Sunday, June 9, 2013

Moving On (Again)

In just over three weeks we will be finished and heading back to America!  In some ways I feel like it couldn't get here soon enough.  Maybe it's the pregnancy or the heat or the fact that we do practically the same thing every lesson, but I am so ready to be done with class.   I realized I have been a student for 24 of the past 25 years, and at this point I'm pretty sure I'm losing brain cells at a faster rate than I am gaining knowledge.  Just seven more days of class!

There are also things I'm looking forward to in America.  The way you go to the sink to wash your hands and water actually comes out.  The abundant use of A/C.   Doing something different than going to class every day.  Eating guacamole and real sour cream and Tums.  The Tums aren't necessarily related, but I am looking forward to them...breathing pretty much gives me heartburn these days.

Three weeks really couldn't get here soon enough...except for one little thing.  A couple of weeks ago we found out we have to move.  Not exactly great news.  Fortunately another apartment option presented itself pretty quickly - we are going to move into the apartment our teammates will be vacating.  It is just across the street from the school and less than a 10 minute walk from where we live now.
Just before we found out we'd have to move, Juliana packed her toys - and herself - into a box in what is commonly called foreshadowing.
Unfortunately while our apartment was fully furnished, theirs was not.  Fortunately someone has a bed and desk we can borrow, another teammate gave us a good deal on the couch she was selling, and Juliana has a giant stuffed bear which can take the place of furniture in her we're almost good to go.  We are buying all the main appliances (in China unfurnished really means unfurnished) from our teammates - fridge, washer, stove (two burners!), hot water heater.  While we're able to buy all these things for less than we'd probably spend on one appliance in the States, it still irks me to have to buy them when we managed to avoid having to buy them two years ago.  But there's not much we can do about it, and hopefully we can re-sell them whenever we move back into teacher housing. We can do without a lot of things, but I'm not quite ready to try life without a fridge and washer.

Another unfortunate is that the rent is a good deal more than on our apartment.  $50 more dollars a month might not seem like a huge deal until you consider we were only paying $125/month for rent the past couple of years.  It's a pretty sizeable increase, but our apartment was a really good deal and I don't think we'd find something else like it.  With the more expensive rent we will get some pleasant perks like an actual eating area instead of a folding table in the living room, only climbing to the 3rd floor, a kitchen that won't freeze over in the winter, and best of all - water that actually stays on all Spring!  With two small, messy children and cloth diapering, I think having water every day will be a big asset.

While less stairs will be nice, I will miss our view of the mountains
So now that we have a place to live next year when we return from our time in the States, the next step is packing up everything.   Why do I feel like we just did this?  We haven't accumulated much in the past two years with one notable exception: when we came to Yinchuan Juliana had about 6 toys.  Now she has, well, a whole lot more.

There is nothing like packing and moving to make you realize just how much stuff you have.  It makes me a little squeamish to think about.  In the last move we did a pretty good job of eliminating things we didn't actually use, so our "give away" stash is pretty small this time.  But still - how do we possibly need so much?

Take the kitchen, which I have yet to tackle at all.  We have a square baking pan, 2 round pans, 2 bread pans, a 9x13 pan, a muffin tin, and 2 cookie sheets.  I use them all, but is it really necessary to do baking in that many shapes?

I do like the organizing and purging aspect of packing but not much else about it.  Especially frustrating is looking around seeing all the things we will need to pack but knowing we'll still need to use them for the next few weeks. 

The biggest impediment for me has been exhaustion.  The temperature has recently been hanging out in the upper 90's.  Heat doesn't usually bother me so much, but in pregnancy I feel the last remaining shreds of energy draining away.  We just started using our A/C since I decided I won't be able to get anything done without it.  Even so, the A/C is only able to cool some of the rooms in the house, and of course very few other places (like the classroom) are air conditioned.

The past couple of days we have been enjoying some wonderfully cool days though.  Thank you, Chinese government.  This weekend is the all-important 高考 (college entrance exam) for students across the country, and apparently every year they seed the clouds at this time to make cooler weather for students taking the exam.  We are trying to take advantage of the coolness - as well as our 3 day holiday this week - to get some more packing done.

Juliana has been doing her part in aiding the packing process.  When I finally packed up the first box of books last week she promptly unpacked it for me, no doubt for quality inspection.  As the pile of boxes slowly grows,  she's starting to get the idea.  The other day as Kevin and I worked on packing, Juliana rushed into her room, "I'm bringing bunny!  We need to pack bunny!  I'm going to wear my backpack!"  She understands packing for a trip a little better than packing for a move, and her concept of any future more distant than "right now" is still a bit fuzzy.  What will be even more confusing is when she moves into her best friends’ house next year and they aren’t there!

1 comment:

Mallary said...

After reading this, I feel like I need to start packing! We did buy rice bags this week. That's a start. Looking forward to chatting in the morning!