Archive for November 4th, 2007

Go, go, go, go, GO!!!

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

That’s from a Backyardigans episode (Racing Day), for those of you who don’t hear their soundtracks playing in your head all day long. This is actually my second attempt at posting today; I started in late afternoon, but a computer glitch ate my post and the pictures I had laboriously uploaded. So, I had to abandon ship and run off to our next activity. Back to work.

We arrived yesterday afternoon, and rested a while, then we met for visa photos for the new kiddos, and then wandered over to the infamous Lucy’s for a nice dinner. Ahh, American food… We ate with our Ningxia companions, the Krys, and the Berter and Schultz families who we know from our on-line community. What fun to get to meet people in person! The kids got to run around a bit outdoors, and the adults got to drink beer, so a good time was had by all.

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This morning was a paperwork morning for us.  We ate breakfast at the overwhelmingly extensive White Swan buffet, then I had to go fill out all the visa application paperwork.  Joe and Nicki and the kids sorted our laundry so we could take it over to Sherry’s Place for cleaning.  I got the paperwork done, and then learned, much to my dismay, that our flight from GZ to Beijing on Friday is considered a domestic flight, and is thus subject to domestic luggage allowances.  That means only 1-44 pound suitcase per person.  We were at that limit on the way here, and we haven’t even begun to shop!  I’m very concerned about that, in addition to the fact that I learned that we will not be able to check our luggage all the way through to Newark from GZ, so we’ll have to claim it in Beijing and then recheck it.  I was hoping to avoid doing all that with 2 toddlers in tow.  I’m actually upset enough about it that I’m considering changing our tickets to fly out of Hong Kong instead, and just buying new tickets from GZ to HK.  It would add to our expense quite a bit, but would reduct my stress level by a lot.  I can’t believe I didn’t know this!  I just assumed the rules would be the same as when we fly out of Hong Kong.  That was stupid of me, I guess.  Frustration number 1 of the day.

After that, we ventured over to Sherry’s Place to drop off the laundry and start the shopping.  We picked out some matching outfits for Anna and Will, and got some nice PJ’s for mama and baba.  I managed to bargain a bit, even though I’m not great at it.  Then we came back and shot the infamous Red Couch photos!

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It took 2 different shots of our family to get everyone looking reasonably nice.  The whole group did pretty well.

We finally got the kids to nap for a bit after that, and then it was go go go again to get ready for our Pearl River cruise.  Our guides had decided the dinner cruise was too dangerous for us (food not safe, I think) so we went on an after dinner cruise.  It was very pleasant – beautiful lights all along the way, and we got to cruise past the White Swan!  I took lots of photos; I’ll try to edit and post some tomorrow.  The cruise is where disaster number 2 struck.  Somehow, in transfering Anna from my arms to Joe’s, he managed to hit my arm hard enough to fling my camera to the ground and break the lens apparatus.  Yes, my carefully chosen and now, much-beloved Fuji F20 is now defunct.  I’m now stuck with Joe’s Canon.  At least we have another camera.  I’m quite disappointed though.  I’m trying to decide whether just to go ahead and order another one, or let Joe try to get this one fixed.  Sigh.

Tomorrow, we go on the big GZ tour that we enjoyed so much last year, and then we have Will’s medical exam for his visa in the afternoon.  We have a group dinner at the Thai restaurant tomorrow evening.  They have excellent food!

I will try to talk a little more about Will as the week goes on, if life ever slows down a bit.  He is a nice, smart little boy, but he does have a lot of behavior issues.  It’s impossible to tell at this point if they’re real, or if he’s just testing us, or if these are just institutional behaviors.  He’s very moody, and will choose one of us, and then blatantly snub, or even run away from the others and cry when we try to touch him.  The favored adult changes about twice a day.  He also has rather manic episodes where it’s very difficult to calm him down.  Not mean episodes, more just wild play with screaming and out of controlness.  I think we’ll have to get him home and established in our routine with a sense of our version of order before we can tell what’s real and what isn’t.