Okay-one more breath.
Today started off fine. The baby slept until 6:00- go baby! We have spent the last few days with a friend from graduate school days in St. Louis. He is just so pleasant and agreeable and was so easy to have as a guest. Plus-he brought us stuff! Important things like new long underwear, cotton sock, scrabble tiles, baking powder, wart medicine and books by Jerram Barrs! Thank you friend and friend's wife for all you did for us!
So Paul took him to the airport this morning. In China, you never just send your friend's off alone. You usually have to bargain for a taxi to the airport and the deal you want is someone who will run the meter and then you pay about 10 RMB above that. Paul found someone who would run the meter and pay 20 RMB. No problem. Until they started driving and the driver started moaning that her taxi was breaking down and she wouldn't be able to find a fare back from the airport...oh and by the way, she would need 100 RMB. Totally stuck, they paid it. What else could they do except have a big ugly argument.
The next thing was a complicated social interaction involving a woman who speaks a heavy dialect of Chinese. It worked out (I think) but was very exhausting.
Then Paul got home and got a phone call from the university where he is going to teach part time next fall. They needed our home registration forms. In China, you have to register with the police when you move. We just moved and haven't done our registration. Plus, Elisabeth is in another city on a leadership training and of course, she has her passport. This needed to be done by today so that we can register with the security bureau for our visas on Monday. So foolishly, at 12:00, off we went. We left the baby with a friend, so as to avoid any complications.
When we arrived at the police station (walking distance from our house), we were told to wait. And wait. Finally a man came out and told us to come back at 1:30. It was break time! All the police were eating lunch and taking naps. We honestly should have know better than to go at lunch time but we forgot. So back to our apartment for lunch and back to the police station to wait. And wait. And wait. Finally by listening carefully, we figured out that there was no one there who knew how to use the new computer program to register people. Finally they found a someone. We were ushered into a smoke filled room and pulled out passports, rental agreements and other necessary paperwork. Slowly and painstakingly, the form was filled out. We were at the police station for over an hour and a half.
Because of going to the security bureau on Monday, we had rescheduled a doctor's appointment for the baby today. But we were so late, we couldn't make it. We'll go next week to get him weighed and check progress.
We have friends coming over for dinner to plan our English corner for the next few months. Thank goodness for cheap and easy Chinese delivery!