Tuesday, August 16, 2011

day three, but it seems like day 30

Ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? Well, that's what we're living. I swear we've been here a month. The only thing I will probably never tire of and seriously miss when we're home is the food. Maybe that's why I took a ton of food pictures today. I love it. Like I will probably gain 10 pounds while we're here despite the fact that the only other thing we do other than eat is walk a million miles. You'd think one could walk off a lot of pounds walking miles in the heat. But I'm pretty sure breakfast buffets, dumplings, noodles and a bit of Dairy Queen ice cream will trump calories burnt walking.

Speaking of dumplings, I think I'm going to dream about them tonight. We found the best dumpling restaurant in the entire world today. It was the one time we didn't have our camera with us so no dumpling pictures but I'll get some tomorrow. And the next day and every Groundhog Day after that too. Poor Andy and Hope will probably end up hating dumplings but I seriously could eat them every day. And they're pan-fried. And my chopsticks eating skills increased 100 fold b/c I wanted to eat them so quickly. Not kidding. I am a master at chopsticks now. You can be too if you ever find yourself at this restaurant.

Now, let's move away from the food. Today was another one of those, "Did we really just spend a whole day here for this?" kind of day. Today was "Go to the bank" day. That was our entire agenda for the day. Banks in China are generally very crowded so Andy went alone w/our guide. An hour and a half later, they came back unsuccessful b/c they didn't have the number to wire the money to the orphanage. Hope is obsessed with Andy and pretty much just tolerates me. I was working for her affection or at least for her to not completely reject me 24/7 while they were at the bank. Animal crackers, Google Translate, and a sticker book worked for about an hour and twenty three minutes. Two minutes before Andy came back from the attempts at the banking she realized that he was gone and was started screaming BABA, BABA (repeat a million times at a very high decible). So for the third attempt at the bank, Hope and I went along. And the bank was next to the dumping restaurant. See, all things lead to dumplings in my world here.

After lunch we had Hope take a nap. I tried to sleep. Andy tried to not sleep. And we both felt miserable by the end of the afternoon. Worst jet lag feeling yet. We forced ourselves to get out and walk around. We forced ourselves to eat. And I didn't have to force myself to eat Dairy Queen after dinner. By then we both felt better. Not sure if it was the time of day, the dinner or just a good old blizzard from DQ that did the trick but whatever it was it worked. We bought a Beijing tourist book and are going to try and get a taxi to take us to some different areas over the next few days. Really, it's a week and a half but I'm pretending it's just a few days.

Let me backtrack a minute so you know what the daily photos are. Before all of this we had breakfast at the hotel as usual and I took a ton of photos. You really can't imagine the breakfast buffets here in China. It is actually funny. There is everthing from cereal, fruit, omelets, breakfast stuff galore as well as mini hamburgers, baked beans, cheese and sausage and crackers, soups, salad bar, chinese noodles, stir fry, steamed cabbage and veggies, wontons and basically lunch and dinner both American style and Chinese style. It is a bit odd to be serving yourself some french toast while looking at and smelling the baked beans next to it and the stir fry pork next to that. After that we walked. See a pattern? Eat. Walk. Eat. Walk. Anyway, we found a Chinse Walmart-ish store called WuMart. I kid you not. WuMart. It was a huge grocery store and everthing else store just like Walmart but w/a Chinese twist. I took some photos but you really don't get the full picture from just photos. Too bad there's not a way to send smell through the computer. Someone should invent that.

Hope is just a doll and either charming us with her beauty and cuteness or making us crazy with her opposite-of-charm-and-cuteness. Pretty much similar to any other almost four year old. Only she does show huge signs of being completely overwhelmed with all the change in her life right now. She is desperately afraid Andy will disappear from her sight. She is leary to begin bonding with me. She is friendly and outgoing to just about any person that will look at her until they speak to her and then she freezes up and gets all shy and timid and looks for me or Andy. She seeks our attention by testing our limits. You see, no matter how much this all looks like a happy we're-all-a-family-now kind of story, this is a very traumatic time for Hope. Probaby second only to the day she was left by herself on a train at the age of two and a half. When I think about how she must be feeling I can't help but be filled with grace and compassion for her. This is not her happy ending. At least not that she can understand. She was literally told, "Say I love you to your new mommy and daddy. Give them a hug. Get in the car with them and be a good girl" just two days ago. Can you even comprehend someone telling your three or four year old that? For us, these three weeks are the end of an adoption process we've been working on for nearly a year. For Hope, this the beginning of a new life that no one told her she would be getting. Just as she was getting used to living in an orphanage and learning to survive and cope there, she is thrown into a completely different world. Considering the circumstances, she's doing great. And she's beyond cute...wouldn't you say?!

See pictures from today here

1 comment:

  1. I love your post! I laughed, remembered, sympathized, etc. Evvvverything takes a day in Beijing! Seriously. If it can be arranged for the middle of the day and ensure that you are all missing lunch and that naptime will be totally screwed up, well, that's when your appointments will be. And they won't be quick. The food is great, but even that gets old. You'll love Guangzhou. Partly because it represents the end of the road, partly because it is so different from Beijing-a walking city (where pedestrians can actually walk), a lot of diversity in the people-height, weight, hair, everything-the jet lag will be gone by then, and it just has a completely different feel.

    Hang in there,