What an anticlimax.
We got up early this morning, which was rather hard on my wife as she's picked up either an allergy or a upper respiratory infection and can hardly sleep for coughing. Put on "nice" clothes, including an adorable little sailor dress for Caroline. A long-sleeve and pants is murder in this heat and humidity, let me tell you. Oh, we were told to bring passport and AT MOST a small, clear bag with a change of diaper and maybe a snack. No stroller, no diaper bag, no cell phone, not even a wristwatch. Security kabuki. Bah.
The line outside the consulate was enormous: there must have been a few hundred Chinese there, waiting to apply for a visa to come to our country. As we were doing adoption, we went through the short line. After waiting for a bit while other families arrived, we were sworn in. Never swore an oath that starts with, "By affixing my thumbprint, I swear..." followed by a lot of rubbish about filling out all the forms we've done over the past eighteen months correctly. Again, bah.
Then back to the hotel.
While Chrystal was resting in the room (i.e. praying for death), Caroline and I walked to the nearby Liuhuahu Park. Allow me to say that crossing a busy street in China is not for the faint of heart as the average Chinese driver would be locked away in a home for the criminally insane back home: if the light turns green while one is in the middle of the intersection, he'd better hope that his guardian angel is on the job, or he'll be a pancake in VERY short order. Trust me on this.
After a narrow escape from a speeding Toyota, we made it into the park. Beautiful; I'll have to post pics later. There is a small chain of lakes there; the grounds are manicured. There is even a small rose garden, a gift from the city of Frankfort am Main.
After a very pleasant stroll, I took our two lives back in my hands and crossed the street. Feeling peckish and suspecting that Caroline was, too, I stepped into Macau Street Restaurant, where Caroline and I split a large dish of chicken curry. And I do mean "split" as the little swine ate about half as much as I did, crying if I didn't shovel it in as fast as she wanted. I should add that, had I known that curry tastes so well, I'd have made it a regular part of my diet long since. A quick stop at the 7-11 for chips and drinks for Chrystal, and back we came.
In all, a pretty nice afternoon with my daughter.