Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 10: Back to the capitol

We did not get to visit Valentin today because we had to go back to the capitol.  Miss him already!

I just have to tell you about our day, and while I know you 'just had to be there' to understand it, we have to write it down so we remember how crazy and hysterical our days are here.  Maybe we are so tired we are delirious, who knows but we just have to laugh our way through our adventures here.

We boarded a very early train and took a 6 hour ride for an official appointment.  Pictures of our train ride:

No less then 5 times we had to shrug our shoulders with our 'pitiful' face and say "English" as someone tried to speak to us.  "No problem" as our driver would say.  We arrived at the train station.

I had to use the restroom after we got off the train but could not find it. Trying to ask where the bathroom is 'no problem', just say "toilet" and they will understand, but when they start giving lengthy descriptions of where to find it in Russian you realize you can ask where the toilet is but you can't understand the Russian directions.  Finally found our driver and he showed me where it was.  It's another pay-to-use bathroom (very common here) so we pay and go through the turn-style gate ensuring no one sneaks in a pee for free.  I thought we were done with squatty potties in China...nope :)  Enjoy the beauty...

We go straight from the train station to our official appointment and wait past the appointment time until they are ready to see us, it's ok because we get some hilarious stories from Serge, our facilitation team leader.  We go up to the office and sit while a heated conversation insures (no yelling you can just tell to prove a point you have to speak louder).  We start to worry it's about out adoption.  After a few minutes our facilitator says "don't worry, not about you."  Whew!  We watch the language acrobatic show for a few more minutes until finally they turn their attention back to us.  Really we are cracking up on the inside because we have finally learned this is just how this country works and you can sit back and enjoy it as life experience or you can let it get to you.  We choose laughter.  Anyway we get our stuff done (again, we will share more about it later when we feel it's ok to share).  So we go downstairs and talk to another one of the team members about what needs to happen tomorrow.  About 10-15 minutes into the conversation (small talk at this point) she asked what we are waiting around here for.  Ummmm, I guess we don't know.  Since everyone was just standing around we figured we were waiting for something.  Silly Americans.

Then our driver spent quite a bit of time trying to find an available apartment to stay in (most are booked right now I suppose because of the holiday).  Yay, finally he found one so we went to pick up the key.  Traffic is horrible and no parking on the street near the rental company to get key so he decides to drive us near the apartment, park, and we will walk back to the rental company.  "No problem".  We walk back to rental company and the street is clear of traffic and tons of parking spaces are now open.  Can't help but laugh.  Go to pick up key, oh, one surprise, "must be out apartment noon tomorrow".  Whatever, just need a bed and shower so we will take it, good thing we were allowed to leave a lot of luggage with facilitator back in Valentin's region so we only have to deal with a small suitcase here.  So we start walking to apartment, the driver has never been to the apartment and can't find it easily.  We follow the twists and turns and back tracks like little ducklings.  Still enjoying our crazy day.

We finally got to eat our first meal of the day somewhere around 6PM, by that time we had lost all sense of time.  Enjoyed our apartment

The more crazy time we spend in this country and surviving adoption the more convinced we are that we could totally win The Amazing Race!  Wouldn't all my moms who have adopted from this country agree???


  1. Great pictures, so sorry about your are right and real to feel this way. Hope you all get some rest and recharge for the coming weeks and days.

  2. This post cracked me up. We had very similar experiences in Lithuania when we were there recently (that's where we hope to adopt from).

    I can speak enough Lithuanian to get by or be understood... problem is... when people start talking back in Lithuanian... I'd realise that I'd used up my limited vocab in asking the question (never mind understanding the answer) or else I could get through question/answer that I'd expected/prepared for (eg: at a store register) and then there would be a supplementary question, and I was stuck!! Umm... angliškai?

    Thanks again for letting us follow your journey to Valentin. Sorry you had such a hard day yesterday. Your love and commitment to him absolutely shines through, and you're right, knowing why something is happening often doesn't make it any easier. Stay strong! :)

  3. Wow - how cool would that be ? A couple who have adopted - on the Amazing Race - who then donate the winnings to RR !! :) Love hearing about your adventures !!

  4. What an amazing journey! One I am sure your son will enjoy hearing you tell when he is older. Our son loves to hear about the plane rides, trains, and car rides we took to bring him home! The train station looks beautiful.

  5. I'm laughing! We totally understand the yelling conversations they have. It took us a while to realize that they communicate in a loud, seems like mad, tone of voice. Really they are not mad and there isn't a problem, that's just the way they communicate in that country.