Saturday, September 6, 2008

Day #1 in China- done!

     I wish there were words to describe this day.  There are none to suffice.  

     I will say that I always thought I wasn't made for foreign travel... and now I am certain of it.  Don't get me wrong.  I am going to enjoy every second I am here..... but....

     A couple of things... First of all, I don't think that I am sick from the food or anything else in China.  I had one of the worst headaches known to man.  Paul thought I was dehydrated (Who made him the doctor??)  So, he made me drink a lot of water.  The water was the only thing I threw up.  Then, I get all worked up about not feeling well and being in CHINA and my stomach goes crazy.  Hence, the vast amount of time in the bathroom- that's what happens when I get nervous.  Sorry for the detail, but I wanted to be clear that it was my nerves and not food.
     Next, he thinks we should go eat.  Before I go into detail about the eating, why didn't anyone warn me about the smell in China??  And, what in the world is the smell??  It's everywhere!  It makes my stomach do flips... and not the good kind of flips.  So, we go to eat breakfast in the hotel.  I could barely look at the food.  I got 2 tiny pieces of french toast and some cereal.  I took ZERO bites of anything!  The thoughts of the unrecognizable foods combined with the smell... no way I could eat!  We were to meet our guide at 10 am in the lobby so I ate 1/2 of a poptart that we brought.
     Then we were off to the Forbidden City.  It lies to the north of Tiananmen Square and rectangular in shape, Forbidden City is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares.  74 hectares is about 1000 miles... at least that's what it felt like.  It was interesting and very big!
     After the Forbidden City, we went to heaven.  Our guide took us to some massage place. It was beautiful.  Paul and I were taken into this room with really comfortable chairs and a tv.  We had our feet washed and massaged for the next 70 minutes.  It was amazing!  Then, we left that room and had our neck and back massaged for 30 minutes.  Yes, that is 100 minutes of massaging.  And, guess how much it cost??  For both of us???  $60 US dollars!  And, worth every penny.
     It was about 3 pm by then and we hadn't eaten so our guide took us to this restaurant next door to the massage place.  I left heaven because that smell smacked me in the face the minute I walked in the door of that restaurant.  As were walking to our table we passed lots of things floating in jars.  In one of the jars, there were sea horses, lots of them.  So, I asked our guide, whose name is Grace, "WHAT IS THAT??"  
     I gotta tell you, she may speak English, but I don't know what the heck she is saying half of the time.  I did get that it is some sort of alcohol... for men.  I didn't ask anymore questions.  And, those of you who have been here, I know there are things that I am going to see that are far worse than this, but I couldn't even look at the menu.  Salted duck liver, duck blood soup... I was done.!!  Paul ordered some form of Kung pao chicken and Grace ordered tofu.  I ate about 3 bites of rice and one bite of the chicken, while gagging!!  I am not sure if I believe anything is really chicken.
     After this, we went to an acrobat show.  That was amazing!  I LOVED IT!  I didn't know people could do things like that with there bodies.  It was really one of the best live performances I have ever seen.  But, the smell, yep!  It was there too!
     We were dropped off at our hotel for the evening.  We decided to play frogger down the road to find McDonalds.  Someone once said that the traffic rules in China were at best suggestions.  Truer words have never been spoken.  
     We made it to the Golden Arches.  The smell had followed us down the street and it too stopped when we stopped.  I choked down a cheeseburger.  Besides all the reasons listed above as being reasons why I would have to choke something down, I had another reason.  Last week when I mentioned to my brother that McDonalds was in China and that would probably be all I could eat... he told me that it was made out of rat meat.
     There really are reasons for everything.  Now I know why I gained 15 pounds waiting for this little girl!  (I am hoping to leave everyone of those pounds here.)
     Speaking of little Emme girl, I honestly keep forgetting why I am here.  That's why they send us to Beijing first.  They have to give us time to get used to the culture shock.
     So, we are going to bed.  It's 8pm and we are dead.  I am typing to the sound of Paul sawing logs while I watch the paraolympics  opening ceremony on tv.  Yep, there are just down the road.  Seems like I shouldn't be watching them on tv.
     Tomorrow Emme will spend her last day without a family.  We are headed to the Summer Palace and The Great Wall.  I wonder if the smell will be there??

P.S.  Please don't feel left out if you don't have a day to pray.  My friends had a shower for me and everyone signed up for a day.  If you don't have a specific day, that means you have to pray everyday.  And, as you can see, I need it!


Sharla said...

Hi April,

Just be prepared, the smell doesn't go away until you the time you get to Guangzhou, you'll be ok with it but you won't miss it when you leave. Chongqing's smell was far worse than Beijing, so start praying and be mentally prepared for your province (sorry to give you bad news.)

"Frogger down the road," I can't think of a more perfect description of crossing streets in China!

Hope you are sleeping well!


Rachael said...

Well, I feel much better hearing you had a massage and had 70 minutes of bliss. :) I am also relieved to find out I don't have Friday to pray. :) I will be emailed when my day is here. However I am praying every day very hard so i don't know what I will do when it is my day... maybe fast. :) I love hearing about your time in Beijing... thank you for making us feel like we are there with you. ( a little bit anyway) Know that prayers are surrounding you and little Emme.

We love you tonz and tonz.

gnangle04 said...

You are reminding me of BooMama (:
Even in your distress, you're funny.
Keep strong... Emme's only hours away from being with you.


Mommy said...

You can add one more sending up prayers for you. Just a few more hours until Emme. It will all be worth it when you hold her in your arms.

Chris and Sarah said...

I am a friend of Rett's and we came home from China 3 months ago. Rett gave me your blog to follow. The smell doesn't get any better and either does the food but let me tell you the food tastes soooooo good when you get home. I lost 16 pounds on the trip but I think I have gained it all back. If you can find a Pizza Hut it is good and Papa Johns isn't too bad. It will be a little easier when you get in GZ.

Congratualtions on getting your precious child very soon. We brought home a 2 1/2 year old boy and he has brought so much joy to our lives.

Liz said...

April... I know why no one told you about the smell -- it's because we all put it far out of our minds when we got back.. we never wanted to think about it again!!
I have something for you to feel better though - just be thankful that you have just a few short weeks to deal with the smells... imagine us when we were there having to deal with that for an entire year! :-) Hopefully.. my pain is your gain!

Just remember Emme is waiting - she will never remember this day like you will... however it will be the most important and influential day of her life! Thanks for being willing to travel so far to change the life of a precious little one! (It's Liz Wrigglesworth... does that sound like me?! :-)

Love you guys and praying for you!

Tony and Rett said...

Really? The smell is getting to you? No way! Hehehe... actually, we just went into an Asian market the other day and we were immediately transported back to China. It made us super nostalgic and missing our girls' homeland. Hopefully, when your stomach settles, you'll look back with the same fondness!

(I'm not usually Pollyanna, but seriously, such good memories!)

Anonymous said...


I decided to check in on your blog today and I'm sooo glad I did! Wow, can you believe your finally in China!!! I also hated the smell...we did a lot of KFC, McD's, and Pizza Hut it's not the same as home but it will keep you going until you get to the White Swan and then for American style food eat at Lucy's the BLT, and Hot Ham&Cheese are great.

Look forward to see you with sweet little Emme. Congratulations and try to enjoy your time in China.

Dee, Kailey and Mylee

Rebecca said...

Dear Paul and April,
Prayers and hugs to you both...what a faithful journey you've been on...for years now...and to think, this is only the beginning. That baby girl already has such a fabulous, life changing story.
Mike and Becky

Rachael said...

Ok, I have prayed liked CRAZY all day today. It is now 2:02 am here which means it is 2:02PM where you are. Emme is sooooo close. :) I have prayed that today was a MUCH better day for you. Prayed that the smell wouldn't keep you from eating another day... you need your strength. I know God is wrapping his arms around both you and Paul as well as little Emme... do you feel it? :) We love you tonz and tonz. Hang in there! YOU ARE SOOOO CLOSE!