Friday, November 11, 2011

Beyond Brain Freeze

We got our air shipment today, and it was a happy day for Joanna and Bob. For me, it solved one mystery: why I had no no recollection of what I had decided to include in the air shipment. I couldn't remember because I hadn't packed anything at all. No clothes, no boots, no jackets, no saucepans, no books, nothing. Joanna got two suitcases packed with almost all her clothing and her laptop, and Bob got his winter coat, more shirts, and an entire box of shoe polish. Why did we feel there might be an urgent need for shoe polish? I have no idea.  Talk about brain freeze. All of my things are sitting in a port, probably Tianjin, waiting for us to get our "permanent" resident visas and to decide on an apartment. So there's a little pressure on me at least to lower my standards and just find a place. So far, we've been shown three two-bedroom apartments (even though we made it clear that we needed a three-bedroom) and just two three-bedrooms. One was nice but on the third floor overlooking the middle school which starts its day -- loudly -- at 7 a.m. Another was so filthy I couldn't imagine it until it was cleaned.  So here we are. I can make do with what I have now and can do a little shopping to fill in the gaps. Thanksgiving should be interesting, as I make turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin pie in a kitchen half the size of my small galley kitchen at home and with one tiny saucepan, one frypan, and four ceramic 9x12 baking dishes.  But not impossible. In fact, one of the biggest lessons I've learned so far in China is that there are solutions to almost any problems, especially if you employ creative work-arounds, resourcefulness, and determination. I was going to say unflappability, but that wouldn't be honest. I meet a problem, I generally freak out, then I solve the problem. (see under: thanksgiving in brussels freakout)

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