Make This Place His Home

If It’s Wednesday, It Must Be Shamian Island

This is Lisa – Charlie loves when I hijack to type on the blog..ha.ha.  As Charlie mentioned in our Facebook post last night, we had a free day yesterday so we made the trek over to Shamian, which was at one time, a very quaint part of Guangzhou with a lot of European architecture.

As we were getting ready to leave our hotel to go there, we looked at the skies, which were basically getting black and very threatening.  We ran back to the rooms to grab rain jackets.  We had to split up into 2 cabs, so Rita and I had the “6 year old crew” as we now call them and Charlie had the “9 year old crew.”  Rita and I had the rain jackets, too. I swear the minute that we hit Shamian and the taxi driver dropped us off, the heavens opened..not small drops but driving rain.  We put our jackets on and Ryan looked at Rita and I like “what the heck is going on here.”  I am pretty sure the SWI did not drive the kids around in cabs in rainstorms!  We stayed under the underpass hoping for a break, while I texted Charlie to see where he had landed.  His text back “Dylan says “oh biscuits, we don’t have our raincoats!”  We have taught him to use “biscuits” vs. some other wonderful, more colorful words that he might like to use!

Anyway…after about 15 minutes, Rita and I got our crew to Starbucks – soggy but not drenched.  15 more minutes later, Chal and the boys roll into Starbucks drenched but laughing.  So we thought “oh, let’s have a snack and the storm will roll over in a few more minutes.”  So we had the snack, a little girl was very much in awe of Ashley and kept coming over to shake her hand (which Ashley really wanted no part of), Ryan was saying to himself (taxis, rain, now I am in a coffee shop?!)  After about a 1/2 hr, we decided to brave what had turned into sprinkles and we made it down to our favorite gift shop to pick up a few things.  Then once again, as we left the shop, the heavens opened up with buckets of rain.  We ran to a pavilion to seek cover with several other locals.  Kyle, Dylan and Ashley went out to get even more soaked in the puddles.  I stepped Ryan off the curb to go play with them, he took one step down, came right back up with the look “are you kidding me?!”  By that time, 3 kids were soaked head to toe and the rest of us were soaked head to waist so we just moved out to take the pictures on the island and look at the river, then we headed back.

As we get into the hotel and went to our room, my key did not work nor did Rita’s. We all head down to the front desk (still soaking wet), and the woman there says “oh, you checked out this morning.”  I was like “ah, no…and ALL of our stuff including adoption paperwork, clothes, money, passports is IN that room.”  This was a post script to our checking in on Sunday and being told that they no longer had the room we reserved as part of the tower was “under renovation” so we had to get a new room. Although, they never informed any of us about that over a month ago. So on Sunday, they first tried to give us 2 rooms with 2 beds – said no; then how about 3 rooms with 3 beds…I was like, we have SEVEN  people, I need 6 beds and the washer/dryer and kitchen you promised us.  So after a lot of arguing, we ended up in that 20th floor room.  At that time, the man told me that we would be moving mid-week to a new room because someone “needed THAT room.”  On Tuesday, our guide had told them that we were NOT going to move and they said “ok.” Guess that message didn’t pass down yesterday as I got into a heated debate with 4 Chinese women who were madly typing into a computer and making phone calls as I was telling them loudly that this was not acceptable.  So after 1.5 hours of going to our old room, to madly pack up (still soaking), we got moved to the 19th floor, circa 1981 room.  This is a one floor room w/one less bathroom and tons of smoke smell coming in through the vents, but at least it was a room and we could change clothes and move on.  Then at 9 pm, 2 men show up at my door bearing cakes for any “inconvenience” of the day…..I could only laugh by then.  Poor Ryan had to put on his backpack as we were madly packing up Room #1 as he had no clue where he was going next and seemed a bit worried, so he was taking what minimal possessions that he had with him.  He did know that wherever we were going, he was going, so that seemed to ease him a bit more.

He now has learned the game of when the elevator door opens, it’s a full on race to our hotel room door at full speed (probably sounds like a pack of elephants running down the hallway.)  He loves it and laughs hysterically all the way. The crazy thing is that he always knows which room is ours.  Despite his severe vision issues, he really can discern several things.  Last night, he looked at the kid’s menu in the restaurant and pointed to an ice cream cone and said “ice cream!”  He and Ashley started to share an ice cream last night and then we ended up getting two, as he was inhaling it so quickly.

While having our ice cream at the lobby cafe, we were sitting near 4 men holding up and discussing women’s underwear at another table right next to us!!  They were probably fashion trade show people and our kids didn’t notice, but we were cracking up as another funny thing that we have seen.

Ryan is still pretty quiet, but will often speak to himself softly in Chinese.  Yesterday while watching “Glee” with us (one of the only US programs we could get – albeit, this was Season 1 of Glee), he was munching his goldfish crackers and babbling away.  He has started to repeat lots of things so he is picking up language quickly.  He can count to 12 in English and he is attached to Ashley now very much. The boys are a little jealous of that relationship, but he was probably told to stay away from older boys at the SWI so I just told Kyle and Dylan that they need to take it gradually with him.  He and Ashley are the same height, so they are two peas in a pod and this gives her someone else to take charge of!

We are off for the visa photo today and medical appointment for him and then Ashley says that we must swim this afternoon.  We’ll catch you later.

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One thought on “If It’s Wednesday, It Must Be Shamian Island

  1. Terri

    Again, I’m exhausted just reading this. It sounds like a great, great day and Ryan is having the time of his life….Ashley has to be in her glory!!!! The pictures are great!!

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