Thursday, January 05, 2006
Isabella and I ventured out again with Cindy, Lillian and Cindy's friend from the states. Today we hit the Jade Market which mostly sells jewelry but there are also some statues, chess sets, etc made out of stones and nuts... yes nuts. I definitely felt like I was in mainland China at this market. You were expected to barter and if you decided you didn't want something the sellers would continue to lower the price until you felt guilty and bought something. I'm not a big fan of bartering (although I do love good deals) because I never know what is reasonable and I feel that some tourists take advantage. But it was amazing to see all the handmade jewelry and some being made right in front of your eyes. In fact, I took advantage of having something made to your size and bought both Isabella and I matching pearl (and they were real... what a nice little treat) bracelets and I got them for less than $5 US dollars!
It was good to get out but I struggled with the language barrier today. I ran into several situations where playing charades just didn't cut it and I felt terrible that I couldn't communicate. People are drawn to Isabella (mainly because of her blue eyes but also because she's white) which could lead to some great conversations... if only I knew how to speak Cantonese. I think this was a good little push for me to learn at least some basic phrases. I posted yesterday that Isabella will be bi-lingual living here but she'll probably struggle at first if we can't teach her the basics. So along with saying and signing 'Hello' and 'Thank You', I'll also be teaching her 'dzou san' and 'm goi.'