Thursday, June 17, 2010
One Step Closer To Home
We are so thankful to be able to report that we are one step closer to home - we made it to Hong Kong by train after our consulate appointment. Hudson has a US visa and upon landing in the US - in Chicago - he will officially become a US citizen. Hudson has made tremendous progress today - at the consulate he let David sit in a chair without shedding any tears. He then chose to get down and stand on his own 2 little feet - a rare occurrence other than in our hotel room. Before leaving the consult, he amazed us even more by letting David put him down in the toy section in the back of the room where Ethan and many other children were playing. That was indeed a FIRST! He did great and played with Ethan as well as his 2 buddies from Baotou, Wei and AJ. After leaving the consulate, we headed straight to the train station - a new experience for us. Thankfully Wei's family as well as 2 other Holt families were there with us. We all stuck together. The train ride was uneventful - no motion sickness - thank goodness!
We arrived in Hong Kong around 8:15 and then had our only real scary experience for this trip. . .
Our friend Elaine had told us to take a taxi to our hotel from the train station. We had no guide, but we thought it would be easy enough. Well as soon as we neared the exit doors, a "taxi driver" came up, spoke to David, and took over our luggage cart. We followed him as he spoke English and we assumed all was well. I became a bit suspicious as I noticed all the other taxis were lined up in front of the train station. We went left - away from the other taxis. He lead us to a parking lot and kept talking about his new, nice car. He then loaded our bags into a very nice mini van - no markings of a taxi though. Once we were all seated, I noticed there was no meter. Then I asked him how much money it would be. He said "500". Well, we didn't know if that was Hong Kong currency or RMB from China. When we tried to press him, he seemed to get anxious and was rapidly firing off words in broken English. I guessed Ethan sensed my stress as he began to cry next to me because he was so scared. David was counting money because we knew we didn't have but about 150RMB plus US dollars. I finally said to David that we should leave. M granddaddy was a policeman, and I grew up hearing lots of stories so I am always a bit more suspicious of others whom I know nothing about. I just knew this was not right and had a bad feeling. Then we couldn't get the door opened. Ethan was sobbing at this point. The man was getting angry as he continued to try and work out a price with us. We wanted out and became concerned when we couldn't get out. Finally, he yelled "OK, OK, OK". Thankfully, he finally let us out of the car, and we gathered our luggage cart and our bags and set off back to the official taxis! By the way, our official taxi cost us 202RMB or for us 150 RMB and $10 US - much cheaper that 500RMB. We almost got ripped off but thankfully God sent the clear message that we needed to get out of that situation!
Now we are ready for bed here at the Mariott which is only a 5 minute shuttle ride to the airport. We plan to be on the 10 AM shuttle as our flight leaves around . Internet is not free here and I am too tired to upload pictures - so NO pictures - sorry!
Please pray for Ellie who has been sick with vomiting and tummy aches. She had one episode last week and has started back as of Wed. I pray she is better and that we don't walk into a stomach bug sweeping through our other children when we get home - and then possibly us!
Thanks for following our journey!!! And praise God that it is almost over!