|From Griffey's First Day|
After months of preparation and waiting, my dad dropped Griffey off in Atlanta, Georgia and he was on a flight on Cathay Pacific for Hong Kong. Jamie and I had some time to kill before we went to pick him up with our pet moving company help, so we spent the morning watching some football games and walking around Hong Kong. We went to the famous Intercontinental Hotel and walked along Victoria Harbor enjoying the Hong Kong skyline.
We made it to the airport at 2:30 and finally found a driver to take us to the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal where Louise, the pet moving company manager, was getting Griffey off of the plane and handling the paperwork. Griffey came around pushed on a little cart around 3:45 and we waited a while for them to check him in and do some paperwork. He was lively and really wanting out of his crate. He hadn't been let out for probably over 30 hours at that point. The bottom of his crate was soaked with urine and water. He was whimpering some, but excited nonetheless. I was just happy he was alive and OK.
We made it out of the Cargo Terminal and loaded up into a van and headed toward the Hong Kong/Shenzhen border. This is where it gets interesting...
Leaving Hong Kong was pretty easy, just paperwork issues. Getting into China is a WHOLE other story. The border from Hong Kong to China you drive through is only about 25 yards apart, but the manner in which they do things is as though they are on different planets.
We drove through the border customs and parked and went into this little shack where 5 Chinese Customs officials started examining Griffey's paperwork. At the time change, 5 other Chinese workers came and did the same thing. Each took each of the 5 or 6 pieces of paper that was involved and carefully examined it. I asked Louise why it took 5 people, and she told me that 1 worker doesn't want to be responsible, so it takes 5 or 6 or 9 of them to make sure the paperwork is OK so they aren't held responsible for anything bad happening.
If you will, imagine the world leaders sitting down at a table on the brink of World War Three. A stressful situation and the earth's survival depends on whether they can come to an agreement. The workers in that room couldn't have been more serious as they examined the paperwork. They asked to see Griffey 3 or 4 times out of his crate, so each time, I took him out and then put him back in. Griffey took it in stride.
Very interesting experience and after about 1.5 hours, we finally left the Chinese Customs with all of our paperwork and dog. The pet moving company dropped us off at our apartment and Griffey was introduced to his new home. You can't imagine how happy I am to have him here and how relieved I am that his trip was a success. I have been having terrible thoughts for months concerning this, but everyone was very professional and nice and I felt it went as well as it possibly could.