Thursday, June 17, 2010

Here Are Some Things You Should Know:

I'm here. I don't quite remember how I got here, and the jetlag has already taken years off of my life, but I'm here. And there are a few random things I think you should know about my trip.

1.) They may send your dog through the x-ray machine in Beijing. You can protest vigorously that he is a living being, not a piece of luggage, but the Chinese officials will disagree. Rules are rules, and if the boss says the luggage goes through the x-ray machine, it goes. Whether or not it is barking.

2.) If you pay United several hundreds of dollars to upgrade you to Economy Plus, weeks in advance of your flight, they'll take your money and upgrade you. What they'll forget to mention is that they'll stick you in the bulkhead seats so you can't recline. Also, they'll put a guy in the middle of your group, dividing your family, and not only will he refuse to switch seats, but he will then pull out his little video player and watch all manner of totally inappropriate movies involving people having their heads chopped open and kids being run over by drug lords. Right next to your children, who will coincidentally refuse to sleep during the flight. Thanks, United! And thanks, obnoxious seatmate! What a terrific way to spend 12 hours!

3.) In San Francisco, the only way to get anyone to help you move your dog's crate from the baggage carousels to the next flight is to throw up your arms in dismay at their refusal to assist you, and reluctantly let the dog out of his kennel. They will run to help you if you do this. (But you will also be selected for a secondary baggage search at customs, because you are clearly insane, and not just irritated.)

4.) You will probably be embarrassed when you repeatedly yell at your kids to "hurry! hurry! or we'll miss our connecting flight! oh for the love of gawd please hurry UP," only to have the airline employee tell you that it is 9:15 a.m., not 10:15 a.m., and you are in no danger of missing your flight as long as you remain upright.

5.) You may or may not have met your sister's handsome new boyfriend at the airport. But if you did (and it's hard to remember for sure), you probably inpressed him by looking right past him and repeatedly counting to four to make sure you had enough children, rather than shaking his hand, or saying "nice to meet you," or anything civilized like that.

6.) Target. Could you possibly have spent over $300 dollars? In your very first visit?

7.) What, are you an idiot? Why would you take a 10-year-old boy with you on your first visit to the grocery store? Don't do it, or you'll end up spending $50 on drinkable yogurts and blackberries and bakery cookies and... Hopefully you'll have the wherewithal to say no to the Spiderman fruit roll-ups and the 45 different kinds of sugar cereals and the gumball machine.

8.) On the subject of 10-year-old boys, if you happen to have one, and you're staying close to a video game store, he will undoubtedly beg to go. And go back. And go back again. The name of the video store will be engrained upon your brain forever, along with the words "please mom? Just for ten minutes? Puh-leeeeease? I know exactly what I want, please, can we go? Can we?"

9.) You will quickly fall in love with Starbucks drive-thrus, and you will make it your life's goal to drive through them all. Alas, you will discover that even a venti mocha cannot cure your jetlag. (Though Amy, you were right when you suggested that the bright lights of Target might provide some relief from the dreaded condition.)

10.) Ahh, jetlag. Do you know, having jetlag feels just the same as those first heady days with a newborn, minus the stitches and flabby belly, of course. You're just exhausted all the way into your bones. You fall asleep mid-conversation. At times, you're overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude as you look up and see a much-missed loved one walk through the door, venti mocha in hand just for you. My jetlag is the equivalent of having 4 newborns, all of whom wake up at different times during the night to eat. And none of whom will take a bottle and fall back asleep.

But we're here. We made it. More from me later - for now, I have to shower up and get ready to go through the drive-thru on my way to the video game store.


Walking to China said... [Reply]

Oh, I have nothing but bad things to say about United Beijing to San Francisco. Ours was teenagers running up and down the aisle. What a nightmare!
Poor dog and poor you!

The Johnsons said... [Reply]

Glad to hear your alive & caffeinated! Enjoy your your trips to the groceries, Target & Starbucks, and know that if the hot boyfriend is worth his salt he'll overlook your jetlag and appreciate your humor.

Enjoy your fruit roll-ups, venti lattes, blue skies, clean air and time with your fam!


A Daring Adventure said... [Reply]

YAY! OH YAY!! You're HERE and you POSTED on your BLOG!!!

Okay, can't even begin to describe my horror when reading about the dog situation, but am nodding my head it total understanding at the children in the grocery store.

And the ENTIRE video game store thing? Hello, that's my life, too. Except it gets decidedly WORSE as they grow older. Prepare yourself.

The worst part was the inappropriate-movie-watching NIGHTMARE of a man in between the members of your family. I would have Lost. My. Mind. on that man. Truly. It would have been ugly. I can handle most things (okay: maybe a teensy lie, actually) but inappropriate movies do NOT happen in front of my children. I SO feel for you.

You're HERE! And you BLOGGED! :)

Anonymous said... [Reply]

You don't know me, but I've been reading you and this post was HYSTERICAL ...

Thanks for letting us in on the "what we should know" ... enjoy that Starbucks!

And $300 ONLY at Target? I think you're doing GOOD!

Bfiles said... [Reply]

welcome back! I'm excited you blogged. See, you had lots to tell us now that you're stateside! My favorite is #5. Hope the jet lag eases; I feel for you on all fronts.

Sara said... [Reply]

So glad to hear you're enjoying the States. I hope y'all get over the jet lag soon.

Jen said... [Reply]

Welcome home...enjoy Starbucks, and the follow-up Target visits!

globalgal said... [Reply]

I'm with DelhiBound - $300 at Target is nothing! Enjoy

Shannon said... [Reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said... [Reply]

Forgot to change the link in the disclaimer. Sorry here is the corrected version.

It’s Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

Here is the link:

(If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)


Becky said... [Reply]

The jetlag coming back to the US from Asia is killer. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it. Good luck and hope it improves soon. Have enjoyed your blog.
-Becky (an FS EFM)

Connie said... [Reply]

So... next time you fly, bring a bag of super-high-energy sugary sweety-sweets. If you get stuck by some creep like that again... hand the bag of goodies over to your kids and tell 'em to dig in... and make sure you order lots of sticky drinks for them too... to spill, spray, and enjoy! Just an idea .... :p Can't believe the cabin crew weren't more assertive.

Can't believe you had such issues with your dog, but I love your solution to get his crate moved! What is it with airports that KNOW you have to haul your piles of crap.. that do not have sufficient crap hauling devices handy?? Seriously!

Anyway... welcome home!!!! Enjoy your starbucks and Target (there is a starbucks here somewhere btw). We once beat your $300 first trip to Target amount... on the way home from the airport! (Our luggage was delayed several days). Have FUN!

TulipGirl said... [Reply]

I remember how very surreal it felt when we first came back from Kyiv. . . driving in my -minivan- through the -Starbucks- drivethru. . . oh, luxury! And then, to my suburban house with the perfectly manicured lawn? I felt like we were playacting and real life would suddenly appear.

We're heading to Kenya next year. You can bet I'm getting my fill of Sbux while I can!

ĉ…§ċ› said... [Reply]
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kami said... [Reply]

Oh, Donna. I'm sorry, but I am laughing at you. Not with you. Though I'm doing it in the kindest possible way. What an effing nightmare. I can't believe you still have the dog after all this...I totally would have let my cat "go free!"

Valdysses said... [Reply]

It's Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up - and you're on it!

Here is the link:

(If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)


fsowannabe said... [Reply]

Glad you're back! And hopefully you and the kids are now de-lagged!

Jessica said... [Reply]

Four newborns at once. Now that is a nightmare! Hope your jet lag is cured and you are now in full-on R&R mode. And so sorry to hear about Casey.

Please. Write your own stuff.