Dare I say that I like it here?
I wouldn't say I LOVE it here ( although I am pretty sure if we were in Italy I'd claim LOVE), but it's really nothing like I had expected.
In a good way.
I know, I know..you're all thinking, "but Brie, what about all your stories of jaw dropping sightings? What about the bare butted kids? What about the backward ways?"
Sure. There are endless blog worthy happenings every single day. There are things that I see here in China that would never fly in America. I'm still a proud American. I am still thankful for our freedoms. That will never change.
But, I have found things about living in China that I like. I have found something here in China, that I didn't have in America. It's so easy as an American, living the suburban life--to be holed up in your house all day. As a stay at home mom, it was easy for me to go an antire day of not having contact with anyone from the time my husband left for work til the time he got home. I didn't always like that. Everyone in America leads such independent lives, that sometimes you can live next door to someone for years and never meet them. We were lucky to know our neighbors in the states, but I was the only stay at home mom I knew of, living on our street. It made for lonely afternoons.
Since we've moved into our apartment complex here (A++ to my ol man for doing his homework on this place!) I have gotten more social. I'm quiet by nature, but I really do like being around people and finding friends to go do things with. Luckily, NZ picked a home for us that is in a good part of the city, within walking distance to the necessities--and most of all, he picked a complex that has many expat families living within.
Within a week here, I made friends. This was a HUGE worry of mine--being in a foreign land, without a friend to call my own. Back home, I had my sister and sister-in-law and a handful of other friends I would do things with when the stars aligned and our schedules worked out to meet up.
Living here, the other women are ALL in the same boat as me. Husband leaves at 7:30a, then we've got all day to fill until they return home between 6:00 and 7:00p. It's been a fantastic experience for me in terms of finding support and guidance and really just camaraderie and people to do things with.
I liken living here to living in the college dorms. So many friends live within the confines of our complex, that we can call one another up and stop by if we're bored. If you have forgotten something at the market, just call a friend--one of us will have it and be happy to share. Mondays are "walk to Starbucks" mornings, Tuesdays are Bible Study for those who go, Wednesdays have just started as "Zumba afternoons" and Thursdays and Fridays are up in the air.
I'm starting to understand the truth behind the adage, " It takes a village..." because that truly is what I feel we've found here.
We're all in this together--and I couldn't be more thankful for the friendships we've made thus far.