Sunday, August 08, 2010

Heading South

The verdict is in. Uncle H-- informed us on Wednesday evening that we will, in fact, be moving to Shenzhen. We stepped on a flight to the white sand beaches of Hainan Island early the next morning, and returned to Shanghai this evening. Our flight for Shenzhen leaves at 6:30 on Tuesday night, and school starts on Thursday.

All of that within 1 week's time.

I've got a crazy To Do List for the next day, the next week, and the next month. Tomorrow will be a bit nutty, but not actually as overwhelming as one might think. We will move directly into a serviced apartment in Shenzhen, one within walking distance of the grocery store. I will return to Shanghai in a few weeks to pack up the house, and hand the keys over to the landlord. As I'll travel without kids, I'll be able to race around town at breakneck speed and checks loads of things off of the list.

So, the focus for the next week is to make this transition as smooth as possible for the girls. Questions like how to keep the girls amused over the next few days, while I'm busy shopping and packing and how to fit the moses basket and antique rocker onto the airplane plague me.

But, as far as moves go, this one seems rather simple. The girls are already enrolled in the right school - one which seems very community focused, having already invited our family to join others at a local restaurant on Wednesday night. The school lies inside a complex where we can afford to live, and so I only plan to view homes inside that complex. There's also a church and a library in the complex, all of which make me think that it will have a built-in community as well. Plus, simply living within walking distance of the school and church mean that we can easily spend casual time with the people we meet.

Bonus points, that we will be within walking distance of the ferry to Hong Kong.

Further bonus points that we don't anticipate living there past February. I will not make the same mistake as in this home: We will rent our home assuming we will live there for a year; we will have a comfortable guest room, and plenty of space for Mei Mei to move in. However, I don't feel the pressure of needing to fit in so strongly. It feels more like an extended vacation than like a move.

I believe the girls are approaching it that way as well. Lilly asked me recently if, since we are moving now, can she please invite her cousin to her birthday party? I explained that we'll still be in China, and not yet in America.

Lilly: So, when will we move to America, and live near Jack and William?
Lynne: I think probably after Christmas. Until then, we'll go to school in Shenzhen.
Lilly: (reassured) Okay.

They've been prepared for a summer move for quite some time now. I think that they're not thrown by this news, because they've been expecting it all along. As Washington DC means very little to them as a place, why should Shenzhen be a scary stopping point?

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