Saturday, April 28, 2007
Still in kid limbo...we were up to bat last month at 10 months of waiting, but we didn't make the referral batch. So, it's now the end of April and we are hoping for this batch but unsure since we just recently heard that the wait for those of us here in China has been moved to 12 months. The hopeful part is that friends of ours got their referral in 11 months, so there is a chance. However, our US paperwork from homeland security has now expired and we resubmitted, so we cannot take them (or her--we are now mentally preparing for just one daughter now as we have been told there is no guarantee for twins, which is fine by us) out of the country until we have that new piece of paper, which is due in 2-3 months. We are planning a huge begging and pleading session with homeland security in Beijing to see if they can expedite it for us. That being said, being stuck in China this summer would not be the worst thing in the world--we live in a great place and can hang by the pool and order sangria while watching the cutie/cuties turn peanut brown in the sun. Hopefully, po po and gong gong Russell and Ethridge can come and visit us here (and bring baby Crocs!). I will put another update in a week or so when we will know if we made it this time! Prayers, mantras, finger crossing, world energy--we'll take whatever you can give.
Wow--do we live in a heavily populated city! Differing reports of what the actual population is (much like the old "catching a fish" story, the number seems to grow with every telling), but I'll be conservative and say about 18 million people in Shanghai. Dale would say 20 million, so we'll call it 19 million. Some days it's not a big deal as we live far from the downtown and don't really feel the crunch, so to speak. But, other days it can be downright suffocating, almost literally! Once we went to the Carrefour grocery store on a Sunday, and it felt like about 8 million people were there with us. We were about 10 minutes into shopping, looked at each other, had a quick panic attack, and just bailed on the whole thing.
This picture is when we were on the subway with Courtney when she came to visit (sidenote: we miss you, Courtney!). With each stop, it just became more and more crowded, and I had horrible visions of the subway being overcrowded and breaking down and us getting stuck--was there a fire marshall capacity sign somewhere that I just couldn't read because it was in Chinese?? I stuck my camera above the crowd and took a picture (funny that I have more than one picture of a sea of black hair in my time in China). Right after that, the doors opened for what I can only guess was the most popular stop and a literal stampede happened with everyone trying to get out the door at the same time. One guy was down on the ground in the shuffle and it was a bit scary--very thankful we were NOT getting off at that stop. Note to self: no subways during rush hour time.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
...And the walls come tumblin' down! Tumblin', tumblin'... Shanghai is a city in flux--the old is coming down and the new is going up, and the in-between is everywhere you look. As my friend Laura wrote in a song, "the buildings go missing like teeth." With a huge work force population and people basically working on shifts that cover 24 hours a day, buildings and even public parks go up at a frightening speed. Near our house, which is way out in the suburbs, they are creating a metro system that is requiring about five miles of housing to be torn down. Huge cranes are taking bites out of the houses and tearing them down, and we are currently looking at five miles worth of concrete rubble. Local Chinese are fabulous at recycling and you will often find people breaking up the concrete and collecting rebar for resale. Rock on for recycling, China!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Just when you thought it was safe to walk into a public bathroom at your local British pub...Guitar Dale will be there, staring right at you from above the urinal! Dale's band gig has turned into a mellow solo acoustic gig every Saturday night at the Thirsty Monk (think groovy James Taylor and lots of Bob Dylan). The manager of the bar is loving the change to acoustic music and is keenly promoting Dale's gigs by plastering these posters all over the bar. Just this afternoon we turned around at our neighborhood grocery checkout to find yet ANOTHER poster of Dale. Luckily, so far, Dale hasn't turned into a diva, but we hear that the manager is thinking of using the poster in the lightbox on the side of the road outside the bar. Yeah . . . he may become hard to live with.
Forgive the sideways picture! Still low level on the tech front, and I've spent way too much time trying to get it to stay rotated, but it won't.