We are finally in our new home! We moved into Seasons Villas on the 27th and have been very busy trying to get settled. The townhouse has 2 floors plus a rooftop patio. The first floor is the living room, dining room and small kitchen. The second floor has two bedrooms, bathrooms and office.
-Our dining room table arrived last night - we made our first real dinner - tacos!!
-Found reasonably priced and good wine from Australia and New Zealand - important!
-Found the City Shop nearby - really convenient for imported food and all other products, but yes - a little more costly than back home, but they will also deliver.
-Girls love their school, and have really taken to their Mandarin classes. For the first time, Emily likes PE class.
-Over-suds the dishwasher, water and bubbles all over the floor - how was I supposed to know the dishwasher soap I bought was concentrated
-Silverware drawer in the kitchen would not pull out, kept catching on the oven knobs. Had the management office come out, and they agreed that it was a problem. The next day they sent out a repairman. He pushed the oven further in an inch and now the drawer opens fine. Doh.
-Most of the manuals that came with all our appliances are in Chinese.
Ok - here are my current observations living in Shanghai. The country is in a time similar to the US in the 40's, lots of industrial growth and a clear division between the super rich and the worker class. The worker class, or migrants are uneducated, and perform all of the manual labor. They are from the villages and countryside, and make up probably 90% of the people in the country. In Shanghai, there is also a visible middle class - shop keepers, office workers, government employees. They are young and always in a hurry. These are the children of the migrants. The super rich are all about fashion, designer labels, anything that is status oriented. But they may not be any more educated than the migrants - they may have gotten lucky, or are connected by family to wealth. But there is a pride that people have living in Shanghai - to them, they are at the center of the Asia.
There is construction everywhere, huge skyscrapers as well as home remodeling. There is also a lot of construction debris everywhere. I find bits of cement, plastic, bathroom tile, coil etc, in flower beds and landscaping. I think the dirt from the construction is repurposed for soil. This may be why some chemicals leech into the ground and foods can become tainted.
Things we saw this week:
-The only graffiti I've seen since moving here - first thing I thought was "must have been done by a non-chinese person"
-Bunch of massage workers (legit) breaking into a flash mob and dancing to music. Getting excited about the day ahead
-Family riding a single motorcycle - the father driving, mother riding behind him holding onto her infant with one arm
-Heard a loud, wet, spit-hocking sound from behind me, turned, saw ancient looking old lady with cane