Shanghai, lately.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

one of my 12th graders asked me if I could be their cheerleading coach (what??).
we've discovered the expat's paradise known as Shanghai Brewery.
i've tried jellyfish, sea cucumbers, and all sorts of strangely-textured foods at the teachers' banquet.
this week has been on the upswing, thankfully.
we're settling into this city more and more as the weeks go by.
making some new friends, finding the best local coffee shops, reading books on the metro.
i'm appreciating the cool, fall weather,
the super clean, easy, and safe metro system,
the simplicity of our lives right now --
not thinking about clothes, shopping, stuff,
just focused on making the most out of our time here.
tonight, i'm feeling blessed and relieved to have one not-so-stressful night this week,
and I think that's the best I can ask for.

Date night, shanghai.

Monday, September 17, 2012

after a long week at work (and by long, I mean 12-hour days teaching and lesson planning),
i needed a break.
 so husband and i spent this past Friday night having drinks (their mojitos are good) and giant nachos on our fave neighborhood patio at the Shanghai Brewery. 
we strolled around Hengshan Lu and stumbled across an organic shop/restaurant/bakery that reminded me of two of my LA favorites, Farmshop and Joan's on Third.
after a slice of some yummy chocolate cake, we headed back to watch Revenge,
a show that I'm now addicted to.
we plan on spending our Friday nights and weekends exploring the city,
but sometimes, it's just really nice spending time in your own neighborhood.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In preparing us for leaving for China, we were told in our program that we would go through stages of cultural shock/emotional change: fascination, irritation, accommodation, depression, and adaptation. I think I'm actually in between the depression and adaptation stages.
not quite depressed, not completely adapted.
mostly homesick and missing California.
the sun doesn't really shine out here in Shanghai,
and I sure do miss that sunrise glow.

p.s. i went to starbucks in search of a pumpkin spice latte...
and no luck.
missing those pumpkin bagels & schmear from Einstein's, too.
so if you're reading this, please have latte & bagel for me.
i'll be reading this book and thinking about home.

Two weeks.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

we've lived in China for over two weeks.
and honestly, it feels like we've been here for months.
by God's grace, I survived the first week of teaching.
this week has been rough,
 but i'll take it on faith that i'll be able to face the challenges of the rest of this year.
there's something about a complete change of location that's causing me to rethink my values, what I want out of my life, how I spend my time.
that's shaking up my goals and expectations and attitude.
i really am excited to see how God works in our lives this year
and the ways in which He'll provide for us.

we miss winston.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

we sure do miss our little bean.
he really wanted to come.
he even packed his own suitcase with all of his toys.
(though we think he's actually pretty happy at grandpa & grandma's 
with all of that filet mignon and cuddles).
they sure do love small doggies in our neighborhood,
and every time we see one, i can't help but think of Winston.

shanghai studio.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

if i had to sum up what i've learned about life in China so far,
it would be:
let go of your expectations.
prior to coming to Shanghai, we planned on renting a two-bedroom apartment in Pudong (the suburban area of Shanghai), right next to my school.
instead, we'll be living in a studio villa (all we could afford) right off one of the most popular streets in Shanghai in the former French concession.
and this place feels like it was made for us.
(i've secretly always wanted to live in a studio).
(but dave is not so secretly a hoarder, so normally, studio living would not be an option).
newly renovated, with its own entrance on its own floor (practically an impossibility in the city of high rises and walk-ups), a gracious landlady, two minutes from the subway station, a Protestant church down the street, tree-lined streets, authentic local eateries, and according to guides, some of the city's best nightlife.
as one of my classmate's put it, after a long day of teaching, it's nice to have someplace that you love to come home to.
so hello new home.
we're happy to have you.

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