Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's been a long time

Dear friends and family

I'm so sorry its been so long since I've typed.  So much has happened, I don't know if I can remember all of it, but I'll try.  First of all, we finally went on a trip to see some of Asia.  Well kinda.  We went to Hong Kong in February.  Did we see the sights? Soak in the culture? Eat culinary treats from that part of the world? Why of course not.  We went to Hong Kong Disney.  Thats right.  We're half way around the world and we go see the mouse.  And it was fun.  We flew in Fri and hit the park.

Now I have to admit, Hong Kong Disney is the wussiest of all the Disneys.  It's very small and closes at 8pm.  We were so pooped though, we went back to our hotel and watched the fireworks from our window.  After being in Shanghai for Chinese New Years, we decided we didn't need to see them up close.  After that, we headed to the Disney dining establishment in our hotel.  It was typical Disney buffet.  Some kid friendly, some adult american, and some asian.  We all helped ourselves and then proceeded to eat whatever we picked with chopsticks.  A sign that we are getting used to being here.

The next day, Lauren and I gathered signatures from her favorite Disney characters while the boys rode space mountain over and over again.  It's incredible who is popular here and who isn't.  Rapunzel has not been heard of here so we had about a half hour interview with her.  (she was american by the way).  And you would think Mulan would be all over the place, but no! Not one sighting.  I think the funniest thing for me was the river safari ride.  If you remember, US Disneys used to do a jungle river cruise where the driver would crack all these jokes as you went thru some pretty crappy animatronics (I think that's what its called).  Those Disney's have moved on to build rides like Nemo's adventure and Indiana Jones.  They sent the stuff to Hong Kong.  So for me it was going down memory lane.  They had three lines.  Those who wanted the tour in English, Mandarin or Cantonese, the language of Hong Kong.  We of course, picked English, but her accent was so thick we couldn't tell what she was saying.  You could almost remember the joke, but not quite.  And that cracked me up.  So here I am on this ride from decades ago and am the only one laughing, because I can't understand a word our tour guide is saying.  Everyone is looking at me wondering why they can't understand her, but I can.  And the more I laughed the more the tour guide started to ham it up because she thought finally, someone gets it.  Quint finally told me to stop and that I was embarrassing him.  

Speaking of Quint, he turned 12 on the 25th.  It's hard for me to imagine him being 12 when he used to be so small.  Now he's up to my eyes and outweighs Scott by about 15lbs.  We had the boys from the bus stop over for pizza and a movie.  Totally low key and totally fun.  He even told the boys no presents please.  How very mature of him.  It was a night of nerf guns, burping, too much soda, and bad fart jokes.  Just what Quint wanted.  Quint is still the one I think has adjusted the best to Shanghai.  He loves school.  Probably because he isn't putting as much of an effort into it and the only people concerned about this are his parents.  He's making friends from around the world, and has started playing "American baseball".  (more on that later)

Meanwhile, Lauren is almost used to the amount of homework she has.  Every week she has reading 30 min a night, Chinese, 10 math problems that range from addition, to sequencing to multiplication and division, 12 spelling words that are much harder than in the states. And she has to write the spelling words into sentences using 2 words from the list and an adjective.  We argue often whether each sentence has to have the same adjective or if she can change them up.  A lot of her spelling words are described as "purple" in her writing.  She also has to do math work on the computer.  The problems are easier, but she gets so flustered because her typing is bad and it's a race against the clock.  Poor pookie.  But she also is enjoying Shanghai.  Also making friends and she now has a scooter to ride to school on.  I bike behind her.  Every time I do though, I hear the theme of the wicked witch of the west in my head.  What does that mean?  Today she cut in front of me and I toppled over into a shrub.  I hope she doesn't inherit my graceful ways.  

The person who is having the biggest time adjusting to this move, ironically enough, is Scotty.  He misses being in the Louisville office.  He misses driving when he wants to.  I also think it's hard for him to stay connected to whats going on there when he's 13 hrs ahead.  I also think he realizes this is so expensive for the company to have us here and he has extra pressure to make sure it's worth the investment.  He is back in the states for about 2 weeks working out of the main office.  He was shopping in Costco and ran into his uncle Robbie who apparently didn't get the memo that Scott would be back in town.  It about scared the beejeezus out of Uncle Robbie.  We miss dad and can't wait to see him.

I'm doing fine.  I have days when I miss the US, but then I go out and spend $10 on a people magazine and that usually does the trick.  I also remind myself that this is an election year and how nice it is not to see all the crap about it on the tv.  I've started volunteering at Lauren's school.  I work in the library on Mondays and help her class in the computer lab on thurs.  Today I spent two hours tuning hundreds of violins for the concert that they're doing today and tomorrow.  I bet you wish you were here to hear 500 elementary kids play violin together.  Sigh, I'm living the dream people.  I have a group of friends that are fun.  I go to coffee now and then with the "stay at home dads" Mike and Nigel.  Play with Yawen and Gabriela. And go discover stuff with Shanghai Gwen (not to be confused with North Carolina Gwen who just got engaged!!!! woohoo).  

Rufus the bunny is doing fine.  We have moved him from Q's room to the spare room because he was making too much noise at night.  We let him out to hop around in that room, but have to close the door so he doesn't hop to Q's room, jump on his bed and pee.  This is his absolute favorite thing to do i am sure.  We try to stay in the room and play with him, but whenever you open the bedroom door, he makes a run for it.  if the door gets left open, then he hops to Q's room, hops on the bed and makes himself at home.  Then I wash the bedding.   Ooooh it's a good thing he's cute.

talk more soon

The Radeker's -
1983 Huamu Lu,House #157 (Season's Villas)
Pudong New District, Shanghai 201204, China
上海市浦东新区花木路1983弄157号(四季雅苑), 邮编:201204


  1. I know how much work blogging is, but please keep it up Sue. You always bring a smile to my face, and I am glad to hear all your news, from peeing bunnies to the great and small triumphs of every day.

    Keep living the dream!



  2. Love reading your stories Sue! Glad everyone is learning to adjust to the new environment. Love the story of you laughing on the river safari cruise at Disney. Made me laugh out loud in our quiet office.