Trip to Adopt Anna

Christmas Eve



Crazybunch Home
Anna Adoption Story
Referral Photos
To China
To Shenyang
Sue's View
Catholic Church
Christmas Eve
Leaving Shenyang
Meet Travel Group
1st Day w/Anna
2nd Day w/Anna
3rd Day w/Anna
4th Day w/Anna
5th Day w/Anna
To Guangzhou
Hard Rock Cafe
Hong Kong
Home at Last

Shenyang (12/24/01) - Christmas Eve

 Today was the first time we were on our own. For the past three days, Sue’s sister and her husband had been with us. They enjoyed the company and shopping with us as much as we did with them. However, everyone was worried that we would be lost without an escort. Indeed, Shenyang has changed so much Sue would not recognize anything. We were confident that we could get around without help. After a very long debate we were allowed to be out on our own. However, there was one condition; Sue had to carry her Dad’s cell phone. Of course, we were checked upon a few times on the road to report where we were.

Cell phone becomes everyone’s toy. In Sue’s family, everyone has a cell phone. You heard the phone rings everywhere on the streets, in the shops and taxis. The best part of it is that every phone plays a melody instead of a ring when a call comes in.  Naturally, American tunes are the preferred ones. We heard the “saints go marching on”, old land Sayne (?) and even America the beautiful. Sue’s sister and her husband each have one cell phone. When we visited various large shops together and we accidentally walked apart, they would call each other to find where everyone was. They are fairly cheap to use too (to the western standard). On average, Sue’s sister told us that she spent about less Y100 ($12.5) a month on her cell phone charges while she and her husband together only makes little over Y2000 together a month as their standard salary, but this does not include some bonuses and gifts. They do well on their monthly salary and put all the other income into savings. They bought their apartment (95 m2  for $17k US dollar – the current exchange rate is $100=Y820 ).in cash and are planning to buy a personal car (domestic made mini van) which would cost $5000USD. They are considered low/middle income class, more to the low end. My brother and his wife make nearly double the amount month.

The old communist system is gone, or at least it is not very visible any more. People talk openly about politics and state affairs, something unheard of in the old days of European and eastern European communism. On the other side, the current government has more powerful ways to regulate the life of private citizens than in the western world. It might limit the personal freedom of the individuals. But, this is not how it is perceived by the people we met, in contrary they thin k that it is necessary to manage such a large population and accredit the government for much of the progress in recent history. Very few people are complaining about their political system. People own properties, open shops and business. There are no guaranteed jobs and medical insurance any more. There are private and public school systems too. In Beijing, sending kids to a private school (K-12) charted by Beijing University will cost $5000 a year which includes room and board and tuition.