03 August 2006

saving face

SHANGHAI- Finally here, my new home sweet home.

My street is so far out from the Puxi (read: tourist) area of town that it's not on any map I can find. Dirk and I want to buy bikes tomorrow and then ride them around Pudong, making maps, as there aren't any, except the one in Mandarin that we saw at the police station when we registered as temporary residents.

My work visa will take awhile, so that means that our import shipment will take a while, which means that the Boy is severely inconvenienced (as the majority of his work clothes, not to mention all of our worldly goods, haven't even left Rotterdam). It also means that neither of us have our computers. And my company does, in fact, not have a computer lab on the employee compound. Ignore what the website says: the Chinese way is to say one thing, but do another. Saving face.

We bombed out at furniture shopping, but bought almost everything at a China (like the glass, not the country) store in the French Concession. Our apartment is spacious, so we need certain things so that our voices won't echo when we finally move in. Things like a bed, a couch, a table, some chairs.

The Boy's Mandarin is great and everyone's always writing down and teaching him new words. My Dutch has been pathetic, so I'm glad we're in one place now so that I can actually focus on the grammar and vocabulary flash cards. I'll enroll in Mandarin classes soon, as I miss being understood. Sometimes when I point at the greens on the menu, I get chicken, which doesn't work out for me.

The good news is that we can flush our toilet paper, a rarity in China.

betholindo at 21:02

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