What with getting some basics organised such as bank accounts, Internet and mobile phones, as well as an induction at K’s work and the sensory overload that is China, week one raced past.
Week 2 started at a cracking pace too, with the two older boys starting school and leaving for the school bus at 7 something in the morning. It wasn’t too hard – with the sun coming up at around 5 in the morning and the weather being mild – but I suspect the schedule will challenge the teenagers (as well as their parents) when winter comes and its dark, freezing and smoggy.
Speaking of the weather, we were treated to some absolutely glorious blue skies and sunshine that allowed us to see the mountains around Beijing and even the stars at night – I had heard that this was impossible, but clearly the pollution is variable (the apps are great for that too).
With K at work and the two eldest boys at school, William and I were left to fend for ourselves during the day. This generally involved some book reading (a luxury I had forgotten about), daily visits to an indoor pool, shopping (more on this later), as well as a fair bit of cleaning and cooking. There was also considerable liaising required to get our permanent apartment ready for us to move into to.
Over the course of this second week, in the temporary apartment, nearly our fourth week since packing up our house in Australia, the will to live out of suitcases began to wane and our stuff quietly migrated throughout the apartment into every cupboard and drawer. We were settling in – just in time for the announcement on Thursday evening that we could move into our apartment earlier than expected – the following day.
So, with K at work, and the older boys at school, this early mark was a bit of a mixed blessing. 38 sets of stairs and 12 kilometres later (love that Apple health app) I had moved everything from one apartment to the other without having to repack everyone’s luggage and with a newly set up pantry and other sundry items. I did a pretty good job only leaving passports and airline tickets behind in a desk drawer. And I had checked the apartment three times for anything I might have left behind. How does this happen?