(Note: this is an old post, that I started but never finished back in August. I'm finishing and posting it now just to document for ourselves these feelings and observations.)

So here we are, still in the fog of jetlag and culture adjustment. Still unpacking and settling, and still working hard to be extra consistent and extra loving with a boy who is tired and confused and testing boundaries, making sure the same rules apply.

It's hot here, and humid, but at least the skies are blue and the air con is working.

This is the third August we've arrived in Hong Kong--every August of Finn's life we've made this journey. And every time, certain things about Hong Kong are evident immediately upon exiting the plane--stifling humidity, crowds of people, surprising efficiency.

This year, though, is a little different that past ones. We're more connected, have deeper and richer friendships, have more to look forward to. But on the other hand, we weren't just traveling thus summer--we actually made a home. We had glimpses of what life would look like for us as a family in the States. There's a lot to like--more convenient grocery shopping, more kids' activities at the library, more grass, more fresh air, more local and organic food. But there's also a lot more time in the car, and a lot more house to clean and keep safe for Finn.

All that is to say that we have very mixed feelings right now. Mostly, though, we are committed--and I think ready--to soak up all that we love about Hong Kong for one more year, without just trying to recreate our American life (easier said than done.)

Many people have asked about Finn's adjustment, which is, of course, largely unseen to us. But we have witnessed a few signs that he knows what's happening, and is fine with it.
1. On one of our first mornings back, Finn said, "no grass, no ball," with which we sadly agreed, while also laughing at his observation. He responded to our laughing by just repeating it over and over, laughing himself like it was the biggest joke he'd heard in a long time: no grass, no ball.
2. Going to bed the other night he said to me, "this is a beautiful house." (which, in my opinion, it most certainly is not, at least not yet.)
3. He revised this sentiment with Matt later--"this is a house of boxes and trains." Most definitely true.

In the weeks since this post was originally written, we have greatly enjoyed many of the things we love about Hong Kong--cheap food (there is nothing like a cold Vietnamese noodle salad with roasted pork on top and a fresh lime soda on a hot day, unless it is a some cold Japanese udon noodles with shrimp and vegetable tempura), hanging out in the heavily air-conditioned malls (you'd love it too if you were here), going to the beach, going to our church, great public transportation, seeing our friends.

And we've remembered some of the nuisances of Hong Kong life too, like the amount of walking involved in daily life (which Matt loves, helping him to shed those Vermont-ice-cream-butter-and-cheese-pounds, but my pregnant self does not), the difficulties of navigating stairs and lifts with a stroller, the grocery stores that inevitably have almost everything you need but not quite.

We've discovered some new loves--bubble tea and frozen yogurt shops have sprung up on literally every corner since we've been gone. And while I'm still not into the pearl-jelly-in-my-drink thing, Matt has gone native and truly craves the stuff. (I think yesterday's beverage was a Golden Ovaltine with pearl jelly and cornflakes--the cornflakes thrown in because Finn is so cute. There are some aspects of his taste-bud development for which I will take no blame credit.) On the other hand, I have absolutely no problem with the frozen yogurt shops, except that they all offer non-fat frozen yogurt. Come on people, where's the love?

I feel I should apologize for this word-heavy, no-pictures post after months of very sporadic posting. But as much as I truly have missed writing more often, my need for sleep has won out, over and over again. But now I'm feeling a need to document a little more about this time, knowing it won't last. Future updates coming about our new home (yes, another new address), books I've been reading, projects I've finished, thoughts I've had: the usual random assortment.

blessings to you all ...

1 comment:

ptreesha said...

Glad to hear from you again. I will respond to your facebook message as well regarding my new job. It's fascinating and going very well.