Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Beijing Pizza Hut Experience

Waiting on our food and our poor waiter in the background. :)
Our Seafood appetizer to accompany the Milk Tea

Tapioca pearls in the Milk Tea
Our Personal Pan Pizza for the family.
Our fruit juices that were OH so sweet!
I know we are already in Shanghai on this journey to our daughter, but I just have to share a funny experience we had in Beijing. One would think that going into a Pizza Hut and ordering a pizza and coke would be a simple experience, right??? Well, I wish there had been a video rolling of our Pizza Hut experience in Beijing. It is proof that even the most simple things become almost impossible with a language barrier!!!

We decided on our last day in Beijing to grab a pizza. So, Pizza Hut, it was!! We went in and sat down. The menu was all in Chinese, but they had pictures. And, pictures are a foreigner's best friend! We were limited to the options with pictures---and, we knew there was no way we could ask for something different. So, we found a picture that looked like something we might enjoy and went with it! Then, we pointed to Coke, and the waiter shook his head. "Kuhla out", he said. I then saw that they had the famous "Tapioca Milk Tea", so I pointed to that picture. The waiter shook his head again and pointed to his watch and held up 2 fingers. They didn't serve the milk tea until 2, and it was 20 'til. So, we scanned the various fruit juices for Plan C, and picked. Now. . . that was not "so" hard. The pizza came out, and it was just slightly larger than a personal pan pizza. I believe I may have laughed out loud. A personal pan pizza for a family of 3!!! :) Ah, what the heck! We made it work. . . and it was delicious!

Since we had fairly good luck with the pizza, and we were still a bit hungry, I got bold and decided to go for dessert and order that milk tea (since the 20 minutes had passed! ;). That was when the real fun began. The dessert was not problem. Point and order, plain and simple. But, when I pointed to the milk tea, the waiter hesitated and started speaking Chinese and flipping through the menu. He began pointing at various food items, and I pointed back to the picture of the tea and said that was all I wanted. He flipped back and spoke more Chinese. Geoff decided to help me out and pulled out his Iphone with his new Jibbigo App on it (that translates Chinese to English and vice versa and is voice sensitive). He held it up for the waiter to speak into and a look of shock and fear colored the waiter's face. He refused to speak into the phone. Geoff then began trying to explain that it was a translator. Then another waiter walked up to help out and see what the confusion was. Geoff was still trying to explain for them to speak into the phone, I was telling them just to forget the tea and get the dessert, and our poor waiter still looked like Geoff had asked him to disrobe and tap dance. It was at this moment that a wave of hysteria overtook me and I began to laugh and couldn't stop. Those poor guys probably thought I was laughing "at" them. I wasn't. I was just laughing at the insanity of the situation---one that should be so simple. It turned out, after a long game of charades, that you had to order an appetizer along with the milk tea. There were specific appetizer choices that accompanied it, but of course it was all in Chinese. So, I just pointed to different pictures until I landed on one that he shook his head "yes" to.
We finally got our order in and the food came out. It was good, but I'm not sure worth all the effort. Haha!!! The whole scene reminded me of something from Seinfeld. And, I'm still curious what the waiter thought Geoff was asking him to do with the phone! Ha!

And, so there you have it. . . the White's Pizza Hut Adventure in Beijing!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011


I know that the blog updates have come in a flurry today, but there has been MUCH good news!!! Here's some more!!!
Okay, so since we've been in Beijing, I have not been able to access my primary email until today. When I finally got in, I saw a post from Angela with Ladybugs n' Love that she had new photos and an update on our sweet Mei Li!!! The pics are of her celebrating her homecoming with her friends in the orphanage with the cake we sent her. The smile on her face is priceless as are these photos capturing her moment of celebrating her new family!

Boy oh boy!!! We are ready to scoop this sweet angel up and bring her home! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 2 in Beijing--The Great Wall

Yesterday, we set out with Michael and Mr. Jin (our guide and driver) to hike a section of The Great Wall. Let me tell you. . . "hike" is definitely the right word. It turned out to be a straight-up-the-mountain climb!! Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

We always fill up on a BIG breakfast here at the hotel. The food, here, is a buffet and is delicious and there is more of it than you can eat! We never know what lunch and dinner will be like, so we always make sure we have a great breakfast. We then, got in the car and headed to The Wall. The car drive, alone, is an adventure in itself. I find myself closing my eyes a lot. SO MUCH traffic!!! And, the idea of personal space and the 2 car-length safety distance that we use in the U.S. is NOT observed here in China. Haha!!! They drive right up and pull right over and I found myself feeling almost nausesous a few times when I thought we were about to wreck. But, Mr. Jin is a pro, here in China. And, we never crashed. Thank goodness!

Also, there are many, many people on bikes and scooters. . . entire families on scooters with little children and no helmets. They ride on the same roads with the jam-packed traffic and cars flying and all over the other cars. I sometimes have to close my eyes. But, it is a way of life for the people here. And, so far, I haven't seen one person on a bike get hit. Let's hope that track record will continue to stand!!

So, on our way to the Great Wall we find ourselves sitting in standstill traffic on the highway. Our guide told us that only a couple of months ago, that same highway had a traffic jam that lasted for 2 weeks!!!!! That was NOT what I needed to hear when we have an appointment to meet our little girl in a few days and have a flight to catch to Shanghai tomorrow. Thankfully, the traffic jam cleared up in about 30-45 minutes. And, we were on our way to the Wall. It was an older section of the wall, and our guide said was a less-crowded section. I would hate to see crowded if that was supposed to be "not crowded". I was surprised to see that The Great Wall in this section was basically a straight-up-the mountain hike, with uneven steps with different depths. Handrails were only on the right side and in some places there was no rail. It would not be out-of-the question for someone to fall off the wall. And, if you did, you would fall down the mountain. And a fall down the steps would be highly dangerous as well. We carefully stepped our way up, holding on to the rail for dear life. BUT, the view. . . the view was incredible!!!! The only thing that would have made it better would have been if there were no smog. It was difficult to see very far, and the view would have been heavenly if the air had been more clear. No complaints from me, though!! I'll take what I can get! And, I was in complete awe on The Great Wall. Geoff took some amazing photos. I hope you enjoy!!!

Tomorrow, we fly to Shanghai to be in our sweet daughter's province. And, we will meet our beautiful girl (and she will be added to our family) on Monday. It's called "Gotcha Day". That's not my favorite term, but it is the day we will become a family of 4!!!! So, we are celebrating our Family Day on the 19th!!! For our friends in the U.S. That will be Sunday night for you. We are a day ahead here. And, what a blessing. . . we were given a wonderful picture of our Mei Li that Lori (another adoptive mommy) took of her this week at the orphanage!!!!

So happy to see that smile! We hope she will smile like that when she meets us :) We will certainly be smiling!

So, until I have more to update, enjoy the pics! And, thanks for following our journey!

Beijing--the first stop on our China journey

The past two days in Beijing have been unbelievable and overwhelming! What a beautiful country China is. The people are warm and welcoming. The Lord smiled on us in a big way when Michael showed up to take us from the airport to our hotel and he informed us that he was going to be our guide and take us all around Beijing privately. We told him we had signed up for the public bus tour, but he said that we had been upgraded. So, we have had private one-on-one guide service in Beijing. He took us to the Summer Palace first (which was beautiful). We were able to ride this dragon boat on the lake, and it was acres and acres of gardens. Then, he took us to the Temple of Heaven. Finally, we went to the Forbidden City. To see these places with my own eyes that I have only read about in books was incredible. It amazes me the work ethic, precision, back-breaking labor and dedication the Chinese display toward their beliefs and traditions. Every site we have visited has sent that message home to me more and more.

Today, we hiked a section of The Great Wall. It was exquisite!! I will write more about this later, however. Geoff has great pictures to upload and I'll do it all at once.

For some reason, my photos are not cooperating and uploading tonight. Geoff has taken so many great shots. I will have him work on it tomorrow. Stay tuned. . . much more coming soon!