Harbin - Day 5

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
My sister and I joke that our daily routine is that of an elderly person--- we are up at sunrise (a little before 4 a.m. here), we are the first at the morning breakfast buffet (opens at 6:30 a.m.), out of the hotel for our guided tour with Sophie, back by lunch time, we have an afternoon nap  along with Emma Claire and/or one of us makes a run to Starbucks (there is literally one on just about every corner in Harbin) for a coffee, dinner at 5 p.m. and bed by 9 p.m. at the latest. 

Emma Claire continues to do well. She slept through the night again, even after a 4 hour afternoon nap. Even though we think we are living an old-aged lifestyle, it is her first time out of the orphanage and is a lot for her to take in. She does very well out and about and continues to be the superstar baby of Harbin.

This morning we went to the Harbin Provincial Museum to tour. There are very few buildings in Harbin older than 50 years, with the exception of St. Sophia Church (which was once a Russian Orthodox Church but is now a museum) and the Harbin Provincial Museum (which was once a Russian department store). Of course, when we walked into the museum there was big drawing of the new museum they will be building in place of the current one. In China, you can purchase a property, apartment, etc. but you only own it for 50 years max. The government has all rights to land and at the end of the 50 years, the government buys back your property (generally chosen by the middle class or wealthy) or relocates you (generally the option of the poor or those without enough savings to move).
Outside the museum.

The museum houses artifacts unearthed from the Harbin area as well as some antiquities from other parts of northern China. We happened to visit on the opening day of the Tibetan exhibit and the press was on hand for the unveiling. Being the superstar/freakshow that we are in Harbin, we soon became another exhibit, gathering our own crowd and the notice of the press photographers and the museum public relations, who was very pleased that foreigners would come to the provincial museum. We were asked if we would pose in the Tibetan exhibit while the press took photos of us. We obliged and found out that we will be in the Harbin Daily newspaper this week. We are supposed to get a copy. It will be a fantastic keepsake for Emma Claire. We were also told that the photo will be on the Harbin Daily website if our friends in the States want to see as well.
Some Tibetan embroidery.

Tibetan hangings.

A statue of the Manchu leaders.

Funny thing was, it was only after all the photographs had been taken that the museum PR person noticed Emma Claire was a Chinese baby. We keep getting told that everyone thinks Emma Claire has western features and looks like me, so she hadn't truly noticed she was Chinese.

It rained this afternoon, so we stayed in the hotel until dinner time. The weather is much cooler and the humidity is much less noticeable. We received the paperwork from the notary and tomorrow is our last full day in Harbin. Friday we get Emma Claire's Chinese passport and fly to Guangzhou. 

1 comment

Anonymous said...


Deb Hill and the Backstop team