The eagle has landed! We are the newest recruits to SAS. The fighting Eagles!! Like Philadelphia, like Shanghai!? Nothing but excitement here. No sleep for the first three days, but now as we explore the city and smile at people on the street (this is the only possible communication) we are starting to get our china legs, so no more late nights of cereal and children's movies. We are all sleeping better. The girls are adjusting well, even through a few tears. We have had our share of overcoming... but we are learning.
-No language, but Chinese classes are helping a bit- I tried to ask for the bathroom and they pointed out a 12 pack of water bottles to me. Pronunciation is not easy.
-No understanding of Yuan. It is easiest to understand if you move the decimal to the left and add half! 45.5 is the same as 6.75+ American dollars (but not exactly) Quinn is very helpful in this regard.
-No Internet or connection- resolved. Though very slow and at times not a great connection.
-Nothing in the house. We have had several shopping excursions and though there might not be some items we need or like in most stores, there is a good selection at the Australian market. Very expensive for some items- chocolate chips cost around 10.00 and of course we need comfort food so we bought them!
-I will not be driving here! The first Carrefour trip someone drove over my foot with a moped. The laws don't apply to them so they are on every sidewalk, and street. They don't stop for anyone! I am always on guard with Josephine and Quinn.
-Some places you might not want to eat in!! But the shirtless locals like them and they might become our favorites in time?? We had an amazing meal today cooked in front of us and everything went in the pot, even the lettuce. Quinn did not appreciate pulling out the chicken foot.
-It's smoggy for sure, but every few days we get a sunny sky. I think we have had one full day of sunshine with a rain shower in the afternoon. Umbrellas have been good here. We are waiting for Typhoon Muifa to hit and so far nothing. It is expected between 3am- 3pm. don’t think we are going anywhere tomorrow.
Some other thoughts about setting up shop-
-We got our internet hooked up late but it’s working now. Every project takes muccch longer with our inability to communicate!
-The first week is full of emotions- mostly excitement. It has been difficult without the comfort of familiarity. We were not used to the time change and slept straight for two days, especially flying from Spain.
Since here, the school activities have been keeping us very busy and tired. SAS has done a remarkable job helping us adjust socially- welcoming breakfast, happy hour, bus rides to the local Carrefour and tours of the area we live in. We are slowly meeting people and feeling like we ARE home. BTW- Josephine has already had a play date and sleep over so she is doing just fine in that regard!
The shopping excursions are helping us settle, after walking into a house with four bowls, plates and silverware, bed, bureau, night stand, two lamps, a TV, a TV stand and a coffee table, not to mention the blankets provided which were like oversized towels- The deal was that if Jos gave up her blankie, then Rob and I did not have to share a washcloth for warmth and Josey got a brand new IKEA comforter, (She is planning her room and bath to be filled with everything blue). The girls love that they have their own bathrooms and really cool bedrooms.
We are not moving in too fast as we watch the other families at Carrefour or the grocery store load up on food and goods. We have realized that we should be thinking of our own personal objectives. After a very stressful trip to the big Carrefour yesterday, a 35 low BG and being a little on edge from a week here and the BIG storm coming in, we realized that the only thing that matters very much is health, happiness and food!
We are all homesick for the food we typically eat but little by little the surroundings are not as daunting with these side trips and with communication from home.
I am hoping we can rely on each other more, get what we need done and slowly figure out the rest. That said we are getting my doctor set up next week, orthodontists for the kids and a few more items for the house. Rob is running and we are all swimming in the pool we see from the house!