I arrived in GZ one short week ago and in that amount of time I have accomplished (all while jet-lagged): temporary resident permit, photos yet again for permanent permit, applied for permanent resident permit, supervised clearing out of 80% of the apartment, supervised unloading of sea container – yeah, unpacked boxes from sea container, successfully set up 90% of the apartment, made homemade pizza, fried my brand-new-just-out-of-the-box coffee maker, took J out for dinner to celebrate his birthday so he didn’t have to be alone, and just arrived home from my Mandarin lesson. I believe it’s the last item that pushed me over the edge today. No one strong coherent thought today so…
RT #1 – Anders and I were in a small grocery store this weekend and a little girl was walking around with her father. She pointed to something on the shelf and asked in Mandarin what it was. Anders and I looked at each other with glee because WE UNDERSTOOD. It was one of the first things we learned. Hearing it from a 3-year old made it easy but it’s a start.
RT #2 – I vacuumed our living room rug before it was packed, I swear. But walking on it today I felt something a little sharp under my foot (I’m a good Chinese person and remove my shoes at the door). When I picked it up it was the remnants of a dog biscuit. I love Tessa but she did not understand the concept of eating the crumbs from her biscuits. I miss her but she’s in a great home and the people who adopted her also got another greyhound a few weeks after her so she would have a buddy.
RT #3 – I really should have bought binoculars. Ben told me that the spectacular hotel across from us is a VIP hotel and particularly used my military personnel. Well, there must be a battalion of them staying there because every morning and every evening I see them out running. They look like hunky army guys from here and I need to verify if this is true.
RT #4 – When one applies for a resident permit in China you must go to an approved store for you photo. You must also have an official document stating where you had the photo taken and it must be dated. It has to have been done in the past 30 days. When I arrived on Aug. 1 I had mine done. As we all know by now I did not get my application done as expected so my photo was out-dated. I then went back when I arrived last Tuesday. As I was going through my portfolio of photos I’ve had taken in the last 2 months I was comparing them. The difference from the Aug. 1 pic to the Sept. 20 one is quite telling. I was certainly exhausted for both but the wrinkles in the later one are greatly diminished. It’s fantastic and I attribute it to the water-laden air. I also think the change in diet has contributed. I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave here.
RT #5 – It’s a thrill to open my closet and have choice of clothing. I wore the same few clothes for 3 months!!! I have dropped 2 sizes so most of the clothes I showed up with in my suitcase 2 months ago have been given away. Those that remain have been forced into hibernation and will not be worn until next March when it’s time to get out the summer clothes. Who the heck will wear them in China is beyond me. I guess someone will work their magic on them to make them fit.
RT #6 – I finally slept through the night for the first time in two weeks. I should be feeling more alert than I am shouldn’t I?
RT #7 – The first floor of our building houses 2 nursery school classes. The 3-year old class is directly below us; The Puppies Class. It is so much fun to watch the kids get dropped off in the morning, see them on the playground when I go out, and get picked up in the afternoon. They are a diverse group and everyone is so cute.
RT #8 – Ben will be taking care of Lily while we’re gone next week. What a relief. That means I will not worry at all. He’s happy to do it, will get paid when normally he would just be off and let’s face it, he’s a great guy and would probably do anything we asked. To be clear, we would do anything for him as well.
RT #9 – I hope the renovation of the apartment above us is not going to take too long. I keep waiting for my ceiling to cave in and they only started yesterday.
RT #10 – Why does my Mandarin lesson do me in? It’s only 1 1/2 hour long. Today I learned about money. I already knew quite a bit but I had to add and speak Mandarin! That’s just too much for me.
3PM – 100°