Huffman Coding

… with a bunch of Family Stuff too


I think Maoming wanted us to leave.

When the maid made up our hotel room last afternoon, she took our half used soap and did not replace it. We could not wash our hands for a day.

At our last breakfast in the hotel, the buffet table had one fork, so I had to share with Katie. Mid-morning they were down to one hardboiled egg, so I let Claire have that. It seems they set out everything at 6:30 and the waitresses just watch stuff disappear. Chris would was too late for watermelon the day before, so she was proactively disappointed and didn’t join us for that last meal.

Because our bus out of Maoming was at noon we saw an opportunity for the girls to swim before checkout. The pool was a beautiful blue tile one, but drained of water, the girls didn’t want to play in it.

Jason, his third day in the same clothes, took us from Maoming to the one-gate airport in Zhanjiang. It was also a one-lizard airport as Claire discovered. It was crawling *inside* the airport next to the gate door.

If an airport bathroom doesn’t have soap, paper towels, a hand dryer or toilet paper, should it still be considered a bathroom?

And for those who are curious, a metal sword inside your wife’s luggage attracts the attention of baggage screeners. It didn’t fit in my bag. Honest.

The plane landed in Guangzhou for our last night in China. Another pixie of a guide, Nancy, picked us up.

We met up with our new, good friends who had prearranged a few hours earlier for us to have almost adjacent rooms at the White Swan hotel. I know it’s a five star hotel because they gave us five key cards.

Since it was storming in Guangzhou, the planned itinerary of having the four girls go swimming was scrapped in favor of much bouncing on hotel beds and the ceremonial exchanging of comfort foods: Oreos to them, a bottle of Sprite to us.

It is standard protocol for adoptive parents to stay at the White Swan and then eat down the street at Lucy’s Bar and Restaurant at least once. Even though we’ve adopted two, this was the first time we did either when the eight of us dined that night. I had an American burger that actually tasted like an American burger.

Katie pointed at a poster on the restaurant’s wall and asked if it was Gwen Stefani.

I then explained who Marilyn Monroe was.

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