Mom went with an American who was here for 4 weeks yesterday so today we decided we would all go out so I could see what it is like. What an experience! As we are walking down the road everyone is staring at us. I mean EVERYONE! We had Dillon and JayDonn both with us and we are the ONLY white people that we saw. Beijing is an international city and has some people from all nationalities. But apparently Shijiazhuang is not. Ok, so there is this tiny little gate you have to go through to get to the market and since there is no way the wheelchair will fit we had to go through a food court. Everything was going fine, we had to lift the wheelchair up the couple of steps but nothing to too bad. We went out and looked at some clothes and bought bananas, a peach, and these little brown balls on twigs that we don’t know what they are but were told they are good. So then we went back into the food court to leave and guess what…. they locked the doors! We had no way to get out. So a nice Chinese lady could tell we didn’t know what to do and pointed for us to go back out side and go around the other way. We did this, only to find the same small gate on the other side. So we were trying to ask police men how to get out. They didn’t understand that we wouldn’t fit with the wheelchair. That lady came out and found us again and showed us where to cut through another building so we could get outside the gate. She was very kind to take her time to walk us all the way out since we clearly were not going to find it on our own! So then as we are walking back we are very aware that everyone stops and watches us, they even follow us a little to watch what we are doing. I stopped to suction Dillon and I glance up to see a man with his camera phone pointed at us! I have never had people stop and take my picture like that before! I have never felt so out of place before! I have never had that many people stare at me! I mean, in the States we get people who stare at us because of Dillon but not the whole population at once! But of course, everyone loved Jay and stopped to talk to him.
That was an experience that I don’t think I will soon forget! It was scary to be trapped and not be able to understand a word of what people were saying to us! Scary to not have a way to tell them what we needed. Next time we will be sure to take the little translator with us!