Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This too Shall Pass

You know those times when people say, “don’t worry, we will all look back at this later and laugh about it”? Hurry up later!! Last week we went for an extension to our soon to expire visas. They told Frank one price a few days before but the day we went, it was almost 9x’s more. Why? They first thought Frank was from Africa! For every country except the US, it is cheap but because it is hard for them to come to the US… you get the picture. Makes sense, but I wasn’t prepared for the sticker shock and it just about ruined my whole day. That was Friday. Sunday, we both had a great morning, then Frank went to play ball. I met him there a few hours later. While they were playing, with a wife sitting close by the bags, a guy came up behind her and snatched Frank’s backpack. All the people watching had nothing to say, until the cops came and suddenly, everyone was talking. Frank and another guy had tried to run him down but he had disappeared. The police took Frank and an interpreter friend aside to talk and before we realized it, they were gone! The police had put them in the car and driven away to the station without a word. We ran to another officer to find out where they had been taken and before I knew it, I was on the back of a scooter, holding on to a tiny Chinese policeman, with another guy behind me, holding on to the officer too, weaving through 4 lanes of traffic! It was pretty funny. We knew finding the bag was a lost cause but you have to try, so we sat at the station for the next 1 ½ hours until they sent us home with a receipt for our report and a list of what was lost, namely, all our credit cards, house keys, bus card, a psp, memory cards, some personal books and so on. It was a good day for them to steal it though because for once, Frank did not carry his laptop. We had friends rush to our apartment to head off any burglary and we had the locks changed that night. That part was easy. It’s only stuff after all. But, they had also stolen Frank’s only pair of jeans and he caught a chill in the winter air in his sweaty ball clothes. Monday morning his temperature was 104! I was so glad we have a tub! I put him in a cool bath and put compresses on him. I got his temp down to 99 but the next morning it was 104 again. His skin was so hot! This time I got it down to 98.5 and we thought we had licked it. But he was still bad this morning, 102. So, now we sit at the hospital since 10 am. He is on his third bottle of IV meds and we have to come back the next two days for more. He has severe bronchitis plus they are treating him for H1N1, just in case. The hospital is very efficient and clean, except for the people sitting in the hallway next to the many no smoking signs, puffing away. Our doctor also gave him zhongyao, Chinese root and stick tea. It is black and thick and bitter and should work. So, he will get better soon. A solution to a visa problem will present itself, our house in the states will sell, or disappear and then, we will have a nice long laugh.