This morning we met Helen at 7:50 and took a bus to the American Consulate for our visa interview. Our appointment was at 10:00 so there was a lot of waiting once we got there. It was crowded and loud, and somehow Ezekiel still managed to fall asleep for about 30 minutes for his morning nap. TongJie played with the toys they had there in the waiting area. We took a number and waited for them to call it, then went up to the window and presented all of our documents. They took some and gave some back, then we waited some more. The next time they called a group of families up and we raised our right hand and took an oath about everything in the visa application being true to the best of our knowledge. Then we waited for our number to be called again, and that time they checked to make sure Ezekiel looked like the right kid (compared to his crying picture that I posted from yesterday), asked some questions about his medical condition to make sure what we said lined up with the medical report, and took my fingerprints. Then we were free to go. Since Helen couldn't go in to the consulate building, we had to walk over to the medical center across the street to meet up with her. Then we took the bus back to our hotel. Everything with the appointment went fine, and we're glad to be finished! Now we just wait for Ezekiel's visa, which should be ready tomorrow afternoon, then on Thursday we will take the train to Hong Kong to stay overnight before departing for our long flight to the US on Friday morning. We're getting close to coming home!
TongJie has been carrying around his Gordon train engine quite a bit, and some of the guides and other people who speak English have recognized it, and they always say "oh, you have Thomas," even though it's not Thomas. TongJie is used to that, because people at home do that too - unless you have a young child who's really into Thomas trains, you wouldn't know the difference between Gordon and Thomas - they're both trains, and they're both blue. Anyway, this morning, we were waiting in the lobby and our friend Martin from the hotel came up to TongJie and took one look at his engine and said "oh, it's Gordon! I love Gordon!" As if TongJie didn't already think Martin was cool enough because he asks him to hold the door, now Martin is like TongJie's new best friend! They talked about all the engines from Thomas until we had to leave on the bus. It turns out that Martin, who is from Germany, was a big fan of Thomas as a kid. His favorite engine is Henry. He even let TongJie use his magnetic name tag to connect to the magnets on TongJie's Gordon toy.
We were going to go to the Tekila restaurant with the other family yesterday for dinner, but it turned out that they couldn't make it. So, we were going to go ourselves, but when we got there and looked at the menu posted outside, we decided not to because it was a little expensive and didn't look that good from the pictures, plus it looked busy in the restaurant and we would have had to wait. So, we walked around for awhile and then decided to go to our old standby, YinJi Beef Roll (the same noodle place that I've talked about before).
Pictures are of a street in Guangzhou on our walk last night, a photo that Helen took of us outside the consulate (it was so crowded you can hardly see the consulate building!), TongJie and Martin, and Ezekiel's passport photo which is much better than his sad visa photo.