Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1/8/2012 Entry:

We are here in China and as settled as we're going to get, but I can't get to my blog page.  Oh and I thought I was beating the system by blogging instead of face booking.  Hmmmm.  Apparently China doesn't want you to blog either.  
So I am going to email you all what I would have written.  Please feel free to forward to anyone I have left off the list. 

There is a chicken in our yard.
I have moved to the biggest city in the world, live in a very densely populated neighborhood and there is a chicken that walks through our yard most days.  The kids and I saw her first.  Scott was a non believer until he saw it with his own eyes.  We'd give you a picture, but she's fast for a major food group.  It seems to be kinda how China is though.  Lots of progress with a little bit of country thrown in.

The elusive chicken picture:

Our house is very nice.  It's huge by our standards, but one of the smallest in the neighborhood.  We have both chinese and expat neighbors.  We are meeting people now that school has started.  Both kids are enjoying school.  And the only uniform issues we have is trying to keep it straight when we wear P.E uniforms and when we don't.  Also, Lauren only wants to wear her "summer uniform" dress.  Pretty soon I'm going to have to peel it off of her.  

Back to the house, we haven't quite figured everything out yet.  We have heated floors throughout the house, but we can't seem to figure out how to control the temperature.  Our bathroom and kitchen we can't cool down.  For the kitchen, this isn't a problem.  But we sure aren't lingering in our bathroom for very long.  We kinda hop from foot to foot while we brush our teeth.  We have decorated exclusively from Ikea (because it's familiar to us, I know where it is, and they speak a little english).  It looks like Sweden has thrown up in here, but I like it.  The best part is our Ikea has a service where they will deliver and set up your furniture super cheap.  Today we had a bookcase, huge desk, chair and ottoman, and desk chair delivered and set up for $40usd.  The whole house cost under $300.  

Grocery shopping is different.  I have gone to the local version of Target called Carrefore (french Walmart actually) and have been overwhelmed by the people and layout of the place.  There isn't a lot there that is recognizable.  Most of the fresh produce and meat is the same, or close.  But there is no cereal isle.  Flour is for dumpling making, not cookies.  They have chips, even Lays.  But the flavors are really unusual (garden veggie with soy anyone?).  We do have every kind of Oreo though.  Stick shaped.  Berry flavored.  White.  All brown.  Just not the kind in the US.  

One of the parents from the kids school recommended some places that would have things more familiar to me, but warned its kinda "pricy".  Boy, they weren't whistling dixie.  I bought $8 box of pop tarts.  Each tart is $1.  Holy Crap!  Lemonaid was also $8 for a frozen minute maid tube.  I passed on that.  For $8, I'll squeeze my own lemons.  (I did buy the pop tarts, but the kids have to make sounds of sweet extacy as they eat them.)

I've had only one really crappy tearful day.  But mostly it's been fine.  I've discovered that little things are huge victories now for me.  For example.  It's incredibly hard to find pencils unless you go to the mega stores.  I can't find a hairbrush or hairdryer either.  The small grocery stores will sell pens, shoelaces, black q-tips (what's with that), highlighters, chalk for sketching, hair nets, shoe polish, but not a #2 pencil or hairbrush.  To no avail!!! 
Tomorrow I will concur the hairbrush, pencil dilemma.  Quint has also asked me to buy ketchup.  

We miss you all and hope you can come and visit.

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