We met a Belgian family recently who had coined and used the acronym TIC (‘This is China’) to help them in moments of challenge/frustration.  Like when things change from one day to the next, often without warning nor explanation.

As an example, here is the message that we received from our children’s school on the last school day of the year:

“Dear Parents,Today we received a Dismissal Letter from the owner of the school: Sonja teacher of K2, Helene teacher of TPS, Hannah teacher of  K1, Jordan teacher of K3 class and myself Pauline, foreigner principal have been dismissed of our mission from today 20th of December 2013. We won’t be able to come back in January, today was our last day.The board will hire new people to replace our team.These teachers and myself feel sorry for the short notice”.  No explanation given….. lovely Christmas present to the unsuspecting staff and families!

And then do you remember that apartment that I regretted not taking last year?  Well I just found out that all of the tenants are being evicted!  Apparently the government would like to take the buildings back.

And then very often I go to buy a particular item at a store to find that it is no longer stocked or that the actual store no longer exists!


Here is a page from a locally printed book.  Done might be better than perfect, but all of this is pushing it just a little!

‘Shanghighs’: We went to Chongming Island last week-end (about 1.5-2hrs north of Shanghai) where we slept in a yurt on an organic farm and enjoyed feeding the goats followed by a delicious hotpot for dinner which used all of the fresh ingredients from the farm – all whilst celebrating Blanche’s 6th birthday.



‘Shanglows’: Whilst hoping that the new French school director might actually be good, it turns out that he is Mao reincarnated.  But miraculously we have been accepted into another French/Chinese school just around the corner from home.  I still think that one of the International schools would be a better option but French husband is being…. well…. French!  We start next Monday.

‘Shangunusuals’:  On our way back from the island trip we stopped in a small restaurant for lunch.  I’m not sure how, but Ben our driver started to help the chef cook in the kitchen…. quite unusual! TIC


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