Like Bubs said, we were due. It was time for us to suffer a mega-pain-in-the-ass experience. As if the 20-hour bustrip to Beijing in May wasn’t enough, our trip back to China was HELL. Luckily, some pleasantries did precede Hell. Generally, things in the US wrapped up for us easy enough. I spent a week frolicking with friends in NYC and in Raleigh. Upon my return, I worked up to the wire and got everything with our townhouse squared away–mostly anyway. I made another stop to see the parents. We went through the usual motions, arguing about Johnny, intentional childlessness, life in China. Fortunately, our heated discussion was cut short by yet another episode on the Wipe Johnny’s Ass Show. Moral #1: You never have to grow up when your parents insist on treating you like an invalid. Needless to say, my stay in Frederick again fell off schedule thanks to continuing computer woes. My parents’ laptop kept abruptly shutting off in the middle of typing. As if I hadn’t suffered through enough customer service nightmares with my own laptop, I got to call Best Buy. I guess it’s partially my own damn fault. My parents would have been fine restarting the computer each time after emailing, but I just couldn’t deal with the major flaw. Plus, I knew they were on some 3-year warranty, so I just had to get it taken care of immediately. Thankfully, the rep quickly deemed the issue a hardware problem so I was actually able to bypass all the bullshit phone troubleshooting. Just in case the laptop would be out of commission for a while, I backed up files and updated my dad’s desktop with hospital access software. Well the updates screwed over the operating system and in the end, my schedule was delayed about 5 hours because I had to reformat and reinstall everything. To make matters worse, I didn’t have my software discs so I had to do the manufacturer’s restore. The desktop is now running Windows 98. FMF flashback! Happy for me, the system is up and working. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
On Thursday, I made it out to Long Beach, CA on JetBlue (so NICE!). Can I tell you the security line at Dulles was backed up along the entire length of the terminal? At 5:30 am?! Thankfully, our pitstop in CA was relaxing. We stayed at a bungalow at the Fairmont in Santa Monica. So nice. We considered it our belated anniversary celebration. Palm trees, white sand, access to a pool and hot tub. It was awesome! Which turned out great because LAX was a nightmare and a half.
First, we were supposed to confirm our flights 72 hours in advance. We forgot. Then, LAX was super-unorganized. China Eastern agents stood around with dot-matrix printouts of passengers taped together. There was NO ORDER anywhere. We got into a line twice that we didn’t even need to get in. Security was a joke. Some lady flipped through pages of my magazine, then the agent walked our luggage across the aisle into a corraled area. Yeah, really secure. Like people can’t just go under the ribbon and fuck around with all the un-supervised baggage there. Anyway, we were put on standby for our flight. Then all the seats were booked, so we got routed on another flight. We asked for a class upgrade and the agent said business class was booked. When we boarded, that section was completely empty. NEVER AGAIN, China Eastern.
Then we weren’t even seated together. I asked the guy next to me if he minded moving and he avoided eye contact and never responded. So I asked him again, like “are you deaf?” Didn’t want to move. Fine, whatever asshole. Yeah so you get the point. The trip back wasn’t good, but I guess we were due. We entered China through Harbin in Manchuria and then flew into Shanghai. About the only good thing that happened was that since we sat at the front of the economy section, we were first to deboard. We breezed past customs, etc. When we finally arrived in Pudong, we had a system all worked out. I waited in line at the bank (currency exchange) while John waited for baggage. That part went pretty efficiently. 🙂 We arrived home late Saturday night. I couldn’t sleep so I got started on our loads of laundry. So I was a little wired…
Today is Sunday. John and I are back to our lives here. This morning, we were up early. We went to the food market, got salad stuff, fruit. We also rode our bikes to City Supermarket to get ingredients for our veggie wraps and hit Baastian for baked goods. We had a ton of mail in our mailbox. In the afternoon, I went to pay our rent and our utilities. Took forever, but I’m glad it’s out of the way.
The dogs were delivered around 1:30. We spoiled them immediately with treats and new toys. Now Remy and Martin are totally conked out in the bedroom. The past three weeks have undoubtedly been very difficult for them. But the Gou-Eshleman nuclear family is back! and we’re (or I’m) thrilled for the start of a new workweek. Yay!