amazing race

What a night.


The hotel bellboy gets a taxi for our solo (aka no guide) adventure.  But alas, as we are stepping into the taxi we realize we have forgotten our camera.  So we try and communicate that eric is going to run back to the room and then we will go.  Not a big deal, except the language thing.  Our taxi guy wasn't too happy.  Nor was the bellboy who flagged him down.  We're off to a running start.


But we were off.  And when I say that traffic in china is horrendous I am not talking about the numbers of cars.  There are a lot but that's not the issue.  The issue is the suggestatory (is that a word?) nature of all traffic signs and laws.  Make that the suggestatory nature of everything.  Sidewalks?  Well, those are what we drive on when the street is too crowded.  Lines?  Purely for looks.  Stop lights? Well, we may or may not stop.  Probably not.  Basically everyone travels at 25 mph and weaves in and out to get where they are going.  Our taxi guy wasn't feeling patient this evening I guess, so when we hit some stopped traffic he did a u-turn, drove on the sidewalk, went down a one-way road (the wrong way, of course), wound through some alley and after narrowly missing several pedestrians, landed us where we needed to go.  If you are a rule-follower, I would suggest not moving to china. 


So we're at the shopping center.  Which we were told was 'upscale.'  Well, beings that most of china is way low scale we didn't quite know what to expect.  Think louis vuitton and cartier.  I did spot a purse I would have liked, but eric said I wasn't allowed to spend $2000.  meanie.   Who buys the stuff at this mall I have no idea.  Not so much louis vitton going on in the population that I have observed.  Meandered amongst the stares of all the employees who were gawking at the Americans with the Chinese baby and decided we would move on in our adventure.


Off to pizza hut.  Eric hails a taxi (he's got a gift) and we get in.  we show him the card where 'pizza hut' is written in Chinese.  He shoos us out.  Second taxi, he shoos us out too.  Now we are smart and eric checks with the driver before me, sj, diaper bag, camera, coats, etc. all pile in.  third taxi, nope.  We give up and decide we're going back to the hotel and see if maybe what is written down on the card says something other than 'pizza hut.'  Maybe, it says 'leave me in the middle of china' or something along those lines.  Get in the taxi, show him the card and point to the hotel's name.  end up at pizza hut.  How?  I'm not sure.  Maybe it was divine intervention.   


Pizza hut.  Manage to sit down but it is obvious that no one speaks a word of English.  We take a look at the menu (our options included seafood fruit salad…) and decide we are going for the Hawaiian pizza.  Eric says, "pepperoni and pineapple" to the waitress.  Now really, I love my husband, but we're in the middle of china.   Not so much 'pepperoni and pineapple' going on in the vocabulary around these parts.  So after an intervention by the wife which involved pointing and hand motions, we managed to get a pizza.  Personal pan size.  But nevertheless it was a Hawaiian pizza.  And it was good.  I applauded eric that at least he didn't keep saying 'pepperoni and pineapple' louder and louder.  Good job, babe.   Entertainment:  trying to get a picture of me without 4 chins.   I am seriously getting a complex people.


Off to the hotel.  Oh wait, we must go in the bookstore next to pizza hut.  Seriously?  I know you like books, honey, but we are in CHINA.  Their books are in CHINESE.  But, beings that I am a most submissive wife, we go.  We have to check our bag at the front.  Which means we yank out our passports and money in front of everyone before handing them our bag.  And then we go wandering around the bookstore.  Felt like we were in barnes and noble.  Except for the Chinese part.   And no sofas, or coffee.  And lots of smoking.  I did find 'twilight,' in Chinese.  BUT…………I have to say, we bought our first souvenir in the Chinese bookstore.  A globe.  In Chinese.  So I take back all the mean things I was thinking (and may or may not have been communicating.  With or without words.)


And now, to get home.  At this point it is 7:00ish, dark, and everyone and their brother (except that Chinese people don't have brothers.  You know, the one child thing) are trying to get home.  Oh, and it's cold.  Butt.  Cold.  Frazisimo cold.  Bundled up like an Eskimo cold.  We stand on one corner.  And another.  And decide to walk down the street a little.  At this point eric turns to me and says, "why don't you start yelling at me and then it will be just like Amazing Race!"  but I did NOT do that.  Did.  Not. 


We finally get a taxi and find ourselves back at our home away from home.    Our very warm, English speaking home.


And we are living happily ever after.  


Cristina said...

Hi Ashleigh and Eric,
Just want you to know that one of the highlights of my day is reading your blog! You are hilarious!
Bill and I watched the video and we both commented how she seems like she has been your kid from the beginning. She already looks at you with such love....very sweet!!
Have a great day!!

Kristie said...

You sound like you are having an interesting trip. We were alone when we got Jenna in 2008, it does get lonely. Sarah Joy is beautiful. We loved the video, we got tears in our eyes watching. We will be going back for our second daughter in the fall and are so excited.

Michael & Beverly said...

Great blog post. I love to read your stuff. You should write a book ! ! !
Ps. Thanks for giving Eric a break.

Julie said...

Maybe you should yell. They always get cabs with english speaking drivers on amazing race. I am sure that has nothing to do with clever editing/cab placement.

Dana Woods said...

This was hilarious! I love your sense of humor and I can't wait to have Mike Ginter read the part about The Amazing Race --- that's one of his favorite shows! He will love it. I hope all is going well. If there are any problems, let us know!

Beth said...

I just stumbled upon your blog but I enjoyed this post tremendously as someone who has not traveled to China but has traveled to places I don't understand. Blessings on bringing your little one home!

Lisa & Jon said...

Hi Ashleigh & Eric,
I've been reading your blog for several weeks - I'm a friend of Rachel's and learned about it from her FB page. I love hearing other's adoption stories - we just got our son 6 weeks ago (domestic infant adoption - very different than yours but adoption creates a community of people who really are the only ones who can begin to understand what this is like). I have to say that when people take photos of any of us with a child, the 4 chin thing is just inevitable! It's the angle - we want to look at our baby and to look at them in the eyes when their face is so close - well THAT creates 4 chins. So no need to get a complex - you do not have 4 chins. I love that SJ's middle name is Makiah. Lisa

Anonymous said...

I love you, oh, how I love you and love how you always make me laugh out loud and cry in the same blog! :)
If it makes you feel better, it is BUTT. COlD. here in Alabama too. 14 degrees tonight!!! At least you are getting a beautiful baby out of your cold day!
I shared with my students the video of Day 1 with Sarajoy. They have been following your journey and were all happy do see her smile and play! Be ware: you have several teens who want to come see her and all your kids in person this summer at my house! (I'm plugging for the family reunion here!)
Love to you all!!!

djacques said...

Love it, Love it, Love it :) Such a good laugh I had when I read the blog this morning. Got me thinking of our time in China. Driving over there does really bring you closer to God...you pray the whole time. Can't wait for the next posts. Love to you all. Maureen

Jonathan said...

Along the upscale shopping center thing, China is a growing market for Ferrari. (And a Hawaiian pizza is pineapple and ham(Canadian bacon as some call it) not pepperoni. :) )