I also came across the following advice this week which I felt was very timely as the ‘o’ word has been at the forefront of my mind this week : “Your plate is full….and you could say, because it’s your right to, that you’re feeling “overwhelmed”. But don’t… Back away from overwhelm. Because when you just utter that word, you cast doubt on your capacity to rise.” Danielle La Porte
So although I was terrified about getting lost and not being able to find my way back to the apartment, I ventured a lot more out this week on foot. As it turns out, getting lost is less frightening than the very great risk of being hit by bicycles or scooters on the pavement/footpath (which apparently is legal……….to ride on the footpath that is, not to hit people!). This city really is an amazing mix of old and new: skyscrapers, noodle vendors, boutique shops and clothes hanging out the windows to dry (how exactly in this humidity is a mystery).
I also bought some more ‘surprise’ food ingredients this week. It’s been a challenge to buy things from the markets and super markets – not only because I’m not sure about what many things are (nor about the quality) but because my daughter finds the smell of the markets (especially the meat) repulsive and it’s been difficult to just get in the door of the market. Enter Lisa (a fellow Institute of Integrative Nutrition student) who not only arrived bearing edible gifts and toys for the kids, but took me to a large array of reliable food stores, introduced me to the metro and taxi systems, and even played hide and seek with the kids! We’re ever so grateful to you Lisa and sad that you’re leaving China in a few days.
We visited the school that our children will be attending in September. Let’s hope is was in such disorder because the principal is currently on maternity leave. And yes, that means there are nearly 3 months without schooling for the kids – nor respite or study time for me – so I met with a few ‘baby-sitters’ (‘ayi) and we chose Xiao Xia – a lovely women who will help-out over the coming months. She speaks very little English so this should be interesting.
We have seen 14 housing options so far, from quaint Lane houses to fancy serviced apartments. None of which seemed like ‘home’ so we’re going to continue the search.
‘Shanghighs’: wonton soup, public parks, Skyping my daughter’s ‘fiance’ whom she’s been pining since our departure, ShanghaiMamas.com forum which is a great source of information and advice and which has helped me get in contact with some really wonderful parents in Shanghai, tasting durian fruit which is something I’d wanted to taste for a while
overwhelmed…. um… challenged, spending far too much time looking for apartments on the internet… then actually going to visit many of them with two tired children, smoking and spitting in public places, thick soupy air pollution, mosquitos, tasting durian fruit – not what I was expecting from it’s rave reviews.
‘Shangunusuals’: People looking a lot at the kids – touching them and requesting to have photos taken with them, strange smells in the streets despite then looking very clean, employees doing a dance/exercise routine to cheesy music in front of their building before starting their work, karaoke in the park, and seeing a dog wearing pink shoes… I swear!