China travel

Published on June 13th, 2011 | by Paz


Frustrated in China … Ugh

There are many many many wonderful experiences that we have had since our move to China four months ago.  I can’t believe it has already been four months. We have experienced many wonderful things and seen many wonderful places. We have have grown closer as a couple and as a family. We have made many new friends and enjoyed learning about them and their lives….however!!!

Today I found myself wishing for a bubble to take us back to Milwaukee to get in our little car, strap our kids in their lovely car seats and go through a KFC drive-through to park our car in our garage, walk 15 feet to our house, and sit and watch a movie on our lovely couch with remote control in hand. Yes……could I wish or pray enough for this to happen at about 10:30 am this morning…could I just snap my fingers and bring it all back??? Well since I am writing from my kitchen table in China … I guess my answer is no.

So what happened to bring us to want to return to our lovely couch … I can only sum it up in one word: China!!

Well this morning began quite well, I had the day off and I was going to take Abe to an international play group that we recently have joined while Lupita went shopping with our nanny for some shorts and Zeek had to catch up on some work. A plan for a good day, how did it all go wrong? Well first both kids were extra whinny today. A trait that does not go away if you move, even across the globe. Zeek was tired from being up all night working on a project, again work doesn’t go away even if you move across the globe.

We leave and I try to catch a cab with Abe as Lupita and the nanny went on their way…we of course had a problem. Lupita wanted to come with us, how could I say no? The only reason why she wasn’t coming was because the play group is mostly kids younger than 2 years old and last time she didn’t have much fun. Now the four of us will be joining the play group. Okay so to hail a taxi…lately has proven to be a challenge. We stood there in the blaring sun for 15 minutes and NO taxi. Where was my car in my little garage. Why could I not just grab my keys and go. Standing in the blaring sun with two wiggling children was not fun AT ALL!!

The nanny looks at the address and says it is near our apartment. However, she sees rain clouds so we must get our umbrella’s before we leave. Okay so now we are already late and we have to go back up and get our umbrellas which if you have children takes a LONG TIME!!! Where is my car and my keys and my car seats. I could strap my wiggling children in their car seats and turn on my air conditioning and be on my way. I could even go through a Starbucks drive-through and get a delicious coffee!!! I could scream just writing all of these possibilities just half way around the world.

We finally leave and start walking, of course it starts raining and holding hands and umbrellas and strollers well is again less than easy. Lupita was also wearing her cheap flip flops which helped her trip over every uneven piece of sidewalk, which in China there were many pieces of uneven sidewalk. So I was able to catch her from falling only a million times…is anyone else praying for car seats and juice boxes????

We walk and walk and walk and walk and then we sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and I am starting to get upset. How close was this place, do we understand the meaning of close. I bet we had been walking almost 45 minutes when I start to get very very annoyed. I ask her where is this place, does she really know where we are going. Now I am hot and sweaty and really am pissed that I have to try and speak Chinese and understand Chinese. Why can’t she just speak English why can’t I speak Chinese!!! So frustrated! Where is this place??? She starts asking for directions and then I feel completely hopeless. Why are you asking??? I thought you knew? In China there are multiple ways to determine every address, could we make it any more complicated? Probably. Now Abe, Lupita and I are whining. Yup I joined in! I tell Lupita if we don’t find it in 15 minutes we are hoping in a taxi and going home. The play group started at 9:30 it is now 11:00 am, is anyone screaming? I am! I hate being late. Now I am late, sweating, and probably smell pretty bad. Great way to go into a play group where most of the moms have their driver bring them. Ugh! Excuse me but where is my driver???? If you find him please send him my way.

We walk another 15 minutes and I am about to throw something at anyone! It wouldn’t matter who it was, I could have thrown a rock! Wait I don’t know how to even ask for one.

So I am about to find a taxi and we are there. So of course we then arrive at the our play group. I am thirsty, sweaty, and in a bad mood. When we get there everyone is getting ready to leave. We stay about 30 minutes and then leave. I want to find a taxi! Of course there are none and our nanny again says our home is close. I remind her of the long walk that we just took, or at least I tried to in my broken language. She then tries to explain that we took the long way the first time but our house is close. I look up and can actually see a building very near ours. Yes…we did take a long way!!! Was that on purpose or did she really not know the way. Okay no taxi again so we walk. I do stop at the first store and buy water for all of us!! Seriously the heat is piercing. We do see a few shops and stop and buy some fruit.

Finally we are home! Air-conditioning and a couch there anything better??? Yes, some lunch. Our nanny says lunch is prepared and it is some porridge. What???? Some bland porridge with pieces of meat! It is hard to complain about food that has been prepared for you, but when you most want a delicious meal you get bland porridge. That would make anyone scream. I eat some fruit from the market and we call it a day. Since we buy our food fresh everyday there is no bag of chips, no box of cereal, and no car to go to a drive-through to get a happy meal. Seriously!

So now we have all calmed down and the kids need shorts. We have held off from buying things. We honestly don’t enjoy purchasing items after our purging before our trip. Since the weather here is above 90 degrees every day and the kids have grown they need shorts. TARGET WHERE ARE YOU! Many days I hated going to target, but today I would have paid double to walk in the beautifully lit store and get a coke at the beverage counter. I would love to push that little red cart up and down the aisles browsing their beautiful items.

Not today! No we get to go out again in the sweltering heat. I refuse to take any other form of transportation other than a taxi this time. I DON’T CARE! We finally get a taxi and go on our way. We go to a wholesale kids mall. Everything is sold here at wholesale prices. Yup everything. We find all brands; GAP, Gymboree, Polo and much much more everything for under $10.00. My mood improves a bit. The mall is air-conditioned too.  Smile! Now Abe starts to throw a fit. Ya!!! If it isn’t one thing it is another. As we start shopping we learn that some shops won’t sell one piece. They will only sell 6 pieces of different sizes. Ahhhh!!! Here we find a great place with good deals and of course there is a problem!!

Now we have to check the quality of the clothes, ask if they will sell one piece and then ask the price. Where is my sale rack! Why can’t I just pick up a piece of clothing and take it to a beautiful check out line and pay for it. Really?! Please keep in mind that this entire time our beautiful son Abraham has decided to throw a fit.

So as you can see how I long for my little car, my debit card, a drive through and some greasy food, and of course some good friends to moan and complain to about my crappy day! If anyone could send them to me it would be much appreciated!


About the Author

Paz is an avid adventurer in life and food. Traveling across the globe with her family they enjoy cultural immersion and checking out the local eateries.

11 Responses to Frustrated in China … Ugh

  1. Genevieve Garzon says:

    OH my beloved sister… you are one of the funniest person’s that I know. Glad you enjoyed your experiences for the day… hahahahhaha… JUST KIDDING! (please don’t kill me) I have to admit, I don’t envy you on days like that. But think about it… at least you can say that you did it. Right? I promise when you guys come home I will have a whole table of buffet of fast food and coffee. Pizza, Starbucks Coffee, Giant Cokes from McDonalds, KFC, greasy american Chinese food, Greasy burgers, Churches Chicken, and maybe I will make the kids an Aunt Genny’s grilled cheese sandwich. On the upside of things.. just think about the calories you burned!!! and by the look of your pictures.. your losing ALOT of weight!

    Hang in there, it’s the experience, remember!!
    Love you!!
    p.s. I promise to take you to Target when you get home too. 🙂

  2. Paz says:

    Zeek is very excited about the table that awaits us. We both still have some pounds to shed! Who knows if it will happen or not…. remember it is just us going to target NO kids! Also a movie with a large Coke; I mean 32 oz. lol

  3. tofani says:

    Paz, what kind of pics they are?? yiuuuk “asco” jajaja, what´s that black bird or .. ??? i realy enjoy your stories.. jaja, you are a great writter .. couldn´t be better. we want to visit u soon!! …Juan Pablo is so excited about it! we are saving little money for.. i need to frustrade mi limited language jaja, if it writes like that.. hugs and kisses to you. good luck!

  4. Angela White says:

    Paul and I have the same question…what’s up with the torn up chicken? I was just thinking I have to go to Target to pick up diaper wipes and diapers for our trip next week…what a pain I thought, but now I will be thankful for brightly lit, clean floor, air conditioned Target experience. We’re flying out to California next week…I’m going to email you for advice on flying with kids.
    You’ll be back in the States before you know and so grateful for your fabulous life awaiting you when you get back.
    Hang in there love.

  5. Erin says:

    I have had many of these days!! I sympathize! Our apartment here in Wuhan is great but it has an incredibly long street leading out to the main road and with our slow walking 2 and a half year old it can take up to 20minutes just to walk to the main street! But here is to one more year and then seeing how it goes!!!

  6. Heather says:

    Oh PAZ!!!! I adore you so very much! I have overwhelmingly frustrating days even in beautiful Southern California. But you have definitely helped give me perspective 😉

    • Paz says:

      Heather, I am glad that there are frustrating days in beautiful California…that makes me not feel so bad. 😉 So they can happen anywhere.

  7. Danni says:

    Paz thanks for writing your blogs, btw, I am in China currently and I’m a bit frustrated with it. Only been less than a month so far, but I cannot stand the system of the university where I’m teaching, and the way everyone seems to want to haggle and get more from their customers. It just makes me uneasy. Anyhow, I am glad you’ve made the journey and I think you’re brave to have done it with you whole family. I don’t think my frustration will be eased by any more time in China, but I think it at least puts our lives into perspective and we can clearly see what great things we’ve been blessed with back home.

    • Paz says:

      Danni- being in China can be quite frustrating…and waves of frustration for us come and go regularly they actually can change minute by minute sometimes. We try to stay focused on all of the benefits and the opportunities this bring to us and our kids. We are not brave…just a little crazy! 😉 Things will get easier and if you have an opportunity to ask someone why things are a certain way that helps too. Once you understand why then it is easier to cope. You can always order a little MCD’s to make yourself feel better too. 🙂

  8. Kone Zi says:

    Can’t blame you. I was born and raised in China and lived in the U. S. When I come back there are so many things I can’t stand anymore. While there are many great things about living there, it can be frustrating from time to time.

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