Thursday, August 25, 2011

day 12

Day 12. Our last day in Beijing. We went to the Beijing Aquarium which is actually in the zoo but is a separate building. We spent about three hours in the aquarium. One could probably see the whole thing from corner to corner in about 40 minutes but there was really no where else to go since it was raining. I think half of the 15 million people in China were at the aquarium too.

By the time I stood in the rain to buy tickets I had reached my limit of being in public spaces with hoards of people who culturally do not value personal space as I do. After I bought the tickets and was nicely trying to shove my way out of the mass chaos only to move into an enclosed aquarium that was just another mass chaos situation, I got spit on. On my open toed shoes. And it started dripping between my toes. And I seriously, for real, I'm not kidding about threw a tantrum like a two year old and cried to go home. I have handled almost everything here pretty well. But the spitting makes me literally shiver with disgust every time I hear it. I'm not sure why but spitting is as common here as it is breathing. Ask anyone who's been to China. It kind of ruined the rest of the day for me because I had run out of grace and patience for spitting of any kind. Spitting while walking past people. Spitting while standing in line to get food. Spitting from a moving car. Spitting from the top of a two story moving bus. Spitting in the mall. Spitting at restaurants. Spitting outside. Spitting inside. I mean, really, I just don't get the purpose or need. It is one thing I will not miss about China and hope to never here again. And Chinese spitting isn't just spitting, it's a long process of hacking and snorting and heaving the spit as far and as forcefully as one can. It sounds like a gunshot to my ears and if you secretly watched me walk around the streets and in crowded shopping malls you might think I had a tic of some sort b/c you'd see me twitching and tilting my head and quickly shrugging my shoulders. It's what happens to me when I hear spitting. My body literally starts convulsing with disgust. Oh my, it officially became my breaking point today. I so badly just wanted to get home. And never hear spit again. There is only so much a girl can take. And someone else's spit on your toes is way, way, way past the limit. And it was only 10:30 a.m.

The rest of the day involved Andy trying to keep Hope attached to his hand or in her stroller. I was in charge of pushing the mostly empty stroller and mentally getting over the spit episode. Laugh all you want but until you've lived with spit in the back of your ear for 12 days, you really can't understand. It can be somewhat traumatic. Anyway, we looked at fish. And then looked at them again. We had lunch at the aquarium and made the mistake of ordering American food. We've learned that anything that is made in China but supposed to taste like our food will be terrible unless it's from a chain restaurant and even then it's different. Andy ordered a cheeseburger and it was so bad he couldn't eat it. I only mention it b/c we took a picture of it. The hamburger was so small it was funny. Remember the Where's the Beef? commercials. It was like that. Oh, and the day before I think there was a picture of a chicken sandwich from KFC. It had random bits of corn and carrots or veggies of some sort in it. Weird. And the pizza from Pizza Hut has no sauce on it. When we asked for some pasta sauce to dip it in (they sold spaghetti and lasagna so we knew there was pasta sauce on the premise somewhere) we were given a plate of ketchup. Anyway, back to my original Day 12 story, we made it till about 3:00 and then went to an indoor shopping mall b/c we had missed the naptime window and needed to keep Hope awake for the rest of the day. We had our last dinner in Beijing at Pizza Hut. And here we are waiting for Hope to fall asleep so we can start packing for our big move tomorrow. We fly to Guangzhou for the last week of our trip. We're looking forward to seeing other American families that are adopting as all U.S families end up in Guangzhou b/c the U.S. Embassy is there. And we'll be one city closer to home!

Click here to see photos from today

1 comment:

  1. Hope the trip to Guangzhou goes well. They had outlawed spitting, because there were so many complaints from tourists. We really didn't see it in 2008, but they had just hosted the Olympics, so maybe that was why.