Breathing is something I’ve been forgetting to do recently. Obviously not the shallow survival breathing, but rather the big revitalizing, clearing, ‘ahhhhhh’ breaths. I’ve been so wound up with making decisions and coping with the (formally simple) daily tasks. Consequently I have been feeling pretty stressed. I am frustrated at not knowing everything about my new environment right NOW. I’m reminding myself that ‘It’s the journey that counts, not the destination’.
Actually come to think of it, deep breathing outdoors is actually discouraged here in Shanghai on certain days: most people here refer daily to the ‘air quality index’ daily to check the quality of the air, which seems to hover between ‘moderate’ to ‘very unhealthy’ although I actually saw a few ‘good’ readings this week! It does of course depend on whether you check the US consulate or the Chinese official readings (which differ somewhat).
I was surprised to hear that our shipment of affairs only just left the port of Los Angeles this week. I suppose that just gives us more time to find an apartment/house, something that is still occupying a lot of my mind and time. I think I’m having a hard time accepting the reality of living in a large city and not finding my perfect little oasis/home.
Fortunately there was time this week to explore some more of Shanghai’s offerings including The Bund (see photo below) and the Shanghai Museum – filled with some amazing relics of years past.
‘Shanghighs‘: A sunny Sunday stroll along The Bund (A region on the west side the Huangpu River which divides Shanghai into two regions known as Puxi to the west and Pudong to the east)
‘Shanglows‘: my discovery that when it is raining very heavily (and you have 2 heavy shopping bags and no spare hand for an umbrella) it is impossible to hail a taxi in Shanghai due to extremely high demand.
‘Shangunusuals‘: In The People’s Square park we came across a large crowd of people looking at pieces of paper posted on boards. We were curious and discovered that they were CV’s of young men and women plus a description what they were looking for in a wife/husband. I didn’t see any young people around but there were plenty of mothers and fathers desperately taking down notes. Further in the park parents had set themselves up with tables, photos and I even saw one handing out leaflets regarding their unwed child.
Photo taking by complete strangers of the children continues: just today in the Shanghai museum a total of 6 people requested to take a photo of my daughter – and that’s not counting the people who didn’t ask. Whilst novel at first, this is actually getting a little annoying and I’m not sure exactly how to respond other than asking my children if they are happy to agree (my son refused). It’s odd enough to want to take photos of complete strangers but all more so in a city where foreigners are not THAT rare.