I’m not really one for “resolutions” in the traditional sense. Mostly because I want to feel good about myself come this time next year. However, I do think reflection and self-evaluation are important and making adjustments where necessary equally so. This year, I have decided to back out of a few corners I’ve felt myself pushed into. Living in China is extremely challenging and sometimes leads you (ok, me) to moments resembling that of an adult temper tantrum.

Upon returning to our circumstance with Shanghai, I’ve decided I’m not living in misery and/or frustration any longer. I’m taking charge and making changes to make our life easier and more manageable here.

After my first attempt with the dryer in 2014, the fuse blew out roughly 7 times in 12 minutes. This is nothing new or different from 2013. However, this year, I decided it was time to let the landlord know her dryer from 1947 has passed its prime in life and will need to be replaced by a younger, more attractive model. She agreed and a new dryer is en route….Thank God. Seriously. I thanked Him.


Next on the list is the timing with the Ayi. Our scheduling is just not working and I’ve wanted to discuss the issue with her showing up several hours late for quite some time. Additionally, why I agreed to have her come on Saturdays is beyond me. It’s really not conducive to our schedule and we are constantly planning around if and when she shows up. I can deal with her being late but I’d rather it was on my time and not my time with hubs. This conversation is in process…after spending 30 minutes I’ll never get back translating English to Mandarin and vice versa via text, I only managed to get her to come a little earlier this Saturday. Sigh.

Half check.

Finally, billlllllls. I’ve been spoiled in my prior life with online bill pay and I’d even settle for the good ole checkbook and stamp at this point. It’s hit or miss as to whether you receive your bills in a timely fashion to pay them at the local All Days or Family Mart. Sometimes, they will take your payment and life will move on. Or, you’ll be a day late and they can’t collect your late fee which is equal to roughly $0.28. Then you’re in a jam because you have no idea where to pay your bill or if they will take your cash ( see what I mean here #6). I’ve decided to limit my frustration on this issue once and for all. While I would like to just not pay my bills and let them sit and accrue (take that PRC!), I realize I’m way too responsible to behave this way (damn you adulthood). So, I picked up the crumpled bill (see notes on adult temper tantrum above) I failed to/couldn’t pay prior to Christmas & in the nicest way I could manage between my makeshift Mandarin and translation app, I asked my driver for help. Thankfully, he is kind and has no problem helping.


I feel 2014 is moving in the right direction for us and can only hope the momentum continues. Here’s to a better relationship with the PRC in 2014 🙂


5 thoughts on “reflections

  1. I feel much the same about 2014. While I’m hoping for stability, I’m also praying for growth….growth in myself and making our home a home. I must have missed the post, but what is an Ayi?

    • Good luck to you. I think last year flushed out a lot of challenges so hopefully for both of us this year will be about thriving and enjoying our new lives a little more. By the way, an ayi is what the housekeeper/maid is called 🙂

  2. Great post! I may steal your thoughts on reflections vs resolutions. As a fellow expat (stuck with an equally frustrating language barrier), I too would like to embrace and not hate the experiences I have in Japan in 2014. High five to you for tackling some problems right off the bat and keeping your head up! 2014 is going to be a great year!

    • Good Luck to you as well – we ❤ love ❤ Japan! I had many challenges and frustrations there too…lol…but it really is such a beautiful ( and clean) place to live. We miss the food the most!

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