We are leaving tomorrow–really! I thought I would leave this blog till tonight but think it best to check it off this morning it’s on the to-do list that keeps me up at night. We pick up visas and passports this evening; we have plane tickets and Chinese cash. Nous sommes prets–we are ready!
Forecast for Jiaxing when we arrive on Wednesday is for a balmy 31 degrees. Here’s hoping our ride from the airport is air conditioned. By the time we clear customs, find our folks from Jiaxing Secondary and make our way out of the airport and drive to Jiaxing, it will be early evening. Great timing for jet lag recovery! Maybe we will walk to the local Walmart to pick up some things–it appears to be in our new neighbourhood–then stop in at the local for a cold pint. Wait, different country. Will take it as it comes.
Sam has taken over my phone, same number. Don’t call! We will be skyping , blogging and emailing regularly. So with our friends singing a rousing rendition of “How can I miss you if you won’t go away?” we are off! Cheers, everyone.
Hi all – it now appears that we will be leaving next Tuesday (28th). As of 9 am this morning we were going to be leaving on Saturday. Then, as of 10:30, since they still hadn’t received the documents they need to get the visas, the travel agent suggested our flight be delayed until Tuesday in case there was some delay or other.
Phew what a week. We found out early on this week that getting the work permits was taking longer than they thought it would. However, this morning we had an email saying that they had been approved in China and were being couriered back here and should be here on Monday (the day we were supposed to leave!!). Then the visas will be applied for and likely be approved no later than Friday of next week. Now we just have to wait and see when they rebook our flights – could be next weekend (the 25/26th) or the week following. We know all this rigamarole will be worth it – but it is frustrating!! Next post (hopefully) will be from Jiaxing!! 祝我們好運
(This says “Terry and Geoff” – apparently there is no Chinese translation for “Geoff” – ominous, isn’t it.)
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!
Well it is really going to happen. We are off to Jiaxing China in the latter part of August for at least a year. Terry will be the principal of a BC Education Offshore School and Geoff will do some minimal teaching and explore. It will be quite an experience, we are sure. We look forward to sharing our travels and travails with you. Stay tuned.