There are definitely things we miss from home, but all in all, China has been treating us well so far. We haven't found everything we WANT, but we do find most things that we NEED or things that will suffice for the time being.
So what do we miss?
1- Our bed. More precisely, our memory foam mattress. Our apartment came with a
2- Our own vehicle. Hailing taxis is easy. Finding a taxi with working seatbelts to belt our son in the car is challenging. On average, we pass up 3-4 taxis each time we try to travel by taxi because of the lack of seatbelts. Also, if traveling during rush hour, and trying to get somewhere away from downtown, the taxi drivers will tell us they can't take us and pass us up! This is because they start their rides with a flat10RMB, and then charge additional for mileage. So they make more money doing a lot of short rides and collecting 10 RMB for 4 rides than they do if they take us somewhere further and charge mileage plus the 10RMB. It's ridiculously maddening when we finally find a taxi with seatbelts, get in, tell the driver where we want to go, and he won't take us there.
We usually have a driver during the week, which is nice because he helps me load the carseat and stroller into his car and will wait for me to do my errands. In fact, the other day, he took me and some of the girls out to lunch and literally gave us door to door service. But, there is nothing like being able to jump in your own car and head out to your destination. I miss the freedom of being able to go anywhere, anytime, with very little effort.
3- Cottage Cheese. I'm a cottage cheese fiend. Can not find it ANYWHERE here. I think I'm going to have withdrawls.
4- Ocean Breezes. Considering it's over 90 degrees and 90% humidity most days, I'd kill for a one gust of clean ocean air.
5- Target. Need I say more? Hey American friends, did you know that we're spoiled by having a one stop shop at our disposal? Uhm, yeah. We are. Just so you know. I've always loved Target, but I am quite certain it really is a shopper's paradise. I have dreams about being able to go to ONE store and find EVERYTHING I need and want. One day we shall be re-united, and what a glorious day that will be.
6- Rhineland Deli. Our Saturday sandwich joint. Oh-em-gee, we miss those decadent sandwiches piled high with deli meats, fresh produce ( mmm, avocado!) and cheese. Somehow, our hormel ham and american cheese sandwiches that we can make here just don't compare.
7- Surfing. I catch NZ watching youtube videos and checking surfline in the mornings. I think his boards will make the trip over here next time we go home. There are some fantastic surf destinations in Indonesia, which we are a hop skip and a vacation away from. It's hard to take the beach away from a boy born with sand between his toes.
8- Sewing & Baking. I swear that getting pinterest access here is a cruel joke someone is playing on me. I can pin my little heart out, only to realize that I have no way of making such projects. I have yet to find any retail fabric shops, and only one sewing machine ( at IKEA). Until I find fabric here, I don't see the point in buying a machine, and really, I'd prefer a Singer or Janome machine if I can be picky here. Baking is pretty hard to do with a countertop toaster oven, although it is possible. Just difficult. I successfully burnt a batch of flourless peanut butter cookies in the oven's maiden voyage a few weeks ago. I'm building up my confidence to give that celcius thermostat another go. One of these days I will bake the most beautiful 6 cookies this side of Wuxi New District.
Other than those silly things we miss, it's been good here. I'm enjoying exploring shopping areas with new friends; Sal is enjoying playing with other babies, and feeding the koi with his dad;and Nick is enjoying evenings out finding good sushi and burger joints with the fellas.