very hard.’. I’d heard my father shouting just now, but wasn’t sure he had beat her, so I asked him, and he mentioned that she was running around on the bed. That was when I got very irritated and told him that nobody in our house has ever laid a finger on Rosabelle, and he should never, ever beat her – he should just tell her and if he has a problem disciplining her, he should call me over. I complained to my mum and hopefully, she reinforced that into him.

I absolutely hate it when anybody hits my daughter, no matter how lightly. It just reeks of lack of self-control on your part as an adult. You are angry and cannot control your temper, so what are you teaching the child? That it is ok to smack somebody when he/she is angry? I felt quite irresponsible for leaving her in the care of my Dad whilst I got busy, but hope that was the first and last time. Thankfully she did not cry (guess it can’t be that hard), but still, it was really uncalled for. By the time we got ready for bed, it was already way past 11am, and she was still clamouring to go to 哥哥家玩...

No comments: