Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And We're Off!

This time to Dalian, China.

Today, we begin the process of applying for visas. No telling how long it will take (we think the move will actually happen in early/mid December). In the meantime, my darling husband will have to commute there every week (10 hours each way).

I Just Need Some Sleep

When I woke up today I felt like my head was stapled to the bed and my eyelids had fused shut. It was all I could do to get Chase out of bed and send my husband off to work.

I was really looking forward to her first nap (usually around 10 a.m. she goes down for about an hour). Getting her to sleep lately has been really tough, due to her teeth. So I end up rocking her back and forth until she falls asleep.

9:45 a.m. - Just as I had hoped her eyelids started to flutter
9:50 a.m. - Five minutes of rocking, fighting to keep my eyes open
10 a.m. - Her eyes closed and I could feel myself drifting off

then... knock knock knock at the door

(Huh? What's that? I don't know anyone here. Who's knocking?)

Then it came again, but louder. Loud enough to jolt Chase out of her sleepy time train seat.

I picked her up gently and ran for the door, knowing full well that there is a window between the time she *sort of wakes up* and the time she *really wakes up.*

At the door stood five men. Four workers. And the building manager. All wanting to come in to our *not so clean apartment due to my husband getting home late and me not having time or energy to clean.* They had a massive vacuum and looked like they meant business. I wasn't sure what kind of business, or why they needed a vacuum, but it didn't seem appropriate to say, "can you come back in two hours?" Plus, by this time, Chase was wide awake. Coyly smiling at the workers.

And so they came in. Stayed for an hour. Cleaned our AC vents. Don't get me wrong, I am really happy to have improved air quality, but I was basically sleep walking at this point. I couldn't understand a word they were saying. Still not sure why (did I just need coffee or were they really slurring their words together?). And then they left. And Chase was wide awake.

So I decided it was time to go outside. If there's one thing to do with a tired baby, it's distract, distract, distract. So we went to the mall. Not because I like to shop. But because it is a large building, with AC, that offers a lot of stimulation (nothing like a little stimulation to wear out a baby. Chase needs more than most. Her stimulation tolerance level is pretty high at this point).

En route, I decided to take a look at the Singapore underground. I had heard it was clean - and it boy-oh-boy, it sure was. So I took some photos, which are actually pretty blurry, but then again, it's only fitting, as it helps illustrate how I saw the world today.

Apparently they've decided to generate revenue according to height, which struck me as odd - why not by age? Good thing we're leaving Singapore, otherwise we'd have to start paying for Chase next week!

I also stopped into the supermarket - and this weird promotion caught my attention. I mean why would you want to associate a large, plastic toe with breakfast cereal? Is it just me or is that really wacky?

And then I went to Marks & Spencers - for no good reason. I thought this was funny.

And then we headed back to the apartment. Chase was exhausted. It was time for sleep. But by now I was awake. Well, wired actually. I've found I hit a wall sometimes - I just get so tired I can't sleep.

Anyway, long story, short - the rest of the afternoon consisted of me trying to put Chase down for sleep, thinking it was a done deal, and then some interruption would wake her up. So no real nap today - for her or for me. Boo hoo.

A Tall Half-Caff, No Fat, Soy, Eggnog, Mocha, Latte, please...

Brian returned from Dalian, China, last night.

If all goes well, we will be packing our bags and heading to China in the next couple weeks.

Very exciting - not only to be moving - but the concept of staying somewhere for at least a year thrills me to no end.

So life is about to get even more interesting. Apparently very few people speak English there, so I'm sure my Swiss German, French and Italian will come in handy (not!).

I must say, I was happy when Brian reported that Starbucks has invested in Dalian - I trust Starbuck's ability to research and accurately identify emerging markets. It's also nice to know there's a place to go if I just get fed up with being in China and want to *pretend* like I'm in the US.

As an aside: I wonder what Chinese characters are used in translation ... I would use the characters for fame and fortune .

But enough about Starbucks, here is a picture of Dalian...

The Yellow Sea ...

Brian even found an apartment for us. We originally wanted an unfurnished apartment, but unfortunately it is not really an option at the moment. After viewing several apartments, Brian was overwhelmed by how China-rificly they were decorated. Understandably, the apartment below caught his attention immediately.

It comes with a pool and gym (no excuses now, it really is time to get back in shape) ...

And this is our guest bedroom - mmm, comfy - it's waiting for you ...

And in case I start missing the castles in Europe, I can just visit Dalian's castle ... Brian said it is supposed to be 100 years old, but he's pretty sure it was built yesterday.