Better than the alternative

2016, and everyone can’t wait for it to be over.  Yeah, I’ve had a bit of depression over a few things, but that forced me to look at the over-whelming number of things that far out-weigh the few, very bad things that I wish didn’t happen.

My worst year ever was 2010, and I survived it.  Just barely, but I did.   No matter how bad things gets, it will never be as bad at that.  To be honest, this year was pretty good, and I’d like to recap a bit.

I did two bucket list things.  I took a gourmet cooking class.  It was so fun and so delicious.  And I took the girls to Disneyland.   That was a six-year promise come true and better than expected.  The only problem is, it’s addictive.  The minute I left, I couldn’t wait to go back.

Having a month long vacation and going to America was huge.  Seeing everyone, hanging out with Rita, Julie, Chris, NiNi, my high school friends’ party, my family’s party, going to museums, shopping , and old haunts.  Eating good food.  Being given this computer.

Getting kittens for my girls might have been the best decision I’ve made.  They are great kittens.  The girls love them and take good care of them.  The only problem is when we go somewhere for a day, the girls get worried because they miss them.

We have some good friends, The Clarks, and before we went to America, we slept at their house and had a lovely brunch send off.  On my birthday, Jodie made me Indian food and the best lemon cake.  And we love hanging out together like when we went swimming all day downtown.  That was the best pool.

I got to see my friend Stephen turn an idea into a thriving pizza place.  We eat there too much, but it’s so good.  Even if we were in America, it would be my favorite.  It does help that I get big discounts and he has a great menu.

And on the food front, besides the cooking class, I made chicken paprikash.  May not sound like a big deal, but I was very impressed with myself.  I also made the best spread ever for Thanksgiving.   Luckily, when I make these big nice dinners I have friends who come over and share them with us.  Strawberry picking on Nora’s birthday was fun too.


I’ve made a few new friends this year too.  That’s the thing about the expat life, “people come and go so quickly here,” as Dorothy said when she landed in Oz.  Adrian, a single dad, and artist, is pretty much done with China and ready to go.  James just arrived from small town Midwest, young and eager.   Connie, a fellow RPCV, has had a life people would die to write books about. And Erek, a teacher who lives in my building, and invited me to the book club.  He lived here when we first arrived, left for 8 months, and came back.

Then, there are the outside things.  The great movies we watched, the Cavs winning the NBA Championship.  Coming from behind and getting it done.  The parade was amazing.  The Indians making it to the World Series.  Carlos Baerga throwing the first pitch in the second game.

We’ve had our pictures in magazines, we were spotlighted on blogs and websites.  Yeah, some crappy things happened.  But still, It was a pretty good year, and way better than 2010.




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