This afternoon our guide picked up Sophia's passport with her visa in it, so we are now free to leave the country! Unfortunately, our flight doesn't leave until Friday morning. We flew direct from Seattle to Beijing on Hainan Air, and although their price was much better than any other airline (and their service was fantastic!), they don't fly in or out of Seattle on Tues or Thur, so instead of being able to leave tomorrow, we'll leave the next day. We're all so ready to leave, but if we have to stay another day, our hotel is incredible so we won't complain. (After all, when I get home I have a feeling people are going to expect me to remember how to cook and clean again!)
We've enjoyed our time here in China and have learned so much! In fact, we'd like to share a little bit of our new found knowledge with you.
First, if it is at all physically possible for a car/van/bus to pass another car/van/bus/bike/person without actually touching them, they will. No slowing down, just pass within a hair's width of each other. And don't think the sidewalk is safe - bikes and motorcycles don't slow down for pedestrians there either.
The laundry here is done in very hot water... but we're not sure they use any soap. (Our socks came back looking as dirty as we sent them.) However, IF you happen to try your jeans on after having them laundered and you're pretty sure they shrank two sizes so that when you put them on they bring a whole new meaning to the term "skinny jeans" (and not necessarily in a good way), you might want to check to see if they happen to be your teenage daughter's jeans before you start doing yoga moves to stretch them back out. Or, when you discover they are actually not yours, you can do the big time happy dance that you actually fit in your daughter's jeans and yours didn't shrink two sizes after all. Just sayin'... IF that happens to you.
If you're walking down the sidewalk and see a man holding a monkey on his shoulder, do not stop to take a picture and let the man get too close, because the next thing you know, you will have a monkey on your head and a crowd taking your picture. And IF you finally get the man to take the monkey off your head and you don't pay him for the pictures people took of you, he'll chase you down the sidewalk trying to get your money. Beware of people with monkeys.
We have much more knowledge to share with you, but will save it for another time. Thank you again for all your prayers - please keep them coming! (Sorry no pictures tonight, I'm too tired to mess with loading them!)
Till next time,
Bonus info: If you happen to be bigger than the size of a pencil, don't bother doing any clothes shopping here in China, because you won't find anything that fits!