Settling in

Monday, July 15

        Today was a celebration of small successes and overlooking setbacks. I have learned to measure everything before I buy. I found the correct size fitted sheets for Hollis’s bed at IKEA. We found new pillows that don’t smell toxic. We found a tennis racket and balls for Sophie to use for practice. Hollis found a kick board for swim practice. We still waiting for our internet and phone connection at home. To obtain this, original passports are required, and ours are sitting in an office somewhere while our resident permits are processed. We check email at restaurants…I feel very disconnected. To cope with all of this, I have my yoga practice. I am as grounded here as I was in Raleigh with the same earth and sky. 

            It is a very rainy day today! We woke to find a big puddle in our front vestibule. The maintenance crew quickly solved this by drilling a drain hole in the side. Sidewalks are full of puddles as well. Traffic is congested. I was happy to see the girls engaged in creative play with their new pool toys in the living room. 

We still await our household goods shipments. We don’t expect them until August, so we are living with what we brought in our nine suitcases. We have a few books and minimal small toys. We do have some art supplies and coloring books. I would recommend that people moving to Beijing pack some basic spices, preferred toiletry items, clothing and detergents to last a month to six weeks in their bags. Quoted delivery times were not accurate. 

Tuesday July 17

 Today the Air Quality index was nine! This is excellent! Clear blue skies without any clouds. I am working on the daily routine for the girls, so we began with quiet creative time after breakfast. Sophie drew pictures and Hollis cut and glued a collage. Then we walked to the tennis courts where ironically, on this low pollution day, we found the landscapers spraying pesticides with a hose on trees, shrubs, and grass. We left and walked to the playground where the air was more pleasant. I cooked dinner at home today for the first time! What an accomplishment! We had a gas leak when we first moved in, and that was fixed so I could cook. I am very pleased with the efficient response to repair requests by our neighborhood management office. 

I would say that the girls are adjusting well, although each day there are moments of frustration and anxiety. We have five weeks before school starts, so this time is important to gain confidence in our surroundings and local lifestyle. As for myself, I will be ecstatic when we have internet and phone set up at home, so I can email and skype friends and family more easily. 



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