Thursday, December 20, 2012

Packing the Suitcases, Moving to China

Kiddo and I are lucky enough to fly over to Beijing from the U.S. on business class.  This means on Delta that we each get to take 2-70 lb pieces of luggage and because I have Medallion status so I get to take an extra 70 lb bag.  So between the two of us we get to get 5 piece of luggage and hubby gets to take 2-50 lb bags.

If I can do my math correct that is 450 lbs worth of luggage.  We don't actually have seven suitcases so we are taking a couple boxes with us.  So far I've filled one box (up to 62" W+H+L) with 50 lbs worth of food stuffs. Think brownie mix, chocolate chips, bread machine yeast, whole wheat lasagna, you know all the important stuff. :)

Most of the stuff I'm taking I either don't think I'll find in Beijing, or it is super expensive.

I think I'm actually going to have trouble filling up the luggage with 450 lbs worth of stuff since we already shipped most of the house via the container and we have the air shipment going out just after Christmas.  What a good problem to have!

Think I'm going go to the store and stock up on some cake mix, more concentrated chicken stock and some cereal.  Would you believe a box of American cereal will run you for almost $10? A mid-sized bottle of Tide will run you $30.

american food in beijing
50 lbs. worth of random foodstuffs

I'd try the Chinese stuff, if only I could read Chinese to figure out what I was trying to buy. It is really amazing how much we rely on branding in our daily life and until you walk into a grocery store without a single brand you recognize do you realize how much your brain relies on visual cues.  I don't think most people actually read things in the grocery store much, they rely on what looks good and is visually attractive, then they read the label second.

What food product could you absolutely not live without? What would you pack?

 I need some ideas on what else to take over!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Moving From the U.S. to China

They packed up our house today. About 75% of my house in now packed and on a 40' container moving from the U.S. to China.  I tried to make it exciting for kiddo by telling her the container got to ride on a semi truck, a train and on a big boat, I'm not sure if she agreed as she cried about her bunk bed leaving.  It is really hard for small children to understand such a big concept as moving overseas and the timing.

Would you believe there are four companies involved in our packing and shipping? Packers who packed and took the container to the railroad, another company involved in getting the container to China, a third who is in charge of it once it gets to China and a forth to boss around the rest of them. Always gotta have the boss.

It took them two days to pack up the house and then about half a day to get it all loaded onto the container and to the railway. They are shipping the container out of Tacoma, Washington thanks to the LA port strike that has Long Beach and LA's ports backlogged   If the move goes as planned it will be going from Tacoma to Xingang, China taking 16 days across the Pacific Ocean.  All in all, it should take 2 months from our house to our new home in Beijing but I'm not counting my blessings until my stuff gets there. Unfortunately, I've heard horror stories of stuff taking 6+ months to show up. A friend told me a story about a shipment getting delayed for 18 months! 

Banned Items:

I had to chuckle at some of the items not allowed in our shipment.
  • golf clubs
  • grand pianos
  • holiday decorations
  • lighters
  • fireworks
  • pornography
  • walkie talkies
  • go karts
I'm pretty sure you can buy of these items in China so I'm not sure why they or all items are not allowed. Any one have any ideas?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Moving to Beijing, China

We're moving to China.

Yep, we're moving to Beijing, China.

I keep thinking if I say it often enough it might settled in that in a month my family is going to be moving to Beijing.

I feel like the most unlikely U.S. citizen to be moving to China. I grew up in small town, rural Midwest America and haven't moved more than an hour away from my hometown in my 30+ years. I have no aspirations to live outside of Ohio, let alone China. Isn't it amazing what we do for love?

Let me back up and tell you a little about our situation. It is my husband, our daughter, and me.

My husband is being transferred for work, and has been working on and off in Beijing for the past year and a half. We're finally making the plunge and moving to be with him, thanks to a promotion for his job that is going to keep him there for the next three years.


Right now I am looking at the Shunyi District area, which is in the Northeast area of Beijing, outside the 5th ring, because of the international schools we are considering.  Since I'm used to a big home, in a suburban area, I really want to try to find a semi-detached or detached villa. I don't think I'm made to live in a concrete city, even downtown Columbus, Ohio is too much city for me. I'm jealous of those that can handle city life because I really want the conveniences and walkability but I'm not willing to settle for a small apartment or an old outdated place without a place for our daughter to run and play.


So far we have looked at WAB (Western Academy of Beijing), BSB (The British School of Beijing), and ISB (International School of Beijing).  Our daughter is younger, so we only need to focus on primary school, elementary school, at this point.  

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