So far I have given you the detailed account - but not the funny little stories randomly floating in my memory bank. By the way - I am having to make these posts to blogger using all prompts that are in Chinese. I tried to get babble fish to translate the website for me - but it won't ...so I am just going by memory on where the "post" tab is. So I know everything is not perfect. Also, I am still pretty loopy from time change and lack of sleep - so my grammar and thought processes are pretty scattered! Sorry!
Random stories & thoughts:
1. The day before we left Macy and I were in a store in Fayetteville run by Asian people. They were talking in their native language and Macy grinned HUGELY and said "they are talking SPANISH! I know Spanish!" And went on to count to five "uno, dos, etc..." It was SOOO funny & precious! The girl she was talking to didn't speak much English so she didn't have a clue to anything that was said so I was glad! :)
2. When we were leaving the plane and walking to baggage claims I was walking slower than usual b/c I felt terrible and Brad called my name, and I stopped, turned around and looked at Him...and he said, "Can you speed it up a little?" While loads of people parted to continue walking around us. I just said, "You have got to be kidding me. You STOPPED me in this throng of people to tell me to speed up? That really helped." I might have been a tad cranky...I'm not sure. Then, about 10 minutes later he hollers out, "Can you slow it down a little - you keep leaving us behind." To which I replied - "Make up your mind. Speed up. Slow down. I can't make you happy!" By now I had a huge grin on my face and was feeling a little spunk coming back.
3. When we exited customs there were a couple hundred Chinese people standing behind a rope watching for arriving guests. Several were waving signs with names on them. In the midst of the people I saw a small dark blue sign with AWAA on it. THAT'S US! I think that Rosa our guide may have begun to wonder if we were showing up b/c it took us soooo long to get to her. She is VERY nice and speaks great English.
4. The first thing we saw when we exited the airport onto the street were about 8 huge flagpoles all flying the red Chinese flag. It really made an impression on Brad. He thought it was interesting that this is the first thing you see upon setting foot on their soil. A reminder that you are in CHINA.
5. We are staying at the Guangxi Hotel (pronounced gwong-shee) in Beijing.
6. On the 40 minute shuttle ride to the hotel our guide was telling us that 16 million people live in Beijing. 16 million. That is hard to grasp. Each side of the highway had huge apartment looking buildings that were at least 15-20 stories high. Every window/apartment had a VERY old looking air unit on the outside wall. It kinda looked like some places in Mexico except that there were LOTS of apartments buildings....all the way on the 40 min drive to our hotel. And they were all tall and run down looking. All of them.
7. We slept at our hotel room from 8 PM - 11:30 and then Macy, Brad, and I all woke up. Hungry & thirsty. So we got up and snacked and played until 2:30 AM. Our room was EXTREMELY hot. We called housekeeping and they came to "fix" it. He pointed some sensor gun at the vent and acted like it was fixed. Hmmnnn....30 min later it was just as hot. He had put it on HEAT and turned the temp up. I'm thinking - "You saw me with sweat beads on my face and you think I want heat???!!" So we sleep until 3:30....another hour in...then I'm up. Snack again. Then at 5 I go down to the front desk to talk to someone about our room. She says that all of the rooms are on a sensor and they are all the same. BUT I KNOW Moms room is cooler b/c I've been in there several times. So she sends someone up to "check on it". I have my language book out and tell the girl "air-conditioning. No?" (in Chinese) And she just shakes her head no like nothing can be done. After another 30 min of sweltering I go down and ask if we can change rooms or something. So at 5:30 in the morning we pack up our mess and move 3 rooms down the hall. It is still not cool by any means - but it IS much cooler. I think the blower wasn't working in that room. So pray for miraculous cool breezes to blow in our room. I'm serious!
1. OHHHH - and Dad insisted that Mom get this new suitcase that has 4 wheels that swivel in every direction so she wouldn't be knocking her suitcase over all the time....those of you who know my mom, Dorinda - will appreciate my stories about her this week! She brings such joy to my life. Actually, in my opinion she brings joy to all. I think 'To Know My Mom, Dorinda is to Love Her.' We are having great fun together! I come up with all of the silly ideas - she helps them turn from funny to comical! :) I know you West Memphis people will appreciate all of this! Anyway - back to the suitcase....We are leaving the airport walking out to the parking lot and she snags a wheel or something and about loses her balance and falls. I enjoyed my first belly laugh since my belly hurling experience. Then everyone else goes across to the street, but we are behind b/c I am waiting on her, laughing, etc. So when we go to cross traffic flies out of nowhere...and there is seriously NO YIELDING to pedestrians even though we are standing in the crosswalk with suitcases and a stroller with Macy on board. We just laughed.
2. After we got to the hotel and got our rooms, Mom and I decided to walk across the street to the supermarket to buy a case of water. There are lots of bicycles carrying carts on the streets. We will get a ride at some point and take pics. We were the only Americans on the street and in the store, but no one looked at us funny. We each bought a case of 12 bottles of water for less than $2. (Chairman Mao is on every denomination of currency they use here.) She didn't want to buy a case b/c she didn't want to have to carry it back across the street to the hotel...but of course I said, "Oh, come on...you are a hoss woman. You can do it!" So, on entering the rotating door thing to our hotel - she jumps into my cubicle with me! As we are both holding on tight to our cases of water I holler out - "Don't you trip me or we will both end up sprawled out on the floor of this thing going in circles with water bottles everywhere!" After I had this "vision", I told Mom I have decided to call our part (me and her) of this journey, "DUMB AND DUMBER GO TO CHINA!" Isn't that great! :)
3. Today we walked about 4 blocks to eat lunch at McDonald's. Come to China. Eat McDonald's. go figure! But it felt like a safe option on food. It was PACKED with Chinese people and we all had to sit at a teeny tiny table to eat. I took pics and will hopefully load pics soon. I have a pic of my Big Mac box. THE FUNNIEST PART is that after taking Macy to the bathroom - I told Mom - let's go to the bathroom together. With our cameras. She looked at me like I was crazy - but came anyway. There were 2 stalls. One had a sign that said "sit" and a pic of a toilet, the other said "squat" and had a pic of 2 feet with a hole in the middle. I told her I wanted her to pose over the squatty potty and let me take a pic! So we go in and shut the stall door and mom is just baarreeeely squatting and I show her how I think you are supposed to it - squatting all the way down. She then attempts my great feat and about falls over, her purse flies open and everything flies out all over the floor. Another great dumb and dumber moment in China! We are dying laughing when we hear someone enter the restroom and the stall next to us. We both cover our mouths and try with much effort to laugh silently ....which makes it worse! Then someone else comes in. I'm whispering - "Now what do we do? There is a line and they are going to see both of us coming out of this squattie potty stall together snickering and with cameras!" To which we erupt in another round of quiet snorting. I then say, "maybe we should just stay in here until the coast is clear." And after a moment the restroom was empty and we quickly exited. WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE! :)