Saturday, April 18, 2015

Birth Parent Searching, My Experience

Today we took the train from Shanghai to Hangzhou to do some birth parent searching for Joshua.
It was the day before tomb sweeping weekend, a HUGE holiday here in China.
Which, also fun fact.....makes it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get a taxi around town.
Ok. That was sarcasm....this no taxi bit......not fun.
Not fun 'tall.
I should have hired a car and driver for the day.....but sadly I was not briefed on the complexities of tomb sweeping holiday....I must have missed that day in Chinese high school.

After arriving via high speed bullet train (train travel in China = LOVE) we disembarked, met up with our guide/helper/translator and headed out.
I had high hopes of our day in Hangzhou.
Not only to pretend like I was Magnum PI and locate his birth parents, but also to enjoy the city. Hangzhou is one of China's top tourist destinations, largely due to the West Lake area which looks like this

I had never been and was so incredibly excited to breathe in this city where Joshua was born.

that didn't quite happen.
Did you hear that sound?
That was my expectations crashing to the ground. 

Buckets of rain.
Buckets of rain and no freaking taxi's.
This is pretty well what we looked like

Just kidding.
We looked absolutely nothing like this.

We ended up having to take a bus.
With approximately 8.2 million other people....
all on the same bus.
We had gone a few blocks, all "snuggled" up to complete strangers when Lori looked at me and with flames shooting out of her nasal passages said, "WE. ARE. GETTING. OFF. OF. THIS. BUS."
Roger that.
Off the bus.
So we tried again for a taxi.....
that's so not happening.

And then in a moment of brilliance our guide stopped a police man in his car, gestured wildly at the pathetic, dripping wet Americans standing in the middle of the road and asked for a ride to the orphanage.
And he said yes.
Jesus loves me.
We had a police escort to the orphanage.
In China.
We had a Chinese police escort to the orphanage with the lights on and everything.
Ohmygoodness. So much fun.

It wasn't until about 15 minutes into the ride that a horrifying realization swept over me.
I turned to the guide and uttered the words,
" are we going to get back into town?"
"No problem, I will call a friend and have her order us a taxi."
Me: "Sweet! That sounds perfect."
And I settled in for the ride to the outskirts of town to the orphanage.

After the orphanage visit we walked outside and there was a nicely dressed man, standing next to a car. I politely nodded at him, said hello, and began to look for our taxi....
No Taxi....
It was at this moment that I began to mentally calculate how many days it was going to take us to walk from Hangzhou to Shanghai, whether we would arrive alive, how to procure enough rain water to last us the journey, counted my change hoping I had enough to purchase a yak to ride upon and I began to whittle us an umbrella made out of grass for the trek.
I am ever thrifty and handy in such situations.

And then the guide walked out behind me and opened the door of this nice man's car for us.....
Ummmmm "Do you know this man?" I asked my stranger danger radar was signaling wildly in my head....

"No" she replied.....
"He is an uber driver."
Me: On the ground laughing my head off that China has uber.

So a police escort to the orphanage and an uber driver back home.
Day. Made.

Hangzhou, I love you man.
You had me at uber.

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