Life in Shanghai is always interesting; mostly good, sometimes disappointing, but always interesting. One, thing that may sound weird is that though this is a big city, the pace of my life is so much slower than it was in America.
In America, I woke up before 6am every morning to get the girls ready, dropped them off to preschool, went to work, and after picking them up and taking them home, I had to make dinner, do the laundry, give them baths, get them to bed, clean up everything. Here, I wake up without an alarm whenever I want. My groceries are delivered. My nanny cleans the house, the laundry and has dinner waiting, and I have so much more quality time with my girls.
There are some snags with this. My nanny is nice and she has good intentions, but…sometimes the cultural differences are a problem. We talk through wechat since we don’t speak the same language. I type something and she translates, and she types something and I translate. So one day I was at work, and I get a message: “I see all the pizza boxes. I see you like pizza. I will make you pizza.”
I replied, “No. It’s ok. My friend has a pizza shop. I want to help his business.” Its nice that she wants to make us something she thinks we like, but I would never invite Chinese friends to my house in America and then insist on making them some Chinese food that I have never made or even tasted. So she either didn’t listen or she didn’t understand and she made “Pizza.” She used all of my imported ketchup to do it too!
There are some other long-term things that have been bothering me too. I have a friend named Adrian. We went to his house in October, and I saw that he had a Japanese wooden bathtub that he wasn’t using. I told him I would buy it from him after payday. But time when on and we still hung out, but we could never figure out a way to get it from his house to my house even though we live pretty close to each other.
He decided he was done being an expat. He had been out of the US for over 20 years, and he wanted to go to Hawaii. We really tried to get a truck, a taxi, anything to deliver this bathtub from his place to my place, and nothing ever worked out. He’s moved, and I still don’t have a bath tub. I wanted that bathtub SOOOO bad!
It would have really helped me with my horribly painful, ingrown toenail. The last thing I wanted to do was go to the doctor. It’s not expensive, but it’s a hassle and I just don’t trust them much. So I suffered for a month. It’s better now, but just walking to work and back was torture. I’m sure if I could have soaked in a hot bath tub I would have recovered much quicker.
Since my Chinese New Years vacation, we’ve had 2 big birthday parties. One for Rumi who turned 10! !0! double digits! I’ve been a mom that long! Her party was not that elaborate. Her friends came and we went to a big ball pit, then we went to Stephen’s Pizza Place. At home, she wanted blueberry cheesecake. She loved it all.
I don’t do birthdays a fraction as well as my friend, Jodie does though. Her daughter Lulu, Raine’s best friend, had a Harry Potter sleep-over this week-end. Polyjuice potion, magic wands, golden snitches, the works. The girls came back, tired, dazed, and full of stories.