So much at once

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written and our path has changed quite a bit from the last post. Very little in our daily lives have changed, and some very cool happenings have taken place. I will give more detail on those in a sec. Turns out that while I was writing my last post, our future was being changed in a way we didn’t expect, but have grown to be excited about. We won’t be moving to Italy next year, we’ll be moving to Pristina, Kosovo. It’s a positive move for our careers, but has taken a little time to get our heads around. We have spent the last 5 months preparing, researching and planning (taking Italian lessons!) for Italy, and to suddenly switch gears was hard. I am truly excited about the adventure that awaits us in Pristina, and the more I learn about it, the more there is to be excited about. Donnie will travel there at the end of next week, so I hope he will get some good insight about what our lives will be like there.

In past years, I’ve always reflected on the tortuous pace that May creeps by at. I can’t complain much this year, there has been so much to keep us busy. Besides having to rework all of our future plans, we’ve kept busy with other events here in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. It’s not slowing down either. I think we have school or social events 6 nights out of 7 next week. Yikes!

But let me back up and write about a few fun events that have taken place over the last month.

The first was something I’d been wanting to do since I’ve moved to southern China, and that is go on a HK Junk boat! Well, Callie’s friends were going to host a party on one, so she invited me to go along with them. It’s a blast. A junk boat is a big party boat, with upper and lower decks and the thing to do is go out for the day and swim, dance, eat and play. So I met up with the crew in HK at the dock, and we boarded and set off for a swimming spot. It was a cloudy and windy day, so the waves were pretty righteous as we left the harbor. We ended up at a quiet spot to stop and swim, but it soon became crowded with other junk boats of varying groups of people. It made for really good people watching. We basically just hung out there all day, eating and drinking and jumping of the top of the boat. It was really relaxing, and since I didn’t know many of the people very well, I was content to just chill and people watch. While I was hanging on the boat, Paul and Donnie had a really fun day at Disneyland, probably their last trip to the Happiest Place on Earth here in Hong Kong. So when we headed back and docked, I booked it up to meet them for dinner at The Globe. We spent the night in HK and then headed back to Shenzhen in the morning on Sunday. It was a really super fun weekend.

The next weekend was a holiday weekend, but I had to work both of our days off, so instead of traveling, we stayed local. We made a trip (most likely our last) out to Luohu to get a few gadgets and some new sunglasses and glasses. We had to wait around to see if our iPhones could be fixed, so we enjoyed some refreshments and hung out at the local 7-11. We all came home happy with purchases, but for some reason, that place really wears me down, and I was ready to go to bed afterwards. The next day (Sunday) we spent a staycation day and night at the Shekou Hilton again. We stay there so often that I think they know us pretty well, and we always get excellent treatment. We hung by the pool and one of my soccer friends, Laura, was there as well. It was fun to spend the afternoon with her and her girlfriend, but I was soooo tired again that night. We tried to watch a family movie in the room, but I couldn’t make it past the opening credits.

The following Friday I got to go to my first official concert in Shenzhen! I had tried to go to one back in September, but it fell through. Callie invited me to go see Fallout Boy with her and a few friends, and although I don’t know their music well, I jumped at the chance to see live music. It ended up just being me, Callie and her friend Jasmine, so we went to have dinner at the Vietnamese restaurant at Garden City, and then jumped in a cab to the concert venue. Concerts in China are very different from ones I’ve been to in the US or other places in the world. Firstly, there are like 5 layers of security, but a million and half people working so the lines go very fast. Secondly, there’s no merchandise sales inside the venue, and the only concessions you can buy are drinks-coke, tea, water, lime soda. And thirdly, they don’t let you stand up during concerts. The security guards came around and kept telling everyone to sit down. ? so weird. Also, in this case, there were no opening acts, the band came on, played and it was over in 90 minutes. It feels like you’re robbed a little bit of a whole evening of festivities, but I’m old, so the fact that all of this was over by 9:30pm was actually a benefit. The concert itself was wonderful, the band put on a great show and I did know some of the songs after all. I can genuinely say that I emerged a FOB fan.

The rest of that weekend was lazy, we should have packed up more stuff, but honestly we were still trying to emotionally process our move. We took time to sleep and chill and it was good.

That brings us to this past weekend, which was Mother’s Day. I had Paul make some cards for his grandmas and sent them some gifts online, and Donnie spoiled me with a weekend at the ‘pirate ship’ hotel, the Intercontinental. It was hot and sunny, and the pool was cold and refreshing. We played all day and watched Avenger movies that night. The on Mother’s Day we had a delicious breakfast, relaxing nap, a workout in an empty gym, more pool time, then went to see the new Avenger’s movie. It was a full, but fantastic day. We all went to bed very happy on Sunday night, and I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful little family.

This week has been hard. The humidity is full force, and my runs have been exhausting in the mornings. My IB testing is almost finished (1 more test tomorrow!), so I’ll get some time back next week, but like I said it’s not slowing down. Life surges forward and I’m trying to keep up!

We are just 5 weeks away from our departure from Shenzhen, and it still doesn’t feel like we’re leaving. The days are slipping by quickly, and I know that I’ll start to feel their loss soon, but right now stress trumps nostalgia. I’m sure my feelings will change in a couple weeks when life is not so busy.

Till next time. Much love, J


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