Yup. That's 23+ hours to go! *swallow hard*
I know I've done my fair share of complaining about how stressful it has been planning our China trip, so I'm glad that someone whacked me on my head (OK, she didn't actually whack me, but I could really use one), and reminded me to keep things in perspective. Of how lucky we are to get this opportunity to begin with!
So, with my vision re-focused, here's a countdown on what I'm feeling excited about as I'm trying not to fuss about whether to pack that 3rd box of dryer sheets...
(1) Spending quality time with Gong Gong and Po Po:
Yeah, that's my mom and dad, Eva's Gong Gong and Po Po, holding her just hours after she was born. I'm actually fairly psyched about this, that for the first time since college, I'll be living within driving distance from my parents. They currently live in Hong Kong, which is a 2-hr train ride away from Guangzhou where we'll live.
My mom already told us that they'll take the train up and bug us every weekend until we're sick and tired of them. I think they'll probably get sick and tired of us (and our request for babysitting) first. My mom also told me that she's already helped us stock up on "safe" milk products, baby detergents, and everything else only moms can think of. Where would we all be without our moms?
(2) OK, this will sound a bit dorky, but I really do look forward to my work assignment in China. I've always had this idea that some day I would have something useful to sort of "give back" to where I'm from. And this country has changed so much since I was a kid growing up in Hong Kong, I'm fascinated by what I've read, and now I get to live it and experience it for myself.
I also realize though that I'm a little "neither here nor there"- this August I would have officially lived half my life in Hong Kong and half here in the US (hmm, although these next few months would mess up this neat calculation, anyway, you get the idea). I know people will look at me and think "what are you?". I'm curious to find out where/ how I'd fit (or not) in China.
(3) Despite of my ambiguous identity, I do look forward to showing Eva this part of the world where half of her heritage comes from.
And I have to say, I'm quite surprised (perhaps wrongly so), that she is very aware of what's going on... At first, we didn't say much directly to her about our visit to China, we started to play more Chinese music, and taught her to say some Chinese words, which was fine and all. But as Bryson disappeared and boxes/ luggages began to appear, her behavior changes too. She's much more clingy to us, and she'll fuss even when one of us is away.
That's when we realize we had to have a "talk" with her.
How do you tell a 21-month old about a trip to China? Except for saying "CHAI-NAHHH" over and over again multiple times a day, we started just telling her about random stuff about the country, and what we're doing (now we are packing our bag for CHAI-NAHHHHH, and now we're buying extra diapers for CHAI-NAHHHH)...
We started telling her about buddha when we visited a Thai temple last week. And that some buddhas also live in CHAI-NAHHHH. Now if she sees any image/ statue that vaguely resembles a bald guy, she'll say "Boo-dah... Chaii..." (or "boo-di" when she's feeling extra chummy)
And we showed her Chairman Mao money.
She obviously has no idea what it is, but thought she might as well get acquainted with the great Chairman before we leave. One thing interesting to note regarding renmenbi (RMB, or "the people's money"), that the largest note comes in 100 RMB (which is the equivalent of around $16). Wouldn't that make for lots of Chairman Mao's to carry around? Well, guess we'll find out.
(4) Last but not least, curious about where we'll be living in China? Me too! Well, this is a picture of the serviced apartment we'll be living in on the official website. We'll see if the real thing actually looks anywhere close to this. We'll post some pix once we get there.
Hard to believe that we'll be posting our next post from China! And by the way, some of you kind folks in China have alerted me to the fact that typepad blogs (like ours) are not blocked in China (as opposed to many other blog platforms). And I don't intend to write anything on this blog that'll change that. But we got a VPN account anyway, just so we can still go on flickr and facebook and the like.
So bear with us as we get settled in/ oriented/ over jet-lag in these next few days! Promise we'll be in touch very, very soon from the other side of the planet.
Oh, one last thing, these Easter egg hunt photos of Eva and her new bff Aidinh are too cute not to share! Enjoy these while we transport ourselves across the world. Stay tuned!