The first morning of living in my new apartment I decided that instead of worrying about unpacking I would take myself for an early morning walk up and down my street.
I was sitting in the front seat of a ‘moving’ van last weekend (moving to a new apartment in Shanghai) and I couldn’t help but feel amused at life in general.
The one plant I hadn’t killed (yet) rested on my lap and I continued to ponder how life will be for me without the ability to flush toilet paper.
I should add that I have no idea what the name was of the guy driving me. I met him hanging out the front of IKEA one day when he drove me home and made my bookcase. Names are not so important to me these days anyway, or words in general for that matter.
We arrived at my new place and the moving guy seemed quite stressed. As you might expect, I then felt a little stressed myself, but soon decided I was pretty helpless to fix anything anyway.
I met a lovely old lady who I said ‘ nihao’ to when i entered my lane house. We gestured to each other that I live upstairs and she is downstairs. At this point I felt annoyed at myself for stopping my Chinese over the last few months. I told her my name, but I can’t remember shit anymore, I may as well have just arrived. At least living here has the potential to give me some renewed motivation to learn.
The apartment rental guy was there with a helper waiting for me. I never said when I was coming so I don’t know how long they had hung around but either way he and his guy expected to help me move.
I was a bit like ‘hmm, what’s going on’ but soon changed to my tune to ‘oh fuck it its sweet stop wondering’. Next thing I know, I’ve left all my shit with this random helper guy on the sidewalk (I’m told he’s putting it in my apartment). Then the real estate guy, the driver and I all pile into the van for the second trip.
By the third trip the real estate has gone and the moving guy freaked out again. I couldn’t get hold of anyone though. Ignorance is not always bliss. I could tell it was because of all my shit – it was a lot, it surprised me too. I am told later that he said to my colleague ‘how does an expat have so much stuff’. Judgy judgy, if I want 3 gravy boats I’ll have 3 gravy boats. Haha!
Eventually (by eventually I mean a few minutes but it felt like forever) it was all sorted. As suspected I had more stuff than he expected and he needed to leave soon. We moved almost everything I had left at super speed. Some stuff got smashed and dented and some stuff was just too hard, so I’d worry about that another day I guess.
A few hours later, it was finally just me in my new pad and I was so happy to be where I was, despite the huge fucking mess around me.
I went to buy some milk and was blown away by all the great stuff near me… I moved across the city for the quaint feeling of an old apartment and the relaxed vibe of the French Concession (i.e. Pretty tree-lined streets) so I expected it to be good, but I was still excited. Just outside my entrance I found some local (but not too local) clothes shops, random antique shops, and even a nice local Chinese supermarket (this mean good stuff but at good prices as they are not selling horrifically priced imported goods).
I also found some nice western restaurants, tasty looking hole in the wall Chinese restaurants and a cool market. All that in a 10 minute walk.
So much to explore (and unpack!).
Japan came up like a whirlwind… I had done a few excited Pinterest ‘pins’ when I booked a few months ago but that’s about it. Luckily Sal was prepared.
I packed my bags, left a couple pouches of cat food out for the Ayie and said goodbye to Loz… Tokyo here we come!
It’s been a few months since the trip – I had taken so many photos and been wowed by so much that it became a little overwhelming!
I did however take a few simple reflections back to China with me after the trip… Here they are.
1. Embrace the ‘girly’ from time to time, even if it feels a little cheesy
2. It doesn’t hurt to be a little (a lot) more enthusiastic, it’s contagious
3. Buy some 3/4 callots stat! Um, maybe in a Western country though (cue seams splitting… haha okay not quite, but you get me..)
4. Beautiful materials and brushes make life better, get in on that
5. Drink more green tea (for fuck’s sake woman, you work for a tea company and live in China)
6. Time to ditch all the old make up and buy some fresh stuff… It will feel good! (Goodbye eyeshadow from high school)
Day one of Tokyo was a great big shop!I was exhausted by the time we left and could barely carry my bags but it was fun and it can only be good for growing bingo arms.
The highlight of my day was meeting Lena Dunham from Girls…. I’m a big fan of girls and just read her book ‘Not that kinda girl’ . Good spotting Sal.
I went and said hello and talked at her with verbal diarrhoea. She was nice and totally cool. I was a nerdy. I wish I had asked her something cool but hey I had something for Instagram lol
Cute oragami at the airport currency change counter (and for free) – bravo Japan, you’re living up to my expectations already. Kimono robes on the bed… oh hell yes! Cause things in Japan are just funnier! Best stationary shop ever and a surprise bit of star spotting.
Day two of Tokyo was right up my alley… No more Zara and Gap (I love you but come on I’m in Japan, gotta see some shit this was what I came for!).
Points to Sal and I for getting up at 3.30am to go the famous fish auctions… Only to arrive and find out they did it earlier for some reason… Oh well we took a few snaps (below) and headed back to bed (almost $100 on taxis later)!
The little town of Asakusa (below) was beautiful – clearly for tourists, but guess what I was a tourist and this is what I wanted to see!
These temple/shrine rituals are beautiful but honestly I have no idea why or what they are all about. I guess everyone just follows the crowd and you seem to be able to mimic the person before you… I go to so many temples and shrines these days I should learn a thing or two about them at some point.
Wow times goes fast, here I am back in Melbourne one year later. Well at least I was when I started writing this post…. but now it’s a few weeks later…
So much has changed and yet so little. Omg, how fucking deep am I right!
Imagine me like this… thinking very deeply.
So, blogging is back on…. Yep, I’m back – cue a roaring cheer… Hmm well maybe not, but I think the cleanliness of my apartment, the regularly of my blog posts and state of my eyebrows is the true relefection of how chaotic my life is. And so here I am about to smash out a million and one blog posts… Cause let’s face it if I didn’t blog it, it didn’t happen.
Please all rest assured, I waxed my eyebrows and they are back on track.
Okay, so now I will prepare to finish my Hangzhou and Japan blogs (of course I purchased a mac book air in Tokyo to help with my blogging motivation… So far it’s not worked out but I still have faith in this brilliant plan)!
But I’m off track… I was blogging about it’s been a year since i left to go live in China… blah blah blah. I used to really love reading the Sunday paper’s, I miss this a lot… especially teamed with Julie, her garden, her yummy muesli and the furry family.
Okay, in the spirit of honesty, I have to admit that I hate the paper part but boy do I love the supplements!!! So, I enjoyed my one sunday in Melbourne and allowed the ‘unbiast’ world of Australian media to clue me back in and see what I’ve been missing this last year.
Here is what I learnt.
Avocado toast – apparently it is not cool anymore…. What on earth? I mean, I thought it was just tasty and healthy… well screw you cool police, it’s gonna stay cool in Shanghai.
YUCCIE – what? I didn’t even know what this meant but I felt I should know this.. I read the article and I’m like whatever I don’t do all this crap…. Then i realise, oh hang on, I’m old now and so far removed from this next ‘generation’ and I am now the group judging the next generation. Do you remember Mrs Mangle from Neighbours, totally going to be me one day…. I can feel it coming.
When did i become old?
Okay everything i needed to say is said (which is kind of nothing), so I’m done…. I’m off to do a scuba dive in Koh Tao! Yay.