Sunday Sunday

Yep, I still have my silly hat on, which I think really means I must surely still be sleep deprived. I'll recap the last 48 hours, approximately, because I really don't know how much time it's been.

We about froze our butts off waiting in LAX once we got to our gate. I mean it was freezing! We were shivering. See, we don't wear jackets in the summer. Sure a lot of other people do, and then there are those that know to bring jackets, but seeing as how we live in Texas where our cold weather last from November (maybe, but sometimes we're still wearing shorts at Christmas) thru March (again maybe, this year we had 90+ temps in Feb) jackets just aren't in our nature. So we froze. And shivered. An shook. And did the bob and weave because according to our bodies it was coming up on 3:30am and shouldn't we be in bed about then?

I think we started boarding our plane about 1:10am pst, we settled in very quickly and promptly went to sleep. I think I stayed awake thru take off, but I think John crashed before then. It should also be noted that we were both still sick from earlier in the week. I had a meeting with the bowl in the bathroom in the morning before we left, and also shortly after take off from Texas to California. Or rather that meeting involved a bag. It's this drainage, it's killing me! Hey J, I can hear you now saying "girl, it's the air, I'm telling ya" as I smile and nod my head. It's all allergies though. Same with John now. We did take some dramamine thinking it might help our stomachs and I think it did. A little bit.

Anyway, on to the plane. I have to say, as I said to John, I think I like China Southern's premium economy better. EVA has newer seats and newer equipment (took us forever to figure out how to work the movie thing). CS has wider seats, more leg room between you and the seat in front of you, more offerings of food, and staff checking on you. Besides offering drinks 2x, and the 1 meal we were awake for, we never saw the staff on EVA. It was kind of weird, you know? Don't get me wrong, we would still fly EVA again, and would definitely choose the deluxe again (if nothing else than for the shorter wait lines you get to stand in!), I'm just noting some differences. Because I realized that should we still feel icky when we fly back on Friday, Jovi's going to be sitting somewhere on us, not in a separate seat, which reduces the amount of space we have. See? A mom thinks about these things.

I think our plane was supposed to get in at 6:40am (but I could be thinking about when we leave on Friday). We got in at 6am, very nice smooth flight. It was exciting as we watched the screen the last hour, and then thru all the clouds we started seeing some land. My emotions flew as they always do when we approach the country to adopt. I choke up, I cry, because I know that me being here means something so incredibly life changing for someone else. Adopting from China I knew that Jani needed us, without us her life would not be a good one. But for the boys I feel differently. Don't get me wrong, they need us and we need them. But Taiwan isn't China. If it weren't me it would be someone else. These boys are fed (seriously, have you seen Jovi's pictures?) and clothed, and not put 3 to a crib with a straw mat and standing in pee. You know? It's just different. But no less, it still makes me sad to take them from their home country. I was wondering as we were still approaching, would I have these same feelings if I was adopting from in the US? I think I would, except maybe instead of their country, it would be from their surroundings, the sights they would have seen growing up, the slang that their area uses. Little things like that. The things that turn us into the adults we grow to be. So I'm here, we're here, but my heart is sad for Jace and Jovi's loss too.

We followed what Laura said as best as I could remember it. When we got off we went to Immigration, but noticed that NO ONE was at the bank booth to exchange money. Of course mostly everyone was Taiwanese except for the 60 people in the non-citizen lines. We traded our crisp new 100s for some bigger 1000s. Yeah, don't we wish we could all do that! Oh, and speaking of trading, do not trade in LAX!!! We got just over $30 to $1 here, and in LAX it was $27 to $1 I believe, maybe $26. Bad rate. Oh, anyone coming over soon, I bought some NT off of my sweet friend S prior to coming, and promptly lost/left the envelope at home. So for $40, anyone want to buy $1200NT?

We breezed thru, husband and wife or family can walk up together. Then finding our bags, which was super easy, the carts are free (I refused to pay $3 at LAX and we finally found 1 someone had left), but here's what we didn't see. Where do you go afterwards? We could not see any signs as we stood there looking around. We asked one of the airport staff and they pointed to this really big yellow sign that we honestly couldn't see. It's in between the luggage carousels, not at either end of the luggage room. We get thru there, customs just smiled and said welcome (in China they scanned our luggage, or maybe that was when we got back to the US?) and then we rounded the corner to see about 50 drivers waiting for people. And low and behold there was Danny holding the sign with our name on it. I pointed at him while we were a good distance still and he pointed to himself and nodded and I gave a smile and a nod, and away we went. We rode in a black Mercedes. I must say that's the first time I've ever been in one, and we were in the backseat and I was worried about barfing from the motion. Not the case. I swear that was the most comfortable, quietest, smoothest car ride I've ever had.

Danny told us it would be about an hour ride, but it was only 30min. Of course this is in Sunday morning traffic, which I must say I was surprised there was traffic. While we rode, I looked and noticed that this does look like China buildings, but it doesn't. It does not seem as cramped and frantic as China. You can cross the street safely, though John was quite hilarious about crossing because he would almost run it seemed. I told him to relax, it isn't China. Or at least the TianMu area isn't China!

Ok, so to me, here's the coolest part of our day. As we turned right on the main street by the hotel, I found myself feeling like I was back in a place where I belonged, familiar ground. My 3rd trip to Asia. The sights, the sounds, the smell of fumes even, all so comforting. I've seen so many little girls just chattering away in Chinese, and I can't help but think how wonderful that would be for Jani. That I could be looking at her little face and hearing and understanding Chinese coming from her darling mouth. So then we happened upon this bakery place, and I wondered if it was where S told me about. No, it's more of a deli, but as we're standing inside looking around this American lady turns and says hello. Turns out she's actually from Toronto (but she didn't have an accent?) and they've lived here for 10 years with her husband's job. They love it here, she had her 3rd child here, her kids go to 3 different schools (only 1 is at the American school) and she said they can't imagine living anywhere else. She said she's met a lot families that work at Dell, we didn't even know they had an office here. We talk maybe 5 minutes and then leave to head on to the Wellcome store. We see the American school, cross the driveway and then someone honks their horn. That's another thing here, no one honks much at all. We turn around and I see my friend Liz with her hand out her car window waving at us and hollering my name. What are the odds she finds me walking down the street in Taipei! Well, she does live in the TianMu district, her kids all go to school at the Am school, and as it turns out, they have church there too. We got to talk with her for a few minutes, I realized her husband works for Dell, and that's how they are here. They've been here 3 years so far and just signed on for their 4th year. They leave on Friday to go back home for the summer. Just realized she probably will be on the same flight as us as well.

Our room (ok breaking news here, we just had a 6.0 earthquake centered in Taipei that hit at 12:59am!!!) (getting back to blogging about 30 minutes later.) is not as large as we hoped, but nice enough. We've stocked our fridge with water, bought some soup bowls of noodles to make here in the room.

Oh after we went to the Wellcome market (which I couldn't tell if it was me since my balance seems to be off a little, or if it was the store, but it seemed really slanted in there) we walked down another street and stumbled across Fangs. We were hungry as we really hadn't eaten much more than a roll since LAX. We ordered fried rice w/chicken and fried rice w/shrimp. John also ordered tangerine pork riblets, not good, not bad tasting, just lots of fat and small bones that make you think you're breaking your teeth. The rice was wonderful though and felt so good to our stomachs. Sadly, we've forgotten to eat the rest of it and left it out on the table. I'm thinking it needs to go to the garbage now.

I think that's most everything from Sunday. We came back to our room and worked on putting the gifts together and trying to stay awake. Then we repacked our backpacks so we would be ready for the boys: diapers, wipes, sippy cups, spoons, disp bibs, disp placemats. I think we're ready. Bob and Weave came back to pay us a visit. It was funny trying to keep John awake. He's still up and it's now 2:15, but he's watching a movie. No more movement in the last hour. That's a good thing.

I just realized it's officially Monday, June 2nd. Happy 18th anniversary to us. It's hard to believe 18 years have gone by. He's still as handsome as he was then. =) Ok, I'm off, time to post this, and get back to sleep.

Adam and Jani, we miss you terribly. Terribly terribly. But we know it's easier on you both staying there. And Rich, if we did move to Taiwan, you'd have to come with us. You just would. =) Though I doubt you will, especially since they have earthquakes here! Something us Texans are not used to!


Jennifer said...

Great information !! I'll buy the $$ from you. And you know, this is just your sinuses purging that Texas air - heehee !!
Jennifer :o)

Podger1 said...

Hi John and Jeri!

Such an exciting adventure...makes us want to goback and travel abroad again. Please know we are praying daily for your safety and comfort and for the Jace and Jovi's transition as they meet their Mommy and Daddy. And of course, Jani and Adam at home. We love you! Keep on posting away...we can live adventurously through you this month!

Love, Mike and Becky (and the rest of the clan...Matt, Chris, Rachel, and Joey)