Thursday, July 31

Difficult Decision

You know that your relationship is good when you talk for 24 hours straight. No breaks, no distractions. Just talking and crying and listening. Making a decision to un-do the goal you've been working towards for years is huge.

Tom and I have decided to come home.

It's more than homesickness and more than missing loved ones; it's knowing ourselves. We wanted to make up our minds before we talked to anyone about returning, because we didn't want to be swayed by other people's opinions. We wanted to do the best thing for us and make sure we had no regrets.

Obviously, it's embarassing, if only because we've put in so much effort. And it is upsetting to realize that our plan will not take us where we wanted, or thought. But we're positive we're making the right choice.

I think my mom said it best: "You made the right decision going - you can just make the right decision again."

Monday, July 28

A List of Hates

Things I don't really enjoy (i.e., things I fucking hate) about China:
  1. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, it stinks when you walk down the street.
  2. Lots of honking.
  3. You can't drink the tap water, which isn't a HUGE deal, but it is weird.
  4. You have to wash your face because it's sweatier than usual.
  5. The tiles on the sidewalk are broken.
  6. Stinky people on the subway.
  7. Being potentially poked by a passing umbrella.
  8. Your clothes never smell clean because they've been washed in China water.
  9. You don't have the internet.
  10. And that internet blocks websites.
  11. So you can't talk with anyone at home.
  12. All the things you like cost a lot.
  13. People think you should speak Chinese.
  14. Or they think you should speak Korean.
  15. And you don't speak either.
  16. You're afraid your husband will punch the old men who give you dirty looks for being a "mixed race" couple.
  17. Baby turtles in bowls on the street that are purchased for the purpose of eating.
  18. Sad poor houses.
  19. Sad people sleeping on the sidewalk.
  20. Ketchup or prawn flavored potato chips.
  21. No Diet Coke.

Saturday, July 26

Abandoned Blog

Tom and I started another blog which would be about our experiences in Shanghai. It has pics of what we're doing and all that jazz. And, of course, I have my own. However, neither of these connections with home and friends can be maintained at the moment because our new apartment lacks an essential function.

The internet.

Holy shit. Just try not having the internet. You will die. We are dying. And no one knows that because we don't have the internet to tell them that we're fucking dying. I hate not having access to the world outside of our apartment. We can't speak with friends or family. We can only read our email at the school, which is NOT private. Not to mention that the internet at the school is CHINA internet which means that random websites are blocked - including Facebook (depending on the day). So, our blogs are alone and floating in "cyberspace" unread, unattended, un-updated. If you don't hear from us, you'll know why.

Monday, July 21


Oh my god, I love Chinese breakfast. Everyone knows that I've been skipping breakfast for many many years because I don't really like it and I've also been watching my weight for many many years. So, despite breakfast being this like all important fantastic meal that's supposed to help you lose weight and start the day off right and all that jazz, I've been ditching it.

Well, no longer. Here at the hotel they have the most delicious Chinese breakfast ever. Lots of yummy rice, lots of vegetables like cucumbers (which sounds gross, I know, but they're not - they're so fucking good) and yummy little sweet rolls that are the perfect size. Tomatoes and eggs (yeah, that sounds kind of gross too), noodles and baby bok choy, spinach, OH!

I'm about to go to breakfast now. I'm really really hungry. All I've had to eat since yesterday's breakfast is a piece of pizza.

Sunday, July 20

Hot Water

Brushing your teeth in Shanghai requires a bottle of water. This is because the tap water in Shanghai is not drinkable, so you can not brush your teeth with it unless you want a funny disease like "beaver fever" or really loud diarhhea. Of course, I detour this problem by using bottled water and putting it into a cup.

The process is fairly simple. Untwist the cap from a bottle of water. Pour it into a glass. Stick your toothbrush in (for wetting). Brush, as usual. Then use the water in the glass to rinse out your mouth and rinse off your toothbrush. Simple.

But what do you do when you're out of bottled water? Well, then you have to boil water in the kettle. And do the entire above process with boiling hot water. I really hate it, so I'm going to make sure I don't have to do it again. Tom usually brushes his teeth with warm water - at least he did in the states, but I like freezing ice cold water for the brushing of my teeth. Not boiling. Bleh.

Saturday, July 12

Let's Take A Nap

Today I rediscovered a long lost love. I invite you to try it out.
Required items are:
  1. a loved someone
  2. a blanket
  3. a tree's shade
  4. a summer day

Combine items 1 through 4 and then fall asleep. Bliss.

Friday, July 11

Bending Over

I'm having so much fun getting ready to leave for Shanghai. I believe that the best thing is getting screwed left and right. I hate dealing with all this bull shit right before we go, but since we're leaving in a half-rush, it can't really be avoided. We lack the time to be calm about things and wait around for anything better. So, which do you think is worse?
  • Selling a car worth $4,000 for a measly $2,600 because of a stupid chunk of ice that you hit accidentally that makes the car squeak.
  • Going to the bank to consolidate your student loans and working with an idiot who tells you that "they don't usually do personal loans for over $15,000 without collateral" and then try to explain that it's a STUDENT LOAN but then give up because she's an idiot.
  • Waiting on hold with the IRS (after calling them every day on the hour - as "due to high call volumes the process you requested cannot be completed") and then have them tell you that your stimulus check, which was supposed to be direct deposited on May 2nd, won't be coming until you're on the other side of the world.
  • Your work approves a 30 day leave of absence so that if things go wrong, you can come right back to your job, but then they change their mind and you stress about it for days and days wondering what to do.

I can't decide...

Thursday, July 10

Pack More Than Once

If you are planning on taking a trip somewhere that requires an international flight be sure to pack strategically. I usually enjoy packing more than normal people. The process of packing belongings neatly into a suitcase soothes me. The delicious piles of clothing, the ziploc bags filled with toiletries, the curling iron (used before departure) wrapped in a hand towel to protect surrounding items from melting, the sound of the zipper when you close a perfectly packed bag, and the sound of the wheels on the walkway to the airport.

However, my packing zen has recently been interrupted by international flight baggage weight requirements. I had, as previously mentioned ... twice ... a somewhat fabulous closet and that closet contained a somewhat fabulous collection of clothing. I had already gone through all my clothes earlier for the garage sale and removed no-longer desired items. As I began packing I realized that this would not be sufficient "trimming" and that I would need to do more. How much more? A lot.

International flights only allow baggage to weigh up to 44 pounds. Now, I ask you, who can pack all their clothes in one suitcase and NOT have it weigh more than 44 pounds? But, the fees for overweight luggage are extremely high, and as we are already paying to check extra bags, I certainly don't want to pay the per pound price for overages.

So, I'm packing and re-packing my bag until it gets to an acceptable weight. I thought that I hated the scale before (when I was weighing in every Sunday) but now the scale is actually dictating what clothing can come with me. After every weigh in my husband turns to me and shakes his head. Then, I have to carefully take out those perfect piles of clothes and remove items that were desirable until only a few moments ago and pack those, less carefully, in a plastic bag destined for the garbage. Currently, my suitcase weighs in at 52 pounds. Which means I have 8 more pounds of clothing to relocate. I'm beginning to think it's impossible.

Wednesday, July 9

Buy a Ticket

Did you know that you can buy a ticket to Shanghai for a mere $1,450.00?

Of course, this price is per person, not including charges for extra bags and my ginormous suitcase which weighs over 50 pounds when stuffed to the brim with all my clothes.

Wow, we sure are lucky. I hate the airlines.

Tuesday, July 8

Robot Love

Friends, I just saw "WALL-E."
And I am here to tell you that it is fantastic.
I am in love with him.
I didn't care too much for EVE.
She was sort of a bitch throughout most of the movie.
WALL-E can be my boyfriend.

Monday, July 7

An Empty Closet

One of the only things I love about my current (soon to be ex) apartment is the closet. It's a fairly large walk-in with lots of space to hang my lots of clothes. It was truly a thing of beauty; only white hangers, hanging shelves for various items, clothing hung according to color.

It's empty now. And a part of me died with it. A closet is a part of someone's soul and mine is currently shoved into a red suitcase. Hopefully that part of my soul isn't lost over the ocean. Or left at LAX. Or stolen.

Yesterday my sister-in-law opened my bedroom door and was like "holy fuck" because the guts of my closet were spilled all around the bedroom to prepare for packing. Oops. No one was supposed to see that...

Sunday, July 6

Sad Blog

Doesn't my blog look familiar? It's been looking the same, i.e. no new posts, for an entire week now. Well, I've been busy so don't give me too much shit. However, I feel for you (I think I have like 7 readers...) who haven't had something to love or hate for so long.

I'm officially leaving the country. Everything has fallen into place and we are leaving for real. The following things have prevented me from writing:
  1. leaving my job
  2. depression at leaving my job
  3. anxiety about leaving my job
  4. sadness at leaving my coworkers (most of them...MRSA aside)
  5. overwhelming amounts of stuff in my apartment
  6. taking said stuff and minimizing it to 7 tidy pieces of luggage
  7. hanging out with family so we can be sick of each other to ease the parting pain
  8. crying over my soon-to-be-sold car
  9. eating as a coping mechanism
So, you can see why I haven't written. I'm in a total funk. If I thought that I was in limbo before, now I'm in purgatory. Everything is moving so quickly, but I can't remember what day it is so I can't keep up with time so it's (time, that is) slowly slipping away.

This is not to say that I'm not totally thrilled. My friend Conor said Shanghai is "the coolest fucking place in the world" which makes me think I'm pretty fucking lucky to be living there in the near future. I'll feel more like a human being rather than a pack animal when I get myself on the plane and have a cocktail. Until then, I'm hit or miss.

Ahh, stress. It's a killer.