Joel and I made our way to Shanghai on 23rd May, early in the morning. We took the 9am flight out. Joel was really good, waking up so early to get ready and go, and while we were in the airport, he was well-behaved and we managed to get some food in before we flew off. On the plane, he played games and also ate a bit of the food he was given. Not very nice food. So, by the time we arrived in the Pudong airport, he was starving. We made our way to Burger King and that was our first meal in China. Joel was so hungry he walloped everything down. From there, we took a taxi to JW Marriott Executive Apartments in Tomorrow Square. Hubby was not back from work yet but we managed to get into the apartment as he had left instructions with the reception. Joel and I had a good rest waiting for him to get back. In the evening, all 3 of us went for dinner and also bought supplies for cooking and other purposes.
The next 3 days, we went house-finding. We went to probably about 20 to 24 apartments in total during the 3 days. It was not easy trying to choose units that we liked. Joel and I went the first two days while hubby joined us the third day.
We could not make up our minds until much later and we finally chose an apartment in Xiang Mei Garden. It is a very cosy apartment which the owners were still staying in. We feel blessed that we were able to procure the apartment at the rental rate that we were aiming for.
We were also very blessed that the relocation agent we were assigned was a really nice lady, Ling. She's Singaporean and she understood my concerns. She brought me to various places to settle various things.
As for school, we had some problems. Joel went for the assessment and interview and we were eventually told he was not accepted by the school. I was devastated. My heart broke as I could not believe that Joel was being rejected for school. We had to make other arrangements. I actually went to see the teachers and asked for feedback so that we could understand why he was being rejected. Sigh. It was sad, but I understood.
While in Shanghai, I managed to cook a few meals for ourselves. Poor hubby had been eating out, so, getting some simple homecooked food was good for him. Easier for Joel too as he was choosy about food. I managed to find a local market as well as some supermarkets / minimarkets near the service apartment to buy supplies.
I also managed to meet up with Irene Jenkins, a friend's friend. We had a good meet up and she told me about her church which we will probably visit.
We also met up with Lay Ming a few times too, and most importantly, we met up with James, Sandy and Jaeriel. It was a fellowship which I really needed, especially after getting the news about Joel being rejected. I needed the time and company.
We left Shanghai on 6th June. The 2 weeks there was a fruitful period. Both Joel and I had a good time there, especially since he felt like an only child, with both his mum and dad's attentions on him only.
We came home to 2 very excited boys who had missed us a lot. The almost nightly skype sessions were just not sufficient. I had missed Jon and Jeremy. I was glad to be back with them.
My impressions on how we would live while in Shanghai?
- The housing would be wonderful, as the apartment is cosy and has everything we need.
- Going to school for the kids should be ok. Not much of a problem is expected.
- I am going to have to adjust to life as a homemaker, and also tutor to the boys.
- Many responsibilities will fall on my shoulders, to care for the boys and occupy their time.
- I will miss life in Msia a lot.