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We are here. To quote my friend Jennifer (who was quoting Barry Manilow) “Looks like we made it…”  HERE is Jinqaio, Pudong New Area, Shanghai China. Whew. We are settling into our new home, a lovely compound with brand new (mostly empty) homes.

The flights were great…our 8 year old was so comfortable traveling. He said he could live on the plane. Which is the truth. He had his own TV, bed, electrical outlet, access to a bathroom and a woman to deliver his food which included hot fudge sundaes. Truly, the trip over was a breeze. A very long breeze.

We were picked up in two vans by our driver Jason (Xie) and his friend. I was given a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Jason! We got home and the kids went nuts in the new house – running around and investigating. They seem very comfortable here.

Now, the fun stuff. Jet lag – which is evidenced in my last photo post where I spelled Shanghai incorrectly – has set in. We all had it in varying degrees. At first, it was my husband and 10 year old. Then my 8 year old. Now on day 3 it’s my turn. I thought I was safe, going to sleep around 9pm and waking at 6 or 7. Now, up at 4am. And my Macbook charger is no longer working, so I’m hurrying before the battery dies.

So far I’ve done the following:

*Met and attempted to communicate with our ayi, Yufen. She calls me “Miss” and Carlos is “Mister”. Cute. She is very independent and just gets s*&t done. So does our driver, Jason. He purchased our air purifiers (more on that later) and is the go-to man. I’ll have to ask him about my MacBook plug…anyway back to my list:

*Unpacked 10 boxes

*Gone grocery shopping twice because I don’t really know what I need. Or how to find it. Again, more on that later.

*Opened a bank account with no money. Just go in, wait forever and get a bank card. Now, to figure out how to put money on it.

*Activated 2 cell phones. It’s so different here…no contracts, just put time on your phones. Somehow I have to figure this out. My teenager and I have no idea how many megabytes it takes to check email and Facebook from our phones, so this will be an experience. I have 280 megabytes of data. We’ll see how long that lasts.

*Gone to the pediatrician. Yes. Already. Our Air Shipment is stuck at Customs because they don’t like our nebulizer machine (for asthma meds) so I had to go to a doctor to have a prescription written for it. She was lovely and happy to help, but ordered us a new one just in case ours is confiscated. I don’t want it holding up our air shipment. We REALLY need our pillows. The Chinese pillows are huge and so hard.

*We have been registered as temporary residents and go tomorrow to register as permanent residents.

*Ridden on the scooter with my husband to Carrefour, the grocery store. It was really freeing!

*Gone on a “friend hunt” around our compound with my 8 year old. No luck. Most (all?) expats are still on holiday in their home countries.

*Went to MegaFit Gym to swim at the indoor pool while my husband worked out. Ewww. Not my favorite place. The pool was lukewarm and I did not smell chlorine. And the nudity in the locker rooms shocked my girls. They are used to people changing in dressing rooms – not parading around and blow drying their hair completely naked!

*Visited a traditional Chinese hutong – Tiang Ze Fang – a collection of narrow lanes or alleys. It was a lot of fun, but rained so hard!

What’s on the agenda for today? Sunday? Well, my 10 year old has a dentist appointment at 9am. Yes, a dentist appointment on a Sunday. She has a baby tooth that is loose and inflamed, hoping the dentist can just yank it out. Then we will wander (on foot) around our neighborhood and eat dinner at a local restaurant. We have no driver on Sunday, so we are on our own. We might need to buy another scooter…pink, maybe? With a sidecar or two?

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