I wondered when it would happen, the missing friends and family so terribly you just want to hop on a plane to say hello or give a quick hug. Up until now, NOTHING made me even consider getting on that plane and riding with three kids for 17 hours straight. Not missing family or friends, not the foods we missed, not the stuff you can’t buy anywhere but in the US, NOTHING. Well, now I know. 6.5 weeks in. I miss our people. I miss friends. I miss family more. I knew it would happen. And, I dislike it just as much as I thought I would.
In other news…we’re searching for a car. Some independence would go a long way to help this girl feel a bit more like herself again. 6.5 weeks of not being able to go where I want to when I want to is wearing on me. It will be a few more weeks before anything is resolved, but at least we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve gone and looked at cars twice now. It’s done very differently here (everything is). You find a broker, he calls people he knows with cars for sale, they agree to meet you somewhere so you can look at the car. You look over the car (pretend you know what the engine should look like, which is apparently hilarious when a woman looks under the hood–a white woman at that–and pokes around, draws quite a crowd), then you discuss price. There is no set price. You make an offer (AWKWARD). They refuse and ask for much more. We walk away. In two days, we have done this about 20 times. It’s exhausting. Each car takes about 20-30 minutes out of your day. We don’t know the language well enough to communicate with any of the owners or brokers, so we have a friend. We met him here through adoption connections. He drives people around for a living, but in his own car. He’s great and is really trying to help us, but we do have to pay him each time he takes us out to look at cars. You can’t simply go to a lot and look at 40 available cars in one day. You have to drive all over this huge city and look at one at a time. Our funds are pretty limited, so we can’t hire him daily to go look, maybe once a week. Unfortunately, that means this could take a LONG time. In all our searching, we found two “maybe” cars. We later learned that one has major engine issues (shocked that I didn’t discover that while poking around under the hood, I know!). The other, Chris dislikes. Not sure why, but he does. The best part is that we have $10,000 to buy a car. In the US, we could get something small and brand new for that price or a great used minivan or whatever. Here, that can buy us a 27 year old Toyota Corolla DX. No lie! The whole first car search day, we adjusted to that line of thinking. Now, we’re just trying to find a good one that will last us two years. Cars and houses cost almost the same amount here. Wow!
Our house is coming along. It’s not even close to fully furnished yet, but we placed an order with a bamboo guy and once he’s completed that, it will be a little better. We have the essentials anyway. I did finally get some curtains. I had one made by a local guy and I was hoping to order the rest from him because he was conveniently located in my neighborhood. No such luck. He saw a white lady and totally took advantage. The original price he gave me was great. When I went back to pick it up, it wasn’t made very well and he wanted more $. Well, that settled that. He got no more of my business. Someone posted some used curtains online that seemed like they might really work in our house. I went to go get them and they are almost perfect! They were filthy and had to be washed like 6x each and they were too short, but could be unhemmed to be the right length, but they work! Every room but the boys’ has curtains. And, I like them! I need to do some hand hemming, but I need to find some white thread first.
Paperwork is being worked on. Those in the know are trying to figure out the best route for getting us our work permits. Once they figure that out, we can move forward. We are anxious for that, but we also need to find a car before we can really work anyway. Have to be able to get to work somehow. So, if you could please pray that we find a good, reliable car for the amount that we have to spend, we would be ever so appreciative. I don’t think we’ll get to look again until next week sometime, but maybe we’ll have better “luck” then.