Wednesday, July 6, 2011

China Day 1: Beijing

What we did
2am: We landed in Beijing just about 10 minutes 'til midnight.  We had a nice, restful flight, but are still super tired.  In fact, I'm the only one awake at this point and I'm not far behind the others.

A restful day so far. Today has been a "play it safe" type of day.

6am:  We woke up around 6am, got dressed and walked down the street for McDonald's sausage, egg and cheese McMuffins for breakfast. We also each got a Coke and didn't think about the ice until after we finished drinking.  Oh well, from what we hear, many people have ice or drink fraps here and don't get sick at all.  Depends on where you are, I'm guessing.  Of course, we had to stop by Starbucks for some coffee.

8:30: Back at the hotel, I felt like I was dragging.  I napped for almost 3 hours while the kids watched TV and Ken surfed the 'net a bit.   He took two of the Brownies to swim.

Noon: We walked down a short distance to Pizza Hut (remember, we're playing it safe).  I have never seen such a nice Pizza Hut restaurant here in the States.  I wonder what Chinese people think when they visit their first Pizza Hut in the US?  Anyway, they had a huge menu of a large variety of foods.  We stuck with pizza.  It was excellent.

1:30pm:   I took two kids to swim later and am impressed with the pool area while Ken and one of the kids rested. The pool had nice showers, the pool was super clean, perfect temps.  It felt great to use up some energy swimming with the kids.

I did my first bit of hand-washing laundry this afternoon.  My biggest challenge in that is wringing out the clothes.  I keep dripping water on the part of the clothes I already wrung out.  Guess practice will make perfect.

5:00pm: All of us have slept today from 3-5 hours.  I feel like I'm about to die I'm so tired.  I think it's time for another nap.  So glad we got here early to adjust!

8:00pm: Headed to Pizza hut for mango smoothies and green tea ice cream.

9:00pm: Sleep! SO SO tired.

Photos here

Thoughts, Feelings, Impressions

Beijing airport was very nice.  People really DO cram into the trams and elevators, but not as badly as you may have seen on that viral You Tube video.  It's very unsettling to not speak the language of the majority here, especially when you're attempting to pay for something in US dollars.

Arriving last night and at McDonald's this morning, we felt very out of place.  Ordering worked fine, but didn't come easy.  I'm amazed at how well many Chinese speak English (I wouldn't expect them to) but we still have to repeat ourselves at least once any time we ask or order something.  We were the only Westerners in the place today.  By our lunch visit, we were feeling a bit more confident.  I will REALLY be happy to see our guide Friday morning!  Even though our guide isn't with us, we did call him to let him know we were here and to ask him a few questions about our family plans for tomorrow.
Something we noticed: Nothing here is accessible to wheelchairs.  There are stairs into every place we've been and no ramps or curb cuts. (Not that we've SEEN any except one person using a wheelchair in the airport.)  And Josh was right.  I have only seen that one "disabled" person so far.  And I'm looking.

I miss the easy access to information via my iPhone!

For other adoptive families, here are some prices from today:
5 Sausage/Egg MeMuffins and 5 medium cokes: 95 rmb/$15
Grande Regular coffee @ Starbucks: 18 rmb/$2.78
Pizza Hut 2 large pan supreme pizzas and pitcher of Pepsi: 130 rmb/$20
Pizza Hut was by far the best deal.


  1. It was a challenge for us in Russia, too, not knowing but smatterings of the language. Quite an education.

  2. Hi Sarah!
    What I did when I washed the clothes in room is after squeezing them out, I took a towel, laid it on the clean floor, spread the shirt or whatever on it, and then rolled it up and squeezed. It got rid of the extra drippage you mentioned. Tired me would roll it up and then step on the rolled up towel to get any extra water out (with clean feet and floor of course). My husband enjoyed the breakfasts at the Jianguo hotel the most, but I do remember they charged quite a bit for the "extra people" over 2 per room. I hope you are getting good sleep tonight- I preferred the kids' benadryl I brought over Advil PM to help me sleep better, as it did not make me feel like a truck hit me if I did wake up. Have an awesome Friday! Praying for you all and wishing we were with you.