My apologies if we’ve left you wondering if we’ve made it home safely from China over a month ago. No, we didn’t take a steam boat, but it has been a long journey re-embracing life back home post-China. And it didn’t help that 3 weeks after we got back, I went on another 2-week work/ family trip that took me across Boston, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Canada (whew!).
But before I tell you all about the craziness being full-time American again, I’m sure you’ve been wondering... What was the first thing we did when we came home?
Well, you can probably guess... Group hug for B-R-Y-S-O-N!!!!
Yay! Bry Bry!! It’s us! It’s YOU! Yes, we’re baaaack!!! You won’t believe the tears when I caught the first glimpse of that little, wet, black nose poking out when we cracked our front door open. He's doing just fine, considering the fact that he almost died just about a month ago... He's lost 5 lbs (and according to the doctor quite a bit of muscle mass), I never thought we'll ever say this, but there will be some fattening to do around this house :)
We don’t have pictures of our reunion moment, darn it, it was 12 a.m. and we were delirious with joy and jetlag. But here’s one taken the following day when we our little family celebrated our reunion with a romp at Point Isabel, our fav dog park by the bay.
Boy, oh boy, I almost forgot how great it is to fill your lungs with cool, salty air that doesn’t burn your nose, feel the crunchiness of sticks and gravel instead of asphalt under your feet, and hear Bryson’s collar jingle, jingle, jangle as his sister screams and laughs while trying to ride Bryson (yes, that’s her new thing now, it doens’t help that Bryson’s at just the right height, and I think he secretly likes it, even though we are mortified for his back health).
There are parts of me that really miss all those exciting adventures in China, but these are the simple moments of joy that reminds me how much I appreciate my home and my family.
Speaking of family, it was such a treat to experience the hospitality of hubby’s family in Thailand, where we got to spend a precious few (too few) vacation days before we headed home from China.
Thanks to them, we saw so much more than the standard tourist fare. We even visited the apartment hubby grew up in in the heart of Bangkok (that story will have to be told by hubby another day). I just got around to uploading some of our Thailand adventures’ pictures, enjoy a sampling below, full album here:
And I know I haven’t finished the “What are the things you miss most about China” post, but there’s another question I’ve been asked quite a bit lately, that you may be interested in too, i.e. “how are you adjusting to life back home?”
Well, I sometimes feel like I’ve gone time-travelling. Everyone and everything here stayed pretty much the same, but I’ve come back a changed person with experiences no one can understand or quite relate to.
And one thing that surprised me a bit (maybe it shouldn’t have, in hindsight) is how hubby and I have actually had a completely different experience in China. How did that happen, you ask, when we seem to be travelling together the whole time? Well, for one, he didn’t speak a lick of Chinese, and I do. In a city where most people don’t speak English, it’s much more of a foreign and challenging experience for him than for me. Also, I was working in an office every day, surrounded by locals and absorbing anything and everything Chinese, when hubby’s day mostly consisted of talking to a 2 year-old and being isolated in a bubble.
Whenever we have a spare moment, we’re talking about which brand of milk is safe for Eva, which city should we visit next, which size sippy cup it's OK to take on a Chinese plane (it's different from home, and seems also somewhat random depends on which airport you're at)... It wasn’t until the very end that I realized that we’ve spent a few months traveling in parallel, instead of traveling together. I wish I was smarter and could have anticipated that. And it’s not that we didn’t have fun in China, I would never trade all the awesome experiences we’ve had together for anything, it just feels like we’ve talked about a lot of stuff, and haven’t talked to each others for a while.
To be completely honest, that’s what we’ve been busy trying to do since we came back. We have to fill each others in on “what happened to you in China?” That and to establish a new routine for Eva (she’s just started part-time daycare), thinking and talking about our priorities, making some decisions about “what’s next?”... And, of course, taking care of Bryson, our high-maintenance boy... well, let’s just say there’re a lot of nurturing to do, doctor’s appointments to make, and doggie massages to give :)
Oh, and thanks again to all of you who voted for Bryson for the 2012 Corgis (with Blogs) Calendar over at Gibson’s! Here he is as Mr. December (don’t you love that “hmm, do I have bacon in my stocking?” look?). Proceeds of the calendar go to corgi rescue as usual (thanks, Kelly!).
In the mean time, stay tuned. I promise I’ll return with part 2 of “What I miss about China”, hopefully soon :)