Monday, June 18, 2007

June 19th, 2007

I just found out that we are in the "rainy season" in Shanghai. That would explain the grey dreary days that have filled the last 2 weeks. I was informed of this by a local Shanghainese co- worker of mine just the other day. She explained to me that the rainy season lasts for approximately one month, and goes from the first part of June until the first part of July. Apparently, my colleague says, this season has started a little late. And all this time, I thought the rainy season was winter- the damp, grey, dreary, cold that fellow Michiganders would find refreshing, compared to our blistering, cold and snowy winters. This, I am told, would be the spring rainy season. Ahhh... the things you learn as you live here.

Today is a different day however. Slightly sunny and promising, I notice my mood follows step. I am preparing to travel to Ikea today to get some much needed provisions. I greatly appreciated Ikea in the U.S (okay I loved it so much, I created a song about it), but I really didn't think I would grace this blue and yellow behemoth with my presence so regularly. After all, I live in China. I can surely find what I need a lot cheaper elsewhere, right? Wrong. Ikea is actually quite reasonable, and also a very good place to go in Shanghai if you need certain household goods, chocolate bars, cheese, and even Swedish meatballs. You see, the thing I am learning here in Shanghai is there is China (cheap deals, low cost of living), then there is Shanghai (insanely expensive, moderate to high cost of living). So for most things, other than some furniture items, Ikea is very reasonable.

For the more astute who are reading this, you noticed that I referenced a co-worker. You are probably wondering to yourself if that means that I have a job, and you are correct. I have started working for a relocation company as a "field consultant". This requires that I meet people preparing to move into Shanghai and I take them around to show them the city. I take them to all of the necessary places like hospitals, schools, and grocery stores. I show them how to take the public transportation, as well as show them some of the more fun gems you can only find in the city after being here for a while. It really is an enjoyable job and I get to do something I love by showing people around.

Speaking of showing people around the city, our friends Will and Jen will be coming to visit us this weekend. They will be here for two weeks and we can't wait to see them. We are planning to do a lot with them, including take a trip to Beijing. We will be taking the overnight train there and back. One of the main highlights of that trip (aside from the adventurous overnight train journey) will be seeing the Great Wall. I should have some great pictures to share from this trip. Now I know I haven't posted in a while, but I have a ton of pictures that I am working on in photo shop. And I have been putting off posting the stories that require these pictures. So I promise- stories and a ton of pictures will follow our friends stay here.

Well, Phil and I hope all of you are well. Feel free to comment on this post or shoot us an email telling us how you are. Even though we are oceans apart, we still want to hear how everyone is doing. Cheers! -Phil and Jen