Between spending hours at the pool and making a visit to New Day South, our time in Guangzhou flew by. Before we could believe it, the time had come to transfer back to Beijing.
Wednesday afternoon we met in the lobby to collect Natalie's passport ~ complete with IH-3 Visa to enter the US and become an American citizen ~ and say goodbye to several of the families we met along the way. After exchanging contact information, it was time to wheel our luggage out to our beige and white Toyota Coaster mini-bus (which seemed to be the ubiquitous vehicle on the roads for private transfers). Even with two other families on board there was plenty of room, but our crew headed straight for the back...just like every other time. What's that they say about kids that like to sit in the back of the bus?
|pretty much a fight every time over who gets to sit next to Yunyun|
Miko assisted us in getting checked into our flight to the nation's capital. It was a little crazy for a few minutes as they "couldn't" find Natalie's ticket information. We were glad for her help and thankfully the situation was quickly resolved.
Then to say zai jian to sweet Miko. She is just the right combination of sweet, funny, and authoritative and our kids just loved her. I truly hope that our paths will cross again in life.
Four Caucasian adults with five Asian kids? Check.
All (with one exception) speaking fluent English? Check.
Sitting on the floor to eat? Check.
Gathering a whole lot of second looks? Check.
And double check.
One guy even got up from his seat to come walk by us...almost stepping on me in the process of his open mouth staring. Eventually I think he forgot he was still looking at us and I made eye contact and said, "Ni hao." That snapped him out of it and he looked almost embarrassed at himself, gave us a quick nod, and walked away.
Refueled from our yummy Subway sandwiches, we happily headed toward the domestic transfers for our flight back to Beijing. Usually we made one long line, with Ian leading, five kids pulling bags, me behind them and the Grandmas bringing up the end...on stray child or rolling thermos detail.
The flight itself was shorter than I remembered it being. Perhaps I still recall how long it seemed to take the morning of February 5, 2007 when we were flying the other direction to meet our first child...but it was rather quick. The interesting thing that happened is that Natalie decided as we were taxiing to the runway that she didn't want to sit with her daddy...she wanted me. So we did a quick little push Daniel across the aisle and hand Natalie over and she was quite content to babble at me in her sweet little Mandarin. Don't know what that was about, but I'll take it!
And the crazy thing? Our flight landed at 11:20pm and none, not one, of our kids fell asleep on the flight. Or on the hour + brown and beige Toyota Coaster ride to our hotel. It was like party time for them as we stood in our little alcove in the hotel trying to figure out who was sleeping in which of the three rooms. By the time it was all settled, we only had about six hours to sleep, for there were big plans for the next day...
**Wednesday, September 11**