The Countdown has Begun!

One month to go before we fly to Jiaxing to begin our next big adventure!  We have been kept busy checking on health insurance, car storage, contracts, visa necessities, banking, packing, wills, powers of attorney, and college of teacher administrivia.  Lots of details to pursue!  Our calendars are full as we try to see everyone and do everything we need and want to do before we leave.  Trying not to think too much about the actual lifestyle before we get there so we can simply take it as it comes.  We bought some flashy runners to impress the kids as we arrive by foot every day. Our two-bedroom apartment will be within several blocks of the school, which is a nice way to ensure that we get at least a little exercise every day.

A big mystery is what kinds of products will be available in China.  So much of what we use comes from there but how much actually stays there?  A Walmart is in our neighbourhood so if there are western facsimiles of food and products to be had, that would be the place to start looking.  Be quiet, my protesting friends.  We’ll wean ourselves away once we get settled.  One of my first thoughts once we decided to go was, “where will I get my hair cut?”  Only women can truly appreciate the angst involved in this great unknown!  Fortunately, Terri Walsmith, who was there for 4 years told me Tony & Guy in Shanghai was the place to go.  she and her husband Ron gave us a two-pager of important info for ex-pats, including names and addresses of western hospitals and doctors, tailors, restaurants and hang-outs in Shanghai. We’ll spend many weekends there, I’m sure.  Our job will be to find out the same type of sources in Jiaxing, a small city of 3.5 million.  Surely there’s a good hair stylist among them!

In the remaining 32 days we’ll play as much golf as possible, see our kids and friends and chip away at the necessary detail while keeping our excitement down!

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