08 October, 2016

Settling in

Hello again, Blogosphere! 

The Chinese National Day holiday week is over, and Brett started working today. Saturday and Sunday are school days to make up for missing Thursday and Friday. Interesting. I have another week before I go to my school. Still, it's very exciting to feel like we are starting something new. He pointed out before leaving this morning that it was exactly one month ago that he left his job in the US. That's nice and neat.

I have a sort of routine. I'm back to doing my morning yoga, and then my morning usually entails cleaning. The smog of Beijing is a fine grey dust, and it's everywhere. I sweep daily, sometimes more often. With a very short broom. Interesting. 

About every other day I move the few pieces of furniture to sweep under them. Mopping is slightly less often, depending how much splattered. We have an extremely small galley kitchen, so there can be no tolerance for mess.

I'm trying to develop a habit of taking the stairs at least once a day. We are on the 11th floor, and I am winded by the 4th floor, but hopefully this will improve my cardiac endurance! 

We have a washing machine in our apartment, which is nice. There is no dryer, but an enclosed balcony with a hanging bar for drying clothes. Interesting.

We overlook two schools, and today was the first day there was exercise out in the courtyards (because the past week was holiday). Interesting.

My big struggle is grocery shopping. I loved doing the groceries in the States. It was somewhat calming after a busy day to pop in and grab whatever was needed, and relax pushing a cart down the aisles.

Here, it's not that the stores are smaller, which they are, or that there's no one-stop-shop, which there isn't. It's that I can't read the packaging. I do just fine with the produce vendors out along the streets, but in the store, where everything is packaged...Interesting.

Is that package squid? tofu? pork?
If I want dumplings - available in the freezer section, I have to use google translate to determine which are veggie vs. pork, and cooking them? Well, good luck guessing because the instructions do not translate into clear English. 
Cheese is available - well, sliced cheese-food anyway - in 6 slice packages for about a $1.40. No thank you.
What, precisely, are these flavors of Oreos?
Remember the Black Whopper?


I finally caved and bought some peanut butter for my apples.

I am abundantly aware that I need to learn the language, and learn to read it. But no fear. We will not starve. There are Burger Kings and KFCs in abundance. 

On the plus side, we bought a comforter yesterday. The nights are getting chilly and the government turns on the city's heat on November 15th. Interesting.

Now that school is in session, I hope to get into a better blogging routine. Meanwhile, I must go cry in despair in the grocery store for a while!


  1. You are a brave lady who is on an exciting adventure. It will get better. I would go crazy in the grocery store too. WOW! I am so happy you are sharing all of this. Because it IS interesting!!

    1. I keep reminding myself that we've only been 2 weeks - trying to forgive myself for not being fluent in Chinese just yet!

  2. Hi Red,

    Wow! You're in Beijing! Holy cow, or some such. What a switch. I've gotten behind on my blog reading. Hoping to catch up soon. Meanwhile ...

    I have nominated you for this year’s Liebster Award. If you decide to accept, the instructions are at my blog website: http://thescheherazadechronicles.org.

    No obligation here. Only if you have time and want to. Wishing you all the best over there in China.


    1. Thank you Samantha! I probably will not participate this time, as I, too, am behind on my blog reading. I intend to do a bunch of that tonight, including catching up with you! Peace!


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