Aelex’s Adoption Diary

Monday March 3, 2003

Random thoughts, Chinese style.

  • Aelex and the Chinese Red Army.
  • They haven’t built a crib that can hold me copper!
  • Give it to me straight doc. I can take it.
  • I just love my dolly that my cousin Danielle brought for me.
  • Three girls from Jiangsu orphanage moving on to bigger and better things.
  • Playtime at the White Swan Hotel is brought to you by Mattel (seriously, it is).
  • By leaving China, Aelex misses out on wearing matching Tom and Jerry pajamas with her classmates.

If I ever hear another muzak version of “Ebony and Ivory” I am going to hunt down Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder and shave their eyebrows off. Every single elevator in China is simulcasting the same looped version of this song 24 hours a day. I am prepared to take human life to stop this. Please, alert the proper authorities.

Today, I was in a 7-11 in China. I am not sure what this means, but if I need a Slurpy at 3 A.M. here in Guangzhou I am not without options. So at least I’ve got that going for me.

The first thing I am going to do upon my return to New York is walk down the street and revel in the fact that no one is staring at me. You could paint your naked body neon orange and run down the middle of Broadway singing Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again” at the top of your lungs and not attract as many looks of curiosity as a 2 minute walk down any street in China.

Yes it is true. Everything for sale in China is marked “Made in U.S.A.”

Do you agree that the U.S. adoption application that we have to file at the American consulate went too far in warning us that if our child was to start practicing polygamy she would be subject to deportation? I mean, it’s not like she is a Mormon or anything.

Today at lunch Dorothy ordered “Thai Grilled Prawns” and when they came out with their heads still attached, she sent it back to have all of the prawns removed from the dish. Do you think that it is possible that things such as this cause the Chinese to stare at westerners as though we have all lost our minds?

“Tsingtao” beer is actually pronounced “Ching-Dao”. Use this nugget on your next trip to a Chinese restaurant and amaze your friends!

Today we walked past a produce market and they were selling live worms. To eat. Not for fishing. I kid you not, You can’t make this stuff up.

There are approximately 487 different bills used in Chinese currency and each are updated and reprinted on average of every 20 minutes. I either have 22 cents American in my wallet right now, or I am the richest man in all of China. I have no idea which.

There are more Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in one square mile of China then there are in the whole rest of the world combined. I have never seen a culture so devoted to the Colonel’s secret recipe of seven herbs and spices in my whole life. These folks are KFC crazy!

Much like when confronting a grizzly bear in the wild, when shopping in China never make eye contact with any salesperson whatsoever. They will take it as a sign of aggression and the next thing you know, you wake up in your hotel room broke with bags of useless merchandise wondering what just happened to you.

In ascending order of frequency, the following sentences are the 5 most common things that Dorothy and I say to each other now:

  • I have the sippy cup in my bag.Sssssshhhhhhh! Shut up, she’s sleeping!
  • I’m sorry. I didn’t hear what you were saying. I had creamed corn being flung into my ear.
  • Give me the damn Cheerios before she has a meltdown!

    And the most common thing that Dorothy and I say to each other these days is:
  • Is it a poopy diaper?

Speaking of Cheerios, whoever invented those things should be given the Nobel Peace Prize. I swear to god, no invention in the history of man has done more for the sanity of average parents than these little miracle morsels. I would pay upwards of $50 a pound for them if I had to.

I walked past a hotel room today where the door was wide open and an older Chinese gentleman was sitting on the end of his bed in his underwear combing his hair. I do not know what this means but it must mean something.

I have no idea when it happened, but 11 P.M. is now waaaaaayyyyy past my bedtime.

Yesterday on T.V., I saw an English movie, dubbed into French, with Chinese subtitles. It seemed to me like a long way to go for a very limited payoff.

I tell you what, an elderly Chinese person could kick the crap out of an elderly American person any day of the week. You have to see these people work out in the mornings. It’s like a training scene from a Rocky movie.

Never, ever, no matter what you do, order spaghetti with marinara sauce when in China. I cannot stress this point enough.

I must stop typing now because Aelex just fell asleep and I do not want to run the risk of the keystrokes waking her up. Tomorrow we go to the American Consulate to finalize the U.S. portion of the adoption. We are all thrilled and looking forward to this. So tune in tomorrow folks. Same China time. Same China station…