Learning to get along...in Hong Kong...with a baby...

The title post alone is enough to do me in- oh just thinking about this crazy city and getting around BY MYSELF is enough. I remember when we moved it was quite the ordeal figuring out the train system, and the taxi's (there are red and green taxis and each only go to a certain part of HK so you have to watch for that) and that was hard enough with a 3 and 6 year old. NOW I have a bloody pram (yes I say pram and not stroller!) and it's so very difficult with everything you have to tote around with a baby.

I think I almost forgot what all you have to take out with you when you have a baby. IN fact, one morning I almost left with the diaper bag and no diapers (can you imagine). I mean, it's only been 4 years since my last baby- surely I"m not that out of it?!?

When I think back at Jack and Henry- they were a piece of cake! No offense to my Tulsa friends, but easy easy easy with a baby! And even in Shanghai- we had a driver- so I was dropped off everywhere (usually pretty close) so I didn't have to walk far or take the train or a taxi.

So my first trip into Central (about 3 weeks ago)- for Henry's 1 week appointment was so exhausting!! First of all- the office (and yes it's necessary because I want international and good care) is about 45 minutes away. Luckily Jason was with me part of the way- but we drove in, then had to take the train (which was about a 10 minute walk from the car). Do you know how awful it is to have to walk that much after having a baby- :( and then we had to get on the train and then Jason got off at his stop and left me all by myself! Yes, I say that. Luckily I made it though- and out into the Hong Kong dreadful heat. I almost fainted when I walked outside.

And for those of you that don't know Hong Kong- there are quite a few hills- so I had to trek for about another 15 minutes through the train station and then up a hill. Thank goodness the staff all speak English and it's a great facility- otherwise I would have cracked! Do you know when I finally made it home I slept for 2 hours- that's how tired I was.

I think this post feels like I'm complaining a bit- but I really want to remember how very hard it is to get around here with a baby- and compliment and praise those that either do it on a daily basis or have gotten used to it.

The worst was 2 weeks ago- I had an appointment with my doctor (same location). But I didn't want to walk a lot, so I parked in our spot, then thought I would get a taxi over. Do you know that I asked 10-12 different taxis (on Canton Road- a very popular spot) to take me over (a 10 minute drive) and they all said no. Yea. UNBELIEVABLE. See they do that sometimes- they don't want to go over the bridge- or they don't want to go into Central- or whatever. I almost cried. And cussed. Finally I walked over to one of the hotels (where you just get in and they can't tell you no) and got one. Finally! Feat one accomplished.

Jason met me after my appointment (it was later in the afternoon) so he was going to go home with me. I kinda thought about stopping for happy hour but by the time I was finished with my appointment I was so exhausted that I just wanted to get home. So we get to the car park and I can't find the parking stub (I'm sure in the manic of the afternoon and all it dropped somewhere when I was getting things out of my bag). So I think, no biggie- they've got cameras EVERYWHERE! and surely they know and tracked me when I came in.

So I tell the lady at the shroff's office and she says she is going to have to charge me $2000HK - um, excuse me? That's almost $300US. Jason hears this, and we both start arguing with her and he says, "Over my dead body". We proceed on down to the carpark and search manically for the ticket- no where. Jason looks at me and says, "You go cry or do what you have to do to not pay that money". Luckily I actually think the lady knew how upset and mad we were because miraculously when I went up she told me I only had to pay $200 plus my parking fee (which ended up being a total of $300HK). Alright- crisis over- and now home.

That trip- friends- let me tell you (from door to door) was a 5 hour trip. And what did I do? I went to one baby store (for 15 minutes), made a small stop at Starbucks for a water and to nurse Phillip (maybe 15 minutes), and had my doctors appointment. Seriously? Can you see why I then come home and go to bed at 9:30? ha ha! :)

And the funny thing about all of these trips (within the last 3 1/2 weeks) is all the wonderful stares I've gotten. Because you know- most of the Chinese believe that the mother and certainly the baby should not be outside for at least a month. At home resting. So I've gotten wonderful stares, bad looks and things said to me (always in Cantonese so I don't understand) about me being out with Phillip. Obviously it doesn't bother me but it is quite amusing. Good thing Phillip was a bigger baby and didn't look ridiculously tiny, otherwise they would have really flipped!

Ah one of those things in life that you learn to adapt to, but I tell you- it's never far in the back of my mind how easy some cities are to get around in and how accommodating people are!

Thus, I think I'm getting along though- my trip to the mall the other day wasn't too bad- and I've learned to just push people out of the way with my pram. I mean why not- they do it with their big suitcases?!? I can't promise that I'll be patient every time I'm out and I may curse here and there in my head at having to get around, but it's a work in progress and I'm definitely getting there. My saving grace is that Phillip is such an excellent baby that he really sleeps through most of the nonsense- thank goodness! Now all I have to do is figure out how I'm going to do it with the 3 boys all together- especially since were heading back to the States soon and I'm doing it by myself! :) Ah- I think I'll think about that tomorrow...

This is a video I took of our trip to the mall on a Sunday- Phillip was 2 weeks old- he wanted to go participate in his first dumpling dinner! Even with all the crazy crowds! 

Fell asleep while waiting at the doctors office- 

First train ride! Luckily it wasn't too crowded- and he's clearly got plenty of room! 

First taxi ride- he's asleep but you know- he looks bothered- he could feel my frustration! 


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