Saturday, April 23, 2011

On the Next China Trip...

...I'd do a few things differently:

1. I'd bring a broader range of clothes for myself. I ran short of clothes for hotter weather and I needed about two more outfits. Part of this problem has to do with the fact that I don't have many clothes to begin with.

2. I'd have a firmer meal plan in mind right from the start. Lunch was a meal that was particularly hard to get because we were usually in the middle of going somewhere or doing something and then have to scrounge around. I'd find two or three food sources and plan ahead a bit to make sure I get to one at a set time. I guess the trick is to actually SCHEDULE meals. I found department stores had the best market areas with hot food to go.

3. Have fewer toys and a wider variety. One coloring book would have been enough, not three. One set of little toys, not two (still haven't opened the Pol-ly Pockets, but did get good use out of the Lit-tle Ponies), wish I'd remembered to bring my stacking cups (needed a larger, but compact type toy), buying the scooter was brilliant, bringing the beach ball was perfect, but I'd bring two next time since they get holes easily (thank heavens for duct tape). I didn't need so many toys because we were always on the go. There was plenty to do all the time.

4. Have definite help set up for the first few days home with two back-ups. If I could have gotten sleep in the first 48 hours, I'd have been perfectly over any jetlag; the timing of the flights was perfect.

5. I think I'd like to take the train to Hong Kong instead of fly out of Guangzhou.

6. If I have the time and money, I'd like to see Beijing and climb the Great Wall and I'd like to see Hong Kong for real.

7. I'd pack so that all like items are together. I didn't want to buy a bag/case for cosmetics/grooming and health-related itmes so I used several small bags, etc... and it was hard to keep track of what was where. I had one container for all the hardware, like duct tape, converters, rechargers, etc..., and I called it the tool box, and it was great. If I could have had a single container for grooming items, it'd have been better.

Things I'd do the same:

1. I did not pack a pharmacy of drugs. I had children's pain and fever reliever, motions sickness tablets, anti-diarrhea medicine, Neosporin, Boogie Juice (Alkalol), aspirin and motrin and that's all. I only used the aspirin and motrin for myself once or twice and that's it. I did have some Eucerine and used it on Jie Jie three times and it cleared up two dry skin patches that have not returned.

If I was adopting a baby, I'd bring something for yeast rash (anitfungal), two different diaper rash creams, and that's it.

2. Bring my Ergo Carrier and harness/leash!!! These were the most valuable things I brought.

3. Bring a box each of three different sized ziplock bags. I used these for everything!


Anonymous said...

I think we all tend to overpack. I was in China in 2006 to adopt a 3 yr old. I brought too much stuff. I didn't bring a carrier, just held her hand when we walked. She was very weak so we spent a lot of time just walking to build up her strength.

Next time it will be a baby, so you will definately have a different packing list. I would not take a leash...but that is just be. Your new daughter will have a firm grasp of English, be older and will not need to be tethered to you I would think.

She is gorgeous. Congratulations


nicole said...

we brought peanutbutter and made pb and j every day for lunch. when we were on the go i made them in the room and we took them with a fruit. when we were home i made them in the room. lots of zip lock bags. we "ate" off the am buffet all morning. bananna bread on the go was a huge hit! we took way too many meds and not a big enough varity of size clothes for baby. too many snacks of the same kind. and you can buy peanutbutter there...just need enough to get there and then walmart has it. agree on the train and wall. we tried but it didn't work out.

K said...

We did hit the store for sandwich supplies, fruit, instant noodles, etc... and I'm still hooked on the bei bei cookies, but often we were just on the road somewhere and Jie Jie munched through all I'd packed by midmorning. We managed, but it could have been much easier. Yes, do raid the breakfast buffet each morning. I brought a bento box to breakfast and ziplock baggies and filled them!

Karen said...

A couple things that I also found helpful was
-bringing 1/2 size ziplock bags for the increments of money needed for the adoption, and labeling each one, then keeping them in a larger baggie.
-Extra large ziplock bags (one for each day) filled with a set of clothes for the baby. As we used each one, we were able to fill the ziplocks with things that were unsanitary like diapers. Or simply used them for other things.
-Overhead bag with American food items (yes including bread and a tube of PB and J.) which also held medical supplies. I would NOT go without extra pharmaceuticals. We might not use them, but someone else might. And even if NO ONE uses them, it's better to have them than to try to find them in China.
-Snacking bowls with lids (goldfish, raisins, and a full bag of cheerios without the box...these were a lifesaver with a hungry toddler on the go.
-Bags of cheap underwear that I could toss as I use them, instead of carrying around dirty underwear or expecting someone to clean them for us.
-Yeah, beach balls are the best. We had two different sizes. And bubbles.

Special K said...

Good advice.