Totally blew my intention this past week

Joy, lightness and space went out of the window!

It’s ‘Fascinating’ ….. it didn’t occur to me until recently that I’d actually seen the perfect housing option weeks ago  – only after having seen made aware of the sparsity of other options there are out there – and naturally after it had already been taken by someone else.  Or perhaps ‘frustrating’ is a more appropriate word….. or perhaps even ‘painful crippling  REGRET’.  Regret, I learned, is a mixture of sadness and anger which is difficult to shake off.  I was led astray from my positive gut feeling about an apartment when my head took over the controls and made a bad decision.  In this process I also learned that it was normal for my Chinese relocation agent to swiftly accept my irrational decision without questioning it.  He said ‘I understand’ but much later explained that he was disappointed and perplexed by my decision – so apparently it is not customary to disagree with your ’employer’.  I’ve also learned that it’s necessary to reduce my expectations on the quality of housing here.  So we’re sticking with that nice apartment I spoke of last week – but which is far from school and even further from Sebastien’s work.

I’ve thus had a week of sadness and anger (as much related to losing the home as to not remaining true to my feelings).  Fortunately  as with everything, this too shall pass…….. I just don’t know when.  Oh yes I do! (thanks to my friend Auna Salome): it will pass when I choose for it to end.

Lesson #1 (again!) = FOLLOW YOUR HEART

Lesson #2 (again!) = STAY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, don’t dwell on past events.

On a ‘lighter’ note, I took the kids to the Flower, Bird, Fish and Insect Market.  My son loved it but my daughter was (quite rightly) concerned about the sizes of cages…….and the smell.

We went to sample green tea in a quaint little tea shop where gesture got us through.  My limited Chinese led me to believe that he had 1 son, but he may very well have been talking about something else!

We caught-up with some other Shanghai Mamas at an indoor play area – to beat the heat.

We’ve also been swimming nearly every day.  My daughter was thrilled to be able to swim unaided for the first time and my son to jump in to the pool ‘all by myself’ (with the assistance of an inflatable device).


I was convinced these were made of plastic until one of them moved.


They would have to be really hot in there!


Shanghighs‘: My daughter composing some fabulous songs in French, also preparing family meals (see below) and having her first independent swim AND her first loose tooth.  She asked someone to translate  ‘I have a loose tooth’on to a piece of paper so that she can share this exciting news with everyone.

Shanglows‘: Refer to above!, husband being away all week in France, my son drawing on the hotel room walls,

Shangunusuals‘: The quantity of oil used in cooking: I swiftly bought some vegetable oil (against my personal preference) because after preparing only a couple of dishes, I noticed that our baby-sitter/ayi had used almost half a bottle of $15 dollar olive oil (all imported foods are very precious here).  Mind you, the dishes were good.  And whilst on the subject of food, the children have had ‘snacky’ things offered to them by complete strangers on a daily basis – something that pleases them (but not me) no end.


My daughter has really enjoyed preparing meals and giving them names. This particular one was titled ‘Food is Supplies’, but there’s also been ‘Salads are Joy’ and ‘A Treasure is a Sandwich’.  This has been a highly successful way to have her brother eat everything.


Snacking on some street food – not sure what this sesame ‘pancake’ is called but it was yummy (if not a bit oily!)


Lotus – and  judging by the gestures of the vendors, I believe you can eat the little seeds. I must try next time.


15 comments on “Totally blew my intention this past week

  1. claire & co says:

    Blanche qui perd ses premières dents!!! Ca va si vite!! Merci pour ces nouvelles régulières, ça me change un peu les idées. Ici, tout est toujours très compliqué. Nous sommes encore dans les cartons (depuis septembre dernier) mais plus pour longtemps, nous sommes en train de déménager vers Lille. Je change de boulot et Anaël rentre à l’école. Basile marche, bref, ça bouge. De gros bisous à tous et bon courage. Ca commence à aller, je constate quil y a plus de shanghighs que de shanglows (au moins en nombre de lignes!!).

  2. claire & co says:

    bon, j’avais fait un petit comm mais il a disparu!!
    ça fait tout drôle de voir que Blanche a perdu sa première dent!! Ici, Anaël rentre bientôt à l’école et Basile marche et commence à parler. Quant à moi, je change de boulot. Merci pour ces nouvelles régulières, ça me change un peu les idées. Nous sommes encore et toujours dans les cartons, c’est long!! mais plus pour longtemps, nous déménageons à Lille. Nouvelle année qui sera, je l’espère un peu plus sereine.
    Pour vous aussi, je l’espère, je constate que les shanghighs sont plus importants que les shanglows, au moins en nombre de lignes. Bon, c’est vrai, refer above, ça en rajoute pas mal, mais bon…
    De gros bisous à vous 4 et bon courage

    • Est-ce que les cartons sont finis? On avait ‘l’avantage’ de ne pas pouvoir envoyer beaucoup de chose ici en Chine… ha ha.
      Ca va la nouveau boulot? C’est quoi exacte?

      Dis a Fabien qu’il y a un marathon a Shanghai qui pourrait l’interesser 🙂

      Bises a vous 4 (on aimerait un photo de Basil……)


  3. Kate says:

    Jen, I’ll have to send u some info on the benefits of some of the foods you’ve shown, eg gou qi berries and lotus seeds. I finished Chinese dietetics last semester and they definitely do things differently 🙂

  4. Christelle says:

    Félicitations à Blanche pour sa première dent et à Antoine pour ses talents de plongeur :-). Énormes bisous de notre part. Christelle

  5. Andrea says:

    Hello ! I just have to say that I am enjoying reading your blog! Excellent and interesting. I wish you lots of luck and that you soon enter a phase where you are at ease. I am looking forward to seeing what your flat looks like…what you chose. Chin up kiddo…what a great adventure ! Also, I have to applaud you on trying such different foods! Bises..Andrea

  6. Buan says:

    Coucou Jenni,
    Je suis ravie d’avoir de vos nouvelles toutes fraîches et très dépaysantes!!! En plus, ça me permet de pratiquer un peu l’anglais, ce qui n’est pas inutile.
    Je pense que vous avez tous les jours des choses nouvelles a découvrir et a explorer!
    De notre côté, c’est moins exotique mais bien actif quand même: nous revenons de 2 jours de randonnée en montagne à Megeve. La vue sur le mont blanc était magnifique et j’apprécie ces moments de calme et de nature.
    Nous avons début juillet fait une petit escapade a St tropez pour profiter de la mer et du beau temps et bientôt nous prenons la direction de santorin, une île grecque des Cyclades, tous les trois et Nico se joindra peut être a nous. Emma pour l’instant a quitté annecy pendant que nous travaillons et apprécie la fraîcheur bretonne et ses grands parents. Elle a commencé sérieusement l’anglais cette année et a participé à un concours anglais national des collèges français. Elle a très bien réussi et elle semble avoir des bonnes aptitudes pour cette langue. Peut être que bientôt, c’est elle qui me traduira ton blog!
    J’ai connu Blanche alors qu’elle n’avait que 10 mois alors ça me fait drôle de voir que le temps passe aussi vite et qu’elle a déjà perdu une dent. Emma a aussi beaucoup changé et est devenu une vraie jeune fille!
    Gros bisous a tous les quatre et au plaisir de te lire! Excellente idée ce blog

  7. Delphine says:

    C’est mieux quand même de rentrer mon prénom plutôt que mon nom!
    Je ne sais pas pourquoi par contre l’entête de ma réponse comporte la mention” your comment is awaiting. Modération”???

  8. Delphine says:

    Recoucou Jenni! En fait, je ne comprends pas.
    Je t’avais écrit un très long message mais qui n’apparaît plus en réponse!???
    L’as tu reçu?

  9. Jenny McClure says:

    How exciting…and stressful this all sounds. Congrats on the new digs, it must be a huge relief!! Looks like Mason and Callie are on the same swimming paths as your kiddos, Mason is now swimming unaided and Callie is like a flying monkey jumping into the pool. I think they will all get a kick out of the fact that they are still doing similar things, just on the otherside of the world. Kids (and us of course!) really miss you guys!

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