We are in our house! Yay!
We moved in on Friday but the house was so filthy that we had to spend
most of the Saturday cleaning before we could unpack anything. The kids cleaned most of the house while I
spent most of the day trying to un-disgustify (my own word) the kitchen. Brad went to the store and came home with
something called “kitchen cleaner” in a spray bottle. He was assured by the store clerk that it was
really good stuff and they were right!
It took off the grossest grease and the tea stains and everything that
didn’t belong. I’m so GLAD.
Our landlord assured us he would get us a “big refrigerator”
and he did (at least by China
standards). The problem with it was that
it was used and dirty and smelled so NASTY.
I opened that thing the first time and was very glad I wasn’t pregnant
or I never would have been able to clean it.
Eeeww. The wonderful thing was
the magic “kitchen cleaner” took care of everything, so it’s fine now.
Our “oven” was also delivered. It is a very good quality toaster oven. We have given up trying to communicate what
we want, and will just go get our own in a little while.
I figured out what “that smell” is here in China. It is what I call the “China smell”
and it is everywhere you go. It is
Chinese tea. It stains everything it
touches from teeth, to sinks, to clothes, to anything else it contacts –
including the air. I’m surprised at how
popular it is considering the damage it does.
Still, I guess if it’s the only assurance there is of having potable
water, I can see how the tradition got started.
Me, I’ll stick with bottled water and try to get my house so it doesn’t
smell like everywhere else.
I have found some friends who took us shopping for dishes,
pans, towels, silverware, and cooking utensils, and showed us where the closest
“cheap marketplace” is. Yeah! I might
survive this after all (I try to only think of things in small “units”
otherwise I start to feel overwhelmed).
Also, we were told of a restaurant that sells really good hamburgers
(after 10 days of “foreign food” it was like heaven). Their other food is really great too, I hear
– can’t wait to try it. The restaurant
is run by a Hawaiian woman, and she knows her stuff. I have called this restaurant “my happy place”,
but its real name is “The Garden Café” and it’s beautiful there.
Our two youngest kids will be attending Utahloy International
School. It is located in a beautiful place and I hope
they will do well there. I think I am at
least as nervous as my kids about this school change. We have orientation on Tuesday and school
starts on Wednesday. It all feels like
it’s happening so fast! School for our
17 year-old will start when our things arrive from the U.S. (remember
that “slow boat” – that’s where the school stuff is right now). I hope it all arrives intact.
I have read that the typhoon that hit Taiwan was a
big deal and that Shanghi is dealing with it now, but we haven’t had to deal
with any of that storm up to now. We’ve
had sunny weather for the past 3 days.
It made moving in much easier.
Our area (Clifford) has a really great bus system. The buses come by almost every 5 minutes and
make getting around quite convenient. If
we leave our community, there are buses that will take you just about anywhere
you would want to go. Yesterday I
learned that the #1 bus will take you to a movie theater where they show the
new releases in English with Chinese subtitles, and there is also a night
market nearby. Those night markets are
amazing. I will have to tell you about
them some other time.
I tried a mangosteen for the first time yesterday. Delicious!
They look so ugly on the outside, but the inside is amazing. Also, I really like dragon fruit, and the
papaya here is divine. I’m so glad that
I can prepare food in our own home now, so we can get what we like to eat and
not be stuck eating “expensive” fatty pieces of meat at restaurants.
Brad and Meg and
Jace bought a chicken at the supermarket yesterday. Meg
wouldn’t let Brad buy one at the “wet market” where you choose your live
chicken and they butcher it for you, so they went upstairs to the supermarket
and bought one. It was a whole chicken,
including the head and neck and legs and claws attached. The chickens here are much smaller than in the
U.S. I’m told it’s because they don’t give them
hormones to make them grow big. Anyway,
we ate the chicken today. We cooked it
in a stew pot (like a slow cooker only a little hotter and faster) with some
vegetables and it was really good).
I will hunt down my camera cable this week and post some