huzhou, less food-related, Shanghai

The Bird of Time Has But a Little Way to Fly

04.27.10 | 10 Comments

If you’ve studied your Plate of Wander history, you know that Huzhou has not been the easiest place to live. I’ve known it was time to leave for quite a few months now. And now that the school year is about 6 weeks away from ending, my official clock is counting down.

z_hvtc mirror

Though Huzhou has certainly been good to me, it is not an ideal place to live for a young single American girl. Aside from eating, drinking tea, playing majiang, and going to KTV there’s not much to do. There’s no live music, no movie theater, not one museum. Heck, there is no mozzarella.


I have a tendency to worry far more than necessary, and when you combine a job hunt, writing additional essays as the next stage of the Foreign Service exam, familiar lesson planning anxiety, and anxiety anyway, well, you’ve got a tall foreign pot of worry fretting out her curls.

z_bus dream

My fretting should have eased when I found a new job at the end of last month. I signed a contract for next school year with a company that operates out of high schools in big cities around China. The program prepares high school students for application and acceptance to universities abroad in Britain, Australia, and the US. In the interview, they asked me to describe my ideal teaching experience, and I unknowingly described their school almost to a T.

z_bus mirror

I told them I wanted to be in Shanghai or Beijing. When pressed for a preference, I said Beijing without much forethought. But after my flurry of Foreign Service essays, geographical worry resurfaced: my grandparents, Nana and Papa, are planning to be in China in August. They planned to be in Shanghai at the end of August and beginning of September, just when I would be starting school in Beijing. Not sure if our dates in Beijing would line up, I begged my new employer to switch me to Shanghai so that I could be absolutely certain that I would not miss Nana and Papa Do China: Redux. The last time they were in China I was a matter of weeks old. I think it has changed since 1986.

z_bottle opener

This week, my future employer very kindly acquiesced to my request. I enjoy Shanghai’s (expensive) charms, so I’m perfectly content to move there—they not only have mozzarella, they have Tex-Mex.

z_cantina agave

Unfortunately, some of my friends are moving away just as I move in, but I’m hoping that as I adjust to the city life, I’ll meet some new friends. What is really important to me is to spend that time with Nana and Papa. I had the extreme good fortune of growing up 10 minutes from them. Being separated by a whole planet isn’t easy.

So that is my announcement: over the summer, Plate of Wander will, barring any strange turn of events, move to Shanghai over the summer.


That means it’s time to start worrying about a moving company and where I’m going to live/keep my stuff before I can move in to my new apartment. Stay tuned for Plate of Wander: Vagabond Summer.
I’m a little scared, I’ll admit. But I guess if I can move myself across the Pacific all alone, I can move 170 kilometers alone too.

But I’ll still let my dad do my taxes.


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