Sunday, April 28, 2013

Need A Pen? How About Some Glasses??

As seen at the Beijing equivalent to the Bureau of Motor Vehicle.

Can't read while at the BMV? Forget about that maybe you shouldn't be there if you can't see, we've got glasses you can borrow, but forget about a pen.  Attached so you can't steal them of course!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finding a New Normal

I think one of the hardest parts of becoming an expat is finding a new normal. Everything in your life changes
as an expat spouse, at least it did for me. I went from working a lot outside the home to becoming a stay at home mom, literally overnight.  This is an adjustment for anyone, let alone then move half way around the world.  I heard somewhere that depression normally kicks in at 3 months, or for 3 months, I've passed the 3 month mark without a melt down, so I hope that doesn't mean I'm in line for a 3 month depression.

The other part of the equation is habits, everyone has habits, things they are used to doing a certain way. All that changes.  What you are used to eating for breakfast, where you buy your food, how you get your kids to school, not a single thing for me stayed the same.  We had to find new ways of doing our daily tasks and activities.

Engaging with the expat community, I think, is the most important step. Finding other people, like you, who are going through the same thing. Or even better, who are seasoned pros.  Making sure you put yourself out there to meet new people and finding things to do. Socializing is imperative if you want to adjust quickly and with as little stress as possible.

I'm not going to say it is easy. Especially when dealing with a language and cultural barrier as different as Chinese versus American, but some days you just have to laugh to keep from crying.  Some days you just sit in your house and wonder what in the world you are doing. But, most days you are thankful for the opportunities your family has been given and make the best out of every situation.  A new normal is the best way I can describe where I'm at in my life. It isn't better or worse, it is just different and I've embraced it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

AH7N9 in Beijing, China

Photo via, Allie's Dad
Hello everyone, I'm sure some of you have heard, in the news, about the H7N9, otherwise known as bird flu. I wanted to let everyone know that we have found out over the weekend that there is a case of the "bird flu" found here in our area, the first in Beijing, less than 5 minutes from our house.  Good news is at this point it looks like the virus is NOT being transferred person to person.  A person can contract the virus only by being around infected poultry.

They have taken all poultry and eggs off the menu at kiddo's school, and we are also only eating fish, pork, and beef from now until they contain the virus.  We are hopeful that with quarantine and killing off possibly infected birds we should be back to normal soon.

If you are here in China here are the recommendations I've heard:

1. Wash hands a lot, and well.
2. Do not go to the Gu Cheng market area in Shunyi.
3. Do not eat poultry or eggs.
4. Do not keep live chickens or other birds in or around your home. (I'm thinking this seems obvious)

Let's hope this virus doesn't mutate itself and start infecting by human to human contact!