Friday, August 7, 2009

Two strikes we're out.....

Today it was back to the embassy for passport pictures and then to a nearby hospital to get our DNA test. The DNA process is quite complicated: two witnesses from the embassy have to come and watch the sealed envelope be opened; there was also an official who documented all the details of the test, a very kind and elegant doctor who did the actual swabbing, and a nurse or assistant of some sort. The whole thing is quite a ritual. The doctor was nice enough to do this for us today; usually DNA tests are only conducted on Thursday and we missed our appointment. The DNA test is now sitting in its little FedEx envelope, waiting to fly to the US for processing. I don't want to jinx our luck by speculating about our departure, but it will take at least 2 business days to get the test to the US, and 2 days to process it, so we're cutting it pretty close to get out of here by next Sat.

Anyway, it was a long morning, and we arrived back at our hotel hungry for lunch. We decided to be adventurous and -- gasp-- cross the street in front of our hotel to go to a restaurant for lunch. Now, crossing the street is an adventure in itself; it is a three lane road in each direction, but with no lane markings and construction in the middle where train tracks are being built. Nobody pays any attention to lanes, though, and everyone is weaving through traffic; also, the motorized rickshaws are only half a car wide, so you could potentially have 6 vehicles coming at you at any moment. Getting across the street is like playing Frogger, and was pretty terrifying with a baby because you just have to step out into traffic and hope they don't want to hit you.

So we finally got to the other side; there are two restaurants there. The first ushered us up a very steep set of stairs to their "fine dining" section, which was extremely dark, hot, and heavy with the scent of incense. We turned around and headed to the other restaurant, which looked brighter and cooler, but alas, we arrived just as they were lighting their incense and this heavy, perfumed smoke was billowing visably through the restaurant. We're pretty smoke sensitive ourselves, but exposing our little guy's lungs to that seemed unnecessary. So two strikes and we headed back to the hotel room for some peanut butter and mango jam sandwiches on stale bread with lentil soup. Thank goodness I stoked up on energy bars and whey protein shakes for Adam; if we really get desperate, we'll start drinking formula I think. I've got to get over to the grocery store for some more supplies later today.

LATER: I just found out that next Sat. is India's independence day and the Friday before is a long weekend here.... if the magic FRRO office is closed on Friday, as I assume it will be, it looks like we could have to stay here through another weekend and would make my mistake with the DNA test yesterday a very costly one. I've already sent two very pleading e-mails to my contact at the DNA lab, hoping that she'll take pity on us and try to arrange expedited service for us. I have no idea how long DNA analysis takes, though, so there may be some physical reason why it can't be expedited. I don't even know how I"m going to break this one to Adam....


  1. Steph, there's a Subway on your side of the road and a Pizza Hut just about opposite the Subway (but on the opposite side of the road). Jump in an auto rickshaw and head to either of them before you start on the baby formula.


  2. LOL! Ask Amit as well, he knows where you can go.

  3. Ach the stress! Takes me back to China adopting Ava and Zoe! Right down to crossing the street at mealtime -- we ended up circumnavigating the block our hotel was on because the streets were too scary to cross on all sides, it was like being on an island in shark-infested waters. But hang in there -- this will soon be but a distant memory. love, Kathy

  4. So beautifully written. I feel as though I was there with you 3!