Monday, March 31, 2008

Never A Dull Moment... Part IV

Well a lot has happened since I last wrote. The short version: This Is China. The slightly more detailed version includes us finding out last Wednesday that we had to move out of our apartment by the following Monday. Oh... and we had to find a new apartment, furnish the entire place, pack and move it all in that time frame! It turns out the landlord wasn't an entirely reasonable man. He decided that he would no longer continue our lease if we weren't going to sign on for another year- so we had to go.

The last few weeks have been insane to say the least. Considering the fact that it takes 10 people to fix a small problem here (1 to fix it and 9 to stand around to watch you and tell you how you should really fix it)- the large task of finding an apartment, working through the negotiations, finding a moving company, packing, moving, etc, was nothing short of a massive headache and a miracle.

I will say that Phil and I are relieved to be on the other side of this phase of the move. We had an excellent moving company come to pack and move us on Monday, and we are now living in a hotel while we wait for our apartment to be ready. We look forward to our new apartment and will post pictures once we get all settled and moved in.

We will keep you posted.

-Phil and Jen

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Never A Dull Moment

Sunday is here, and with it- a haze that engulfs the city and my brain. The past 2 weeks have been full of activity. Saturday night Phil and I, along with our friends Anne and Bill, went to dinner at a Shanghainese restaurant, then moved onto a jazz club. New to jazz clubs in Shanghai, we weren't sure what to expect. I have to say we were pleasantly surprised when we walked into the club. Dimly lit, plush and intimate, it was the perfect setting for the evening to come.

The main act came on stage around 11pm, and the stage that previously looked tight for the 4 person opening act looked even tighter for the 20 person big band with conducter and all! Granted four or five of the band members along with the conducter had to stand on the floor in front of the stage... but it was amazing. Apparently "big band night" is once a month, and we happened to make it on that night. We will certainly be back (with earplugs next time).

Aside from Phil learning his new job, traveling for work, and us being incredibly busy with friends and activities here- we just found out last week that we are going to have to move. The landlord of our apartment wants to raise the rent over $700/ month! Needless to say, we don't feel like that is a legitimate price hike, so we are going to move. We've gone out several times now with a realtor, and are getting ready to work out an offer on an apartment we found.

It's certainly never a dull moment for us. We do look forward to getting to the other side of this and settling into our new home- wherever it is. We will keep you posted.

-Phil and Jen

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wait No Longer

Well, the long wait is over. Phil and I will be staying in Shanghai. A job offer just came through the other day and... we couldn't be more thrilled. Even Phil is thrilled. I only say this for those of you who got to speak with us while we were in the U.S. The popular thought for a while was that Phil wanted to stay in the U.S and I wanted to go back to Shanghai. It was true to some degree, but grossly exaggerated due to stress and the fact that I verbally process way more :)

Yesterday, Phil happily moved from the 35th floor back down to the 2nd floor. He was pleased to report that not only is there toilet paper in the 2nd floor restrooms- he actually gets an office with a door (more amazing is the toilet paper however).

We are excited about what the future holds. Phil's new position is one he is really looking forward to. We have an entirely different appreciation for our adventure here in Shanghai, and a renewed sense of purpose in our lives. This whole experience has really motivated and focused us, and we are grateful.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Phil and I continue to wait patiently for word on a position here in Shanghai. Fairly certain it will come through, but taking nothing for granted, we wait. Aware that each day that passes while we are here could be some of the last spent in Shanghai, we are taking advantage of all that we can. We are spending time with the people we enjoy, doing the things we love to do, and eating the foods we love to eat (OK Phil is, but I fully intend to get to some dumplings and greens very soon!).

As for Shanghai- spring is in the air. Sun peeks through the clouds and teases the city with its distant warmth and the hope of spring to come. Streets that were emptied by the cold grey winter, have come to life in the mild warmth that now greets Shanghai. Trees give way to buds, and the city gives way to this season of growth.

Uncertain what our future holds, or where we will be in the next few weeks- I stand in appreciation of this time... the city waking from a deep and wintry slumber, life unfolding in every corner, the hustle and bustle, the liveliness and excitement... all that is Shanghai- I stand, and take it all in.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

We're Back

Just a quick update here. Phil and I arrived safely- though one day later than expected. We had to make an emergency stop in Japan because we were worried that Phil had a blood clot in his leg. After about 5 hours of numbness in his left quad- we spoke with a flight attendant and they arranged for medical attention upon landing in Japan. All is well now. The Dr. thinks he had a small blood clot that passed without issue. We will of course follow up here in Shanghai.

It is early morning here. I am surrounded by suitcases, but looking forward to getting back into life here. We still don't know where we will be in 30 days, but I keep telling myself that every day that passes is a day closer to knowing. Seriously though, we do need to have a decision at the weeks end- so only a few more days here.

We will keep you all posted on what is next for us. I am looking forward to getting back to blogging- I have a ton of new pictures to put up.

Phil and Jen