June 2, 2012
This evening, Aaron and I calculated that we’ve likely spent about 10 “awake” hours each day in our hotel room (which will total about 110 hours in Guangzhou in the hotel while we are here).
As our contribution to future international adoption placement trips, we’ve decided to compile a pamphlet instructing new parents on how to pass the long hours while their new child sleeps, plays, etc. We thought we’d share some of our ideas with all of you, in case they come in handy on a future trip, adoption or not.
How to Survive an International Adoption Placement Trip in a Hotel Room:
- Wash clothes in the bathroom sink and dry them out on the veranda.
- Wash bottles and dry them on a towel next to the sink.
- Check to see if it’s noon somewhere so you can legitimately have a Rum & Coke.
- Watch one of three English channels: CNN, the Movie Channel, or the Soccer Channel (European soccer with Chinese commentary).
- Tidy up the room ONE more time.
- Attempt to make the Internet work—but it likely doesn’t . . . yet again.
- Watch another infomercial about Chinese herbal breast enhancements.
- Rearrange the movable walls around the bathroom—open, then shut—then open again.
- Figure out which of the sixteen light switches coordinate to which lights—then, create a light laser show to perform for each other.
- Imagine all the drinks you can concoct from the mini-bar.
- Create potential routes for walking Shamian Island—circle, crazy eight, circle (again).
- Send one grown up to 7-Eleven (again) for bottled water and Coke.
- Lie on your belly on the (fake) marble floor and try to slap the ground as many times as possible (we learned this exciting technique from Matthew!)
- Check Matthew’s diaper ONE MORE TIME to see if it needs changing. Hey, at least a diaper change kills time.
- Create new games with a blow-up beach ball. Our favorites: Beach Volleyball, Tap-the-Ball, Push-the-Ball, Kick-the-Ball, Bounce the Ball Off Your Child’s Head (gently—Aaron has tried this and Matthew didn’t even cry!)
- See if the Housekeeping Service lines up the amenities in the same order each morning after they clean the room.
- Take a shower. Then take a bath. Then take a shower again.
- Get bored with English channels and start to watch MTV in Chinese.
- Blitz through the whole first season of Alias (yes, again!) in a matter of days.
- Eat Chinese-style top ramen for lunch every day.
- Spend the last four hours of each day in the DARK so as to not wake your sleeping baby.
- Master TextTwist, Tetris and Sudoku for iPad. Make it your goal to get the highest five scores in each game.
- Try to Skype with family members, only to find Internet is down AGAIN.
- Discover that “Guangzhou is NOT a tourist city” (a quote from our guide today).
- Realize you’d spend all these hours in a hotel room again a DOZEN times if it meant finally getting to be with the child you waited for patiently for six months.