Today is the big business day where Amy needs to accomplish all paperwork in the US embassy and go to the German embassy to try to get a visa for Sarah (so she doesn't have to go to the US right away). After two hours of frantic phone calls (from 1:00 to 3:00 am) this now seems possible (luckily I am still on Shanghai time :-).
The hotel they are staying at is a 'challenge' (very mildly put). It seems that only 1 person there speaks english, the internet still doesn't work, the phone has only chinese on it and no one could explain to Amy yet how to use the phone to be able to call anyone. So I called her, called our agent (from the adoption agency), called her again etc. to set an appointment where they could meet. That sounds easy enough, doesn't it?
Well, the hotel people have told our agent several times that Amy does not stay in the hotel anymore and the room is now taken by someone else. Then the agency sent a person to the hotel directly and they told them the same and told them to go away. Then I finally get through on the phone and they tell me "the lady doesn't want phone calls, we cannot put you through". But Amy was just there and told them the opposite "please let my agent throuhg to call me". When I told them I am the husband, suddendly they say "OK" and ... suprise ... Amy does indeed still stay in the room where she was supposed to be, even though the hotel staff had just said before that Amy had left the hotel the day before. All this time I am thinking "Amy is lost in China and I have no way to contact her".
We are learning a lot of things on this trip. If you ever go to China, consider this: (1) never stay in a hotel that is less than 4 stars, (2) never assume any taxi driver speaks English, (3) always have a cell phone that works (you can rent them there).
Anyway, after some hectic phone calls she is now on her trip to the embassies. I hope that we will have the news tonight that she managed to get the German visa (the American paperwork is no problem).