128 boxes were taken away from Olney, and a little over 2 months later, all 128 turned up in Shanghai. The 6 blokes from Crown (the relocation company), seemed unconcerned at the sheer number of random items being unpacked, despite the bewildered looks from their owners. It’s indescribably fantastic to finally have a sofa to sit on (no offence to our now abandoned Ikea chairs), but the bread bin, recycling bin and other items that back in March seemed sensible to pack now seem just a little superfluous.
Still, Thursday was obviously a momentous – if a little stressful – day for us both. The Crown fellas did an excellent job of lugging everything around and rebuilding desks, beds and other items without any instructions to follow. The size of the task became apparent early afternoon, at which point the 6 on-site blokes had turned into 10.
So pretty much most of our week has been spent preparing for, receiving and unpacking the shipment from the UK. From the minimalist feel of the house on Wednesday to a house resembling that of one of the hoarders from Life of Grime on Thursday, our ayi must have been in shock when she arrived on Friday.
Despite living here for over 2 months, we still seem to find something new each time we venture out. During Saturday’s brief excursion (as a respite from the unpacking) we came across a Belgium beer bar pretty much 2 minutes from the house. I have no idea how we’d managed to miss it until now. We’ll be sure to keep popping in just to make sure it’s still there.
On Saturday night we joined Jo and a few others in an Italian restaurant to celebrate her birthday. Having drank decent beer during Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t face a lager. So yet again, I was forced to drink Prosecco. I’m discovering it’s a very manly, bubbly drink.
Our Mandarin lessons are proceeding nicely, but we’re still so far away from engaging in conversation at any meaningful level. It’s all very well being able to ask “What are you doing at the weekend?”, but if the answer is anything other than “We will go to the library”, or perhaps “We will eat rice” then we’re stumped.
So as I type this, I’m sat on our sofa from Olney, with reminders of England dotted around (Union Jack cushions from Emma & Simon and John & Stella, wooden Union Jack heart decorations from Tim & Kim) and it feels a lot more like home.
Apart from the fact it’s currently 33 degrees. Never mind melting, I think I’m dissolving.