Saturday, March 30, 2013

We're HOME and Doing GREAT!!

We made it out of Guangzhou with a slight delay in flight departure but had a delightful time standing in line for 57 minutes as the older Asian couple in front of KK and Kourtney did a round of stretching and maneuvering to stay agile. With Kourtney being the photographer extraordinaire that she is, she, of course, took pictures of them - behind their back.

KK just stood their slurping her "to go" Japanese-style soup & rolling her eyes while lookin' back at us. My little posse of girls and I had just polished off our own meal sitting down at that very Japanese restaurant. 

I had cheese pizza.
Told ya. Not an adventurous eater in other lands.

The manager of the little eatery came over to inquire as to where KK and Kourtney got their bottled water. They politely let her know it was from their establishment's cooler.
Touch those bottles and that manager will draw back a nub.
Hands off.

Ah. The flight home.
I was as irresponsible as I've ever been.
I told EVERYone with me, "Do not wake me up. I do not want to eat airplane food anymore. I'm done. Get a buddy to take you to the bathroom or put on a Pampers...either one is fine with me!"
I was serious.
Poor KK. My kids made her escort them to the bathroom over the ocean.
Several times.
I owe her.

It's strange to leave a country/continent at 10:00 pm and arrive in the US at 9:00 pm that very same day.
It's the International Date line that does its do.
We left in darkness. Flew into the light....but returned to darkness hours and hours later.
W.E.I.R.D.
You have to leave your window shades down on the plane - per the strong request of flight attendants b/c it just messes with your head to be flying at midnight in the daylight.
Oh well. Enough about elapsed time.

We arrived in the US at midnight and had the distinct pleasure of going through Customs and Immigration.
Folks often say big airports like this one have rude people.
Honestly - every single person in that area of the airport was extremely kind...
except...
the Customs agent with a gun -- the one with whom I had the pleasure of dealing.
Somebody licked all the candy off his cane.

After being in lines that did not move fairly, he summoned us - Molly, Emily, moi - to his desk...and not with any eye contact. Just the throw of his hand.
I should've run the other direction. Seriously.
He doesn't say a word to us but attempts to finish processing the papers of the ever so fortunate family who was in front of us. Dear souls.
As he's doing this, he gets his stapler.
It doesn't work.
I quivered.
He reached for a rubber band to put on those papers.
It broke.
I pulled my girls close to me for their protection.

He barks out, "Who is Vicki _________."
"That's me, sir. I'm the mother."
He studies my passport.
Studies my face.
Assumes I'm an idiot.

Then he snaps and says, "Who are YOU?"
Softly little Emily says, "Emily."
"I canNOT hear you!"
She said again, "Emily."
"Speak UP!"
I said, "She's EMILY."
He studies her passport and facial features.
I then said, "That's Molly and she doesn't speak a bit of English."
Stamp.
Stamp.
Stamp.
"Take this down that road and give it to the personnel at desk 1!!!!"

I wanted to take the papers and look at him and say, "How do you manage to keep that bald head sooooo very shiny? You gotta great sheen on going on."

I.Did.Not.

I took those papers and ran like the wind to desk 1 - a mile away.
Those folks were sooo kind.
Hmpf.

Molly was greeted at the airport by friends and family - with balloons, gifts, outfits, cards, hugs, kisses, and many well wishes. It was wonderful seeing familiar folks once again. We headed home to visit, eat, chat, relax. Eventually both girls wiped out. I was fantastic - thanks to KK letting me sleep all night long on the plane while she assumed my role as caretaker.
Did I say I owe her one?
I owe her many.
Kourtney, too, and so many others who have cared for us in more ways than can be counted.

So...time to dye Easter eggs and get ready for the morning.

We'll be checkin' in soon and giving updates about the looniness that lies ahead.
Happy Easter.
He is risen indeed!!

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