Breezing through life and loving every moment…

Ni Hao! from Chengdu!

There should’ve been dozens of frantic posts before this one of the dilemma of moving, of deciding on a location, the initial shock of knowing we were going to China (more on that later…), the mad rush of packing, selling the house, finding a good home for the furry four-leggeds, and finally the emotional week of saying farewell. But there were so many things happening at one go that I barely had time for leisure, let alone sit down and write.

Anyway, we are here now…in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. It has been nearly three months now since we landed here in the People’s Republic of China, starting with a three-week (bored-out-of-my-brains) stay in a tiny hotel in Beijing for visa processing and thereafter hopping over to Chengdu. The city is an eclectic mix of old and new – with brilliant new skyscrapers flanked by tiny teahouses that look as if they were a blast from the past. It is worlds away from our little cozy town of Miri, yet being in Asia, there is that comfort of knowing we are not yet totally ‘out of place’. China was never in the plans…for all the horror stories we read and hear of food scandals, exploding watermelons and fake eggs and less than appealing social etiquette…but in the end we didn’t really have much of a choice. So we packed up our lives in Miri, hop onto the flight and hoped for the best.

Life in this forever foggy city is turning out better than expected. Probably because we expected the worst, things are not looking as bad. For starters, we are nestled on a lush fertile plain surrounded by mountains – so weather is almost always pleasantly cool, although can be a little foggy (which I don’t mind at all after years of living under the scorching tropical heat). There are flowers everywhere! In neat wooden planters alongside buildings, on flower beds by the road, hanging off lamp posts – so it is actually quite pretty. People are generally alright…although there is a need to avoid spit projectiles from the locals with the annoying habit of spitting EVERYWHERE! The better ones might do it into the bushes or bins. It was deeply disturbing initially but well, we are foreigners in someone else’s country. So, gotta respect or live with the culture, however irritating it may be. 

Food – now the interesting part – there is no end to the variety of different types of cuisine here. Sichuan food is hot and fiery, dripping with red chilli oil and can most likely give you a heart attack. But they can be quite tasty as well (perhaps generously seasoned with msg :P), although we had merely tried some typical stir fries and steered clear of the oily fiesta. And if Sichuan food is not your thing, there is no shortage of food from all over the world as well, from halal Middle Eastern cuisine to Thai, Japanese, Korean, American grill, Singaporean and word around town is there is even a Nyonya restaurant tucked somewhere in a corner of town. And if we crave for some Chinese food closer to home, there is no shortage of Cantonese style restaurants.

Our Madelyn is now 28 months old and attending a Chinese kindy after two months of ‘holiday’ at home with mommy. Initially I was a little apprehensive about putting her in a school in a ‘foreign’ country, but it turned out to be great. She is picking up Mandarin, learning new things everyday and feeling less homesick missing her old friends at her nursery in Miri (occasionally she still wakes up asking to see her friends and teachers in Miri). The best part is, the kindy is just right across the street from our apartment so I can walk her to and back from school everyday. 

Hubby is fully immersed into work here, while I am still basking in the life of a stay-at-home mother for another three months. It was the best decision I ever made to take this time off work to focus on the family and in addition to that, have some time off to myself. I love being able to ponder over what meals to prepare for the day, read a book by the window with a hot cup of tea, checking out the local area, meet friends for a chat or simply take a nap. I love being able to write again.

So this is the beginning to our new adventures in a new country. Signing off, for today….


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