I have heard you have good days and bad days, highs and lows when relocating. It is like any cycle of change but in another country where you don’t understand the street signs or language and there is no Taco Bell. At the ex-pat show I heard it referred to as having Shang-Highs and Shang-Lows.
So far, I have been pretty good. I miss Todd and the girls. Skype is wonderful to be able to talk to friends and family. I can find my way to work. Work is going well, everyone is great there, it is exciting to be a part of this rapidly expanding and growth market of the company.
However, it has not been all easy peasy. There are challenges and I try to look at them through rose-colored glasses. Aware of the highs and lows, I am not going to let it get me down, but it is hard… Looking for apartments, I have gotten lost, wandered around the city for hours trying to find my way back. I could have taken a cab or the metro to get back, but that would be easy, I needed to learn the street names, directions, which way to go, so I made myself wander around lost, at night (it is very safe here). My transition with the organization has not been seamless, procedures and policies are different, I am trying to finish up a statistics course for school and not take it again, I can’t cross the street easily, I still haven’t found an apartment I like and my time in the hotel is ticking away. I am also tired of Chinese food.
I was walking into work (I enjoy walking to work) I was grumbling to myself about all this craziness going on. I am stopped at a crosswalk…..this Chinese man in his truck is now staring at me, let me just add him (any others) staring at me to my list of everything else that is going on.
I looked at him and smiled. No idea why, I think instinct, I mean I could have flipped him the bird but I am sure it doesn’t mean the same here or smile at him. I smiled. This older man gave me back the biggest smile. I looked over at him again and he was still beaming at me. It made my day, the universal language of a smile. It is all going to work out. I came into the office, my transfer challenges were worked out. I decided I want an apartment with matching furniture… that it is OK that I want that, I asked around and got the name of some additional agents to help me find what I am looking for, overall a good day. When I start having a Shang-low, I am going to think of that man in the truck and just smile. Smile therapy. My parents will be pleased for all that money spent on braces! Thanks Mom & Dad, I will be showing them off here in China.