Chinese New Year

I think I’m going to backtrack today and talk about Chinese New Years.  There are some things that are common here at this time.  Chinese employees at all companies get what’s called a “13th month check.”  Everyone gets paid once a month, but around New Years, they get paid double.  I don’t get this bonus….

The Year of the Rooster.

I’m so far behind in blogging.  I think my last one was around Christmas.  There are a million things on my mind, but very few I want to share.  I’m on day three of my 10 days off for Chinese New Years.  Project 24 hour pajamas is under-way.   The first two days were fun…

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…

And so this is Christmas…

It’s 2:30 am on December 26, and I’m more awake than I have been for two or three days.  I think I’ve gotten about two hours of sleep and they weren’t consecutive.  I had to work on Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day.  The girls did not want to stay home those days with the nanny,…

8 days to Christmas

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written, and to be honest, I don’t really want to explain why.  I’m just going to look forward and talk about now. Christmas is coming way too fast, and I am not ready.  My nine year-old daughter asked me for a camera to make movies and…

Old business and new business.

I know I talked about the business of being here a few weeks ago, but that was the beginning of both the time and money spent just to keep paperwork in order to be able to live and work here.  Yesterday, I had to get up early and get down to the consulate to get…

The Happiest Place On Earth

Here’s the story of a very happy day, filled with snags, panics, and wonderful surprises.  It was one of the best, scariest, and proudest days of my life.  When you think that 6 years ago, I couldn’t afford to feed my girls.  5 years ago, I was close to dying on several occasions.  Since then,…

The business of living here

I want to tell you about the business of being an expat.  I mentioned that I had to renew the girl’s passports.  It has been 5 years since they have had residence in the United States.  As I talked about before, applying for them was the easiest thing I’ve done, but they said they would…

Well, That turned quickly.

My four-day weekend is coming to a close and what a whopper it was!  I need a vacation from all this “rest and relaxation.”  Here’s the thing.  When does survival mode stop?  When do I ever get chance to feel like things are working favorably, like it’s all working out?  At the beginning of this…

Damn wrench!

Day one of my four-day weekend, the first Saturday off ever. So the girls and I made loaded nachos for dinner. It was Rumi’s request. We sit down to eat and watch “Home” because I love it, and the buzzer for the downstairs door buzzes. We weren’t expecting anyone and I didn’t see any familiar…

As things are going…

Sometimes I forget I’m in China.  I mean it’s not like you wake up everyday thinking, “I’m in Cleveland.” Or “I’m in LA.” Or whatever.  But I sit in my house watching American TV, and eating American food, and I forget.  I forget right until I need to go buy milk or something,  And then…

Anthropology research 101

I want to talk about the Chinese culture, and the daily things I see.  I specifically want to talk about families, and family structure, because this a whole different dynamic that is so very different from what we are used to. Let’s start with dating.  As a culture, they don’t date during school and usually…