I’m heading to Ikea for the third time this week in preparation for the move into our apartment tomorrow. We received word last week that our shipment was delayed because of a back-up in Long Beach, so the earliest we can expect our belongings is December 24th. I never thought I’d be hoping to spend Christmas day unpacking. We were planning to purchase a new bed here, so we do have a place to sleep. Our landlord has kindly offered to lend us a folding table and chairs. We’ll make do.
My days have been full with some Christmas shopping, sending packages back to our families, setting up cable/gas/water/electric services, applying for my Chinese visa and buying some home furnishings. While it’s all going well, I am looking forward to the day when I don’t have to figure out where things are located or the process for getting things done. People here are very helpful, and most speak English quite well, but there’s still a bit of a challenge with communication. Pete and I are planning to take a Cantonese class to learn some basics.
My activities have also included more dog walking at HK Dog Rescue, a Celtic Christmas concert at the oldest Anglican church in Honk Kong and a photography exhibit and hiking with groups from the American Women’s Association. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that a very large portion of the AWA are women from elsewhere around the world; India, Germany (Koln!), France, Canada, England, Australia, Japan.
Pete continues to travel weekly. He has been back in Shanghai and Jakarta since the last post. I’m going to Shanghai with him for 3 days this week. We were planning to take a short vacation to the Philippines the last week of December but, because of our move and a typhoon that hit there last week, have decided to stay in Hong Kong and do some local exploring. We’ve purchased tickets to the HK Philharmonic for New Year’s Eve and will look forward to the fireworks on Victoria Harbor after the performance.
My apologies that I’m not posting any photos this time around. In all my travels, I’ve never been much of a picture taker. I’ll try to be more aware of photo ops in the future.
We miss our friends, family and dog but are still very excited about our opportunity here. We’re really looking forward to visits from my mom in January, two flight attendant friends at the beginning of March and the Franceschina family (including the boys!!) at the end of March. I’m not going to beg for more visitors, just know you’re welcome anytime. Fingers crossed, the guest room will be set up on Christmas day!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!