Friday, October 03, 2008

China story I failed to write about

I thought I had written about this, but apparently I never did...geez can't imagine why not! You know when you travel within China, you're only allowed to take a certain amount of luggage (was 44 lbs checked and 11 lbs carry-on...not sure if it changed from last year or not). Anyway, since Guangzhou is the last stop in a Chinese adoption, it's safe and smart to buy cheap luggage there so you can purchase items for your child. By the way, I definitely don't feel like I bought enough and have A LOT of guilt over over-buy is my motto now if you travel to China for your child! That is one thing I would do differently...oh, and take TONS of pictures. Anyway, back to the story. We walked around Shamain Island the day before we were supposed to leave and found all kinds of luggage. You're supposed to barter and bargain with them to get great deals too. We found this cheap Polo knock-off suitcase for about $8.00 or $9.00 that was about the same size as the suitcases we brought and it looked like it could hold up during the various flights and layovers. Since we were leaving early the next morning, we piled what was left of our dirty clothes in that suitcase, surrounding extra bought bags of powdered baby milk formula (Sanlu...which is the same brand that is hurting babies now in China) so that they didn't break open. Our guide said the babies were already drinking this when they were with their foster mothers, but we needed to slowly wean them on American formula when we got home. We were at the Guangzhou Airport saying goodbye to our guide and getting last minute instructions on where to go once we went through the next area. We continued to the next area as we were instructed, but we were stopped by a Chinese policeman/guard at the airport. He made us go into a separate room and then he closed the door behind us. I was feeling freaked out because our guide was out of sight, we didn't speak Chinese and didn't understand why we were pulled aside. He asked us in broken English if those 2 suitcases were ours...they weren't and we said "no". He looked confused at first...then another Chinese policeman/guard rolled our crappy Polo knock-off suitcase in. "Yes", we answered, "that one is ours". He made Mark unlock it, then he started going through it. There it was...our dirty unfolded clothes, our stinky, sweaty socks (China was hot damn it) and my brightly colored striped underwear all being thrown around by this stranger. He grabbed 2 of the bags of baby formula (he grabbed 2 out, but we had 3 in there...good catch on his part, huh?). Anyway, he questioned us as to why we bought Chinese formula, when (he said) American formula was so much better...we told him that is what our baby was drinking and that was what our adoption guide told us to purchase. He left the room with our baby formula (clearly it had Chinese written all over it and he could read what it was). I wanted to say "No, Mr. Chinese Policeman/Guard Man...we're not drug smugglers...we're new, adoptive parents", however, he was not overly friendly and I don't think he really cared anyway! After a few minutes, he came back in...and with much attitude, they taped up our cheap Polo knock-off luggage with some kind of informative tape (I guess announcing to all that we were cheap and bought cheap Polo knock-off luggage)...or maybe it noted that our cheap luggage had been searched (more than likely)! Anyway, we were allowed to leave the room and continue on our the time, it honestly left me a little freaked felt like some kind of interrogation. In Hong Kong, we later ran into a couple from our group that was heading home to California and it ends up, they had the same thing happen to them...only the policeman kept part of their baby formula!

Sorry it's a crappy picture!

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