Its day four living in China, and we’re all doing fine! I’m so happy to write that those three angst ridden grandchildren you kissed goodbye at Christchurch airport are more relaxed than they’ve been for weeks. The anticipation of moving to China was so hard for them, but the reality is that living in this compound is like living in a holiday resort – the twins haven’t located all five swimming pools yet but they’re loving the search. Today we’ve all been issued with club cards, with which the kids can charge up anything they like in the compound shops, the consequences of which can be delayed until the bill comes to their parents at the end of each month, I will let you know how that goes.
In the absence of most of our belongings, we’ve made two trips to Ikea already where the children have picked out new bedding and accessories for their new bedrooms, perhaps not the most creative way to decorate but its easy, its here, and the kids are happy. The day our boxes arrive with our belongings will be glorious day! I am dreaming of putting our own art on the walls and our own bits and pieces around the apartment so we can begin to feel like its our home.
Living in this compound we could easily forget that we live in China now, but as soon as we step outside the gates China is right there in our faces. The children are completely undaunted walking to and from the closest restaurants and shops, taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the neighbourhood. They’re curious, interested and eager to learn and settle in here.
As for me, well running a household is the same just about anywhere I guess, washing, shopping and cooking still need to be done, if a little differently over here. I think I’ve been washing the clothes, but as the instructions on my washing machine are all in Chinese its a wild guess really. The washing seems to swish about for an hour or so and come out smelling better so I’m happy with that for now. As for cooking, its a little hit and miss when we can’t read the labels at the supermarket, all part of the fun, although to be honest that’s not always fun. I guess we’re not the first newbie expats to drag our bewildered driver into the supermarket to help us translate the grocery labels, but perhaps I’ll follow some advice I got today and switch to a more international supermarket tomorrow.
Lots of love,