Friday, September 10, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I am pretty certain that I used the heading "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" before when we adopted Luke. If so, consider it something like the movie "Groundhog Day", whereby the main character lives the same day over-and-over again until he decides to interject his own tweaks to what he thinks/knows will happen. Well, I am not trying to change what I think will happen, but there are some aspects of the travel side of this trip that start to feel repetitive. The sole objective of this day was to make it safely to Guangzhou. We started travelling at 3:00pm, by bus, to the airport. The straight shot flight was slightly delayed but lifted off safely and touched down without incident. Did you know that I pray before every flight and ask God to spare my life? If I ever go in a plane crash you can assume I forgot to pray because up till now I am batting a 1.000 in this narrow aspect of my prayer life. Or, maybe, as the joke goes, it was the pilot's time to go and I just picked the wrong flight. Okay, you did not ask for all that, so back to happy words. Ou flight arrived in Guangzhou and we pushed our luggage for 20 minutes to a bus. We then took a 45 minute bus ride to our hotel. We were in our room by 11:00pm or so. Long btravel day for such a seemingly short distance.

Mack did really well travelling. Basically, I have learned, after three bus trips with him, that he happily handles the first two-thirds of the trip and peacefully sleeps the last third of the trip. The alarming signal relative to his flight behavior is that he did not sleep on the plane. Basically, he was a bundle of energy--not loud--not crying--just constant motion--constantly bouncing between us--constantly kicking tray table--constantly reaching into other passenger's space beside us, in front of us, and behind us. And, did I mention, that this kid drools constantly. I really should have "knocked on wood" when I told Melissa, I can handle anything as long as he does not drool. I love hot, sweaty, cramped quarters, being drooled on by a small child. Good Times! Why did I say this was alarming flight behavior? Well, me being Mr. Negative--i am just "concerned" about the 14 hour flight home.

Two funny stories, and then I am going to bed because it is 1:30am here. Plus, I am pounding this out on a Blackberry, a la Robin Williams in RV and I have a tingling senation in both hands. These are really "you have to be there stories" that are only funny because I am such a goof.

First, when I checked out of my room, the desk guy asked if I had used the mini-bar. I indicated that I had two Cokes and he said "No charges, only liquor". Seemed strange, so when he gave me my room bill I asked again and he said "just liquor". So, I went upstairs and told another guy, who had been searching all week for real Diet Coke that I had some in my room and that apparently it was free. So, he takes the DC. Now, spool forward, to a bus full of adoptive families about to exit the parking lot for a 45 minute trip to the airport. Imagine a littlw Chinese lady running out to the bus and asking "Who was in room 316?". Always afraid of the worst, I sheepishly said that I was in room 316. She explained that first two Cokes were free and that third one "You must pay". So, back to the front desk to pay the tab while the bus sat.

Second, imagine what happens in most airports when someone sends a coffee can full of baby formula through in checked luggage. Nothing happens--absolutely nothing. Now, imagine what happens when an American named Dave Nicholson sends that same coffee can of baby formula through in checked luggage in a Chinese airport. You gussed right. Horns sound and red lights flash and ol Dave Nicholson gets asked to step through the secure zone for a bag inspection. I am just glad I had visited the Shaolin Temple and could find a way, in peace and harmony, to not go kung fu all over everyone.

Cannot keep my eyes open.
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