Tonight I developed a cough. Is there such thing as a stress cough? Maybe my body is pre-emptively preparing for the pollution.
This move is going to be slow torture. Tomorrow the international shipment goes out. On Monday, the rest of our stuff gets packed up and on Tuesday it gets shipped to storage. On Wednesday we fly to California to spend a last few days with friends and on Saturday we fly to China. See, slow torture? We may as well be on the slow boat.
But we don't arrive until Sunday because of that great time vacuum, the International Date Line. And that's about as far as my brain will let me go right now. In an attempt to calm me down, my brain says we should only think about how we get there, not about what happens after that.
Sorting and stacking
Here's what it looks like when you try to determine which things you cannot possibly live without and pile them in a corner and wait for some dudes to show up and put them in a shipping crate and send them to China where some bureaucrat will have to approve your application to become a resident of a Chinese city and another bureaucrat will tell you whether you can import your shit into his country now that you're a resident.
Filling out forms
The funniest form we've had to fill out thus far was one for the shipping company. "l certify that this cargo does not contain any unauthorized explosives, incendiaries, individuals, or other destructive substances or items." Nope, no individuals in this pile.
Taking some Chinese lessons
We've been preparing for this move for two years now and have used just about every resource possible to learn the language: college classes, the local Chinese school for kids, private classes, the Internet, and one-on-one tutoring. The big final exam is coming when we land in China.
Several of the Chinese employees of my husband's company have been here in Arizona training for a few months. Some of their wives have graciously been meeting with a few of the expat wives to help us with our Chinese. It has been loads of fun.
I met with them for the last time this week and promised to get a white board for my apartment so that we could continue meeting once we all manage to get to China. It's gonna need to be a big white board.
Tomorrow night I go for my final private class and the kids take their final class on Saturday. Chinese is such a mofo of a language that after two years of work we are still underprepared.