Sunday, June 17, 2012

THE GREAT WALL of CHINA

Great Wall of China
An amazing site, an amazing feat and quite spectacular.

However this week I hit my own "wall". Not as amazing or spectacular but a wall none the less.

Nine weeks I've been here now, and I think the honeymoon phase has just worn off. Suddenly it hits you. This is for real, not a long holiday. Everyday realities hit you.

Don't get me wrong I still love Shanghai, but all the little problems that have occurred, all the problems with language and everyday tasks suddenly feel overwhelming and a feeling of "hitting the wall" hits you!

I think with my own furniture arriving, and the place now feeling just like home, instead of making me feel more at home has, momentarily, just made me realise how far away from home I actually am.

Plus the last two weeks have been so hot and humid, just drains your energy. This happened at a time when I was busy opening boxes and trying to make a home here. I think I probably just overdid things and the energy has just drained away.

Home in Shanghai
So over the weekend Shanghai wasn't feeling so great. The humidity was bothering me, I was really grumpy and felt sure no one understood me. The tears were never far away, the slightest thing started me off. Poor hubby probably thought I was heading home. But I have to add he too seemed to have hit the same wall. He's been working very hard, he has a lot to do, and at the same time he is very conscious of me being at home without real support. So he doesn't work late, and tries very hard to keep me happy. 

But here I am Monday morning, the rain is pouring down, which immediately makes me feel closer to home, lol. It is still sticky but I'm hoping the rain will help. I am off to "Margarita Monday" organised by a friend, already feeling cheerier. Tomorrow I have book group and on Thursday I am going to Shanghai's Ladies Day at Ascot lunch, hat at the ready.

So you see last week was just a blip. I don't usually moan publicly, but I know some first time ex pats follow this page and I just want them to know that this is a natural bump. My advice is to check out for a couple of days to re- charge the batteries. Do what you want and if that is nothing, then that is what you should do. If there are tears then just let go, get it all out of your system, shout, scream do whatever it takes, but most of all recognise it for what it is, a blip. Things will get better.

So life as an ex pat is great, most of the time, but we are far away from friends and families, and that is the hardest bit. Sometimes you long for the familiarity of Sainsbury's, Boots and your local restaurants where everything is easy instead of always facing challenges. But funnily enough when I am living at home I almost miss the challenges, life seems so easy. Still we do have M&S, several of them, so for a bit of the feeling of home I can head off there.

So a new week, positive energy has returned and life goes on. Also my daughter and husband arrive in two weeks for a holiday and I am so looking forward to showing them around a city I have come to call home, for the time being, and a city which I love, most of the time. Can't wait to see them.


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