Friday, September 2, 2011

the throw away day

And now I'm gonna get real with you. Our last day in Shanghai the days events quickly spiraled into a downfall that lead up to the one not-so-awesome day of the trip. The throwaway day. I didn't want one of those, but just one was okay I guess, like paying tithing for the rest of the awesome days we were given.
The last day in Shanghai after our cool river town excursion, for an unknown reason, Brittney and I decided to drop off our Mandarin speakers to pick up their suits. (BTW- imagine this w/ NO car seats: 2 adults, 3 babies. It sounds so irresponsible to admit here. Like social services are going to knock on my door tomorrow…but car seats are scarce if non-existent in China. The 4 of us wouldn’t have been able to travel together with them, and most taxis don’t have seat belts anyway.)
Our driver didn't speak English and we ended up getting lost as babies screamed and we desperately tried to figure out where their apartment complex was, we eventually found it and the boys returned home shortly after.  Brad left again for a quick "10 min" pant hemming adventure. I was tired and stayed home with the girls to make it easier, although tired there was constantly something not allowing me to sleep.  I was also hungry (bad combo) so after hours I decided to quit waiting for brad to eat dinner. I ate with a man I don't know who asked me strange questions. I was probably pretty irritable by this point. I wanted to go to bed, but there was laundry to be done and one would have to cross our mattress to do it, we needed clean clothes anyways. We'd been planning to go out for full body massages, but plans changed and we still got some nice foot massages. Late in the night we discovered no plane tickets were ever booked for the next leg of our trip. Last minute tickets to Hong Kong for the afternoon were purchased. No big deal, we arrived in Hong Kong. It looked awesome from the plane and it appeared we'd gotten out of our mini funk.
The taxi ride was pretty breathtaking, then we arrived at the nice, personal bathroom type hostel. They insisted we had cancelled our room reservation. None of their nicer rooms were available, so a guy took me to see a budget room that was open- a dump of an alternative room which was, in it's entirety, the size of a queen mattress. I'm certain our luggage wouldn't have fit in the the room. There were 2 tiny, dirty looking cots and a toilet with a small divider between it and the beds.   I felt like I'd taken my babies to jail in a third world country. And that's when I started loosing it. The girls were poopy and had been for who knows how long. It was hot, they needed to eat and be changed.

{insert image of a landfill squished into a box HERE}
 I was sweaty, my back was aching, I needed to sit down and get backpacks and babies off of me. Brad talked with the hostel folks for a long time as I waited with our luggage out the door, eventually they helped him book another nearby hostel with an open room. We wandered up and down the street till we finally found it. BTW- the sun was going down and the road we were wandering down with all our babies and luggage looked like this:
I think it was this road anyways, I didn't take the pic. I didn't think of it and we drew too much attention to begin with- everyone had to get out of our way with the big bags we were dragging, the babies were sad and my arms were full so I couldn't even wipe away the tears that I could no longer control from streaming down my face. It makes me laugh thinking what a funny sight it already was and would have been if I dropped everything, grabed my camera like a tourist should and started snapping pictures through my blurred, watery eyes.
We waited in another line with all our stuff for another elevator to another hostel. This one was more like a real hostel- we had to walk through all this hanging laundry to get to our room and everything was old, dirty, and gross. I was crying, more that crying, borderline hysterical.  Brad didn't seem to know whether to hug me or laugh at me cause I'd really lost it at this point.  He started making fun of me once I'd cooled down a little, but I quickly let him know it was too soon. He left while I changed and fed babies and he found us a nice hotel on the not-so-touristy, not-so-red-light-districty side of the island.  Off we went in a taxi (after a long discussion with the hostel owner who refused to refund us any of our money and both sides threatening to call the police...oh, Brad).
By the time we'd paid for 2 hotels (one rather expensive) and taxi rides, we really had some unnecessary expenses which also made me feel bad. The hotel was nice and clean though, the room was cool and they brought up 2 little cribs for the girls which meant they didn't have to sleep with us for once (awesome).  It was night time by this point and we were exhausted. Brad went hunting for our dinner and brought back some awesome BBQ pork, the highlight of the day.
We just woke up all the more determined to enjoy our (now) only day in Hong Kong. I still felt like I was recovering a little from the preivous day's trauma, but tried to suppress it so we could have an enjoyable experience in such an amazing city. It was quickly forgotten. :)

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