Great day off
As you can see from the pictures, we had such an awesome day off with Kristina. And there have been many great things that have made this time exciting. But we have run into our share of snags too. I”m beginning to think they are all for the best though. I was thinking that I wrote an e-mail to my supervisor yesterday, and this might explain a lot…
In addition, I wasn’t thinking clearly about my first week here. When you told me that apartment was too far away, I declined it. It was really beautiful, but we picked one that was 2 exits closer two days later after looking at about 12 apartments altogether.
You did offer to help me, but up to that point I had never rode the metro, I had no way to figure out how to get to you, and I only had my past experience as a reference. At the same time, I had luggage that had not arrived, I was trying to find a nanny, and I had to eat and sleep and take care of my girls There was a lot going on, and I have to admit, I felt very isolated.
By the time I moved, I was actually behind schedule, but I hoped that everything was ok.
I didn’t not know a single thing about Shanghai before I arrived. It didn’t matter where I lived. My suggestion however, is that if someone is coming fresh off of the plane, that you put them in a hotel and train them in the area you want them to live. Or at least take them to that area and show them apartments.
From all of the cities I have lived in, the metro is not even more than one hour long, and since this apartment was in the middle of the line, I couldn’t imagine how long the ride could be. I hadn’t been on the metro before I got this apartment, and I hadn’t been to a center to work.
This is an added thing that isn’t really your problem, but I was also told to get a tourist visa. I have been to more that 10 or 11 countries and I have never needed a visa BEFORE I arrived. When you are in the airport, they ask you why you are there and you tell them that you want a tourist visa. When I was at the airport and ready to get on the plane, I was denied because I did not have the visa ahead of time. I have found out through friends now that there are only about 3 countries like that. This cost me over $3,000 that I probably won’t get back. I have been fighting with the airlines since I came home from the airport.
Also, I am having a very hard time finding a nanny who will work the hours I work. In fact, I haven’t found one. If my friend didn’t come home earlier than me, I would not have childcare right now. And the fact that my nanny cost 4000RMB, was quite a shock to me since my plan for coming here was to be able to save money.
Most of these issues are not your problem at all, but I have only been here 3 weeks and this is what I have been going through.
You can forward this e-mail to Marry if you wish, and I would love to hear other suggestions. I have a year visa now, which I hear is very rare, so there is a lot of time to work this out. I do understand your problem Ivy, and I came here specifically for you, but I only had one very jet-lagged week to make a lot of decisions on my own, and now I have to work with what I have.