My Sister is a Punk

Even from half a world away, Meghan is a brat.  She nominated me today for that ice bucket, ice water, ALS whatever you want to call it challenge that is going viral in the US.  Or she nominated me yesterday.  Or sometime (this whole being 12 hours ahead this is…weird).  I hadn’t even heard of this until I Skyped my parents this morning.  But I don’t know where to get ice around here (getting clean water is enough trouble) and with the amazing internet here (do you detect my sarcasm?), posting a video is certainly NOT going to happen.  I think I’ll just take a cold shower and call it “Challenge Completed.”  And when that happens, I’ll nominate Karen to take the challenge, effectively sending it back to that side of the world, where it belongs.

Other than being “challenged,” life here is pretty good.  My kids are adorable, the weather’s been decent, and–even in a city of 14 million–you can run into the same ex-pats over and over again.  On Tuesday, I’m going to leave work early and head in to have my visa interview (um…don’t really know what that will entail).  I had a medical exam about two weeks ago.  Alicia, another new teacher, and I were whisked away to the local hospital where I felt like we were on an assembly line.  We had X-rays, ultrasounds, blood samples, eye exams, etc.  It was all done very quickly and very efficiently as we moved from one line to another.  I was impressed as I had read horror stories from people moving to Shenzhen.  If the visa interview is anything like that, I’m not really worried about it.

I don’t want to write too much as I fear my VPN (I have got to find a new one) will kick me off at some point.  But life here is so…random…and I find that as long as I can roll with the punches, I end up in really neat situations with really amazing people.  Last night, I was with my DI (Director of Instruction) and his family sipping wine at an Italian Restaurant (really good, btw) listening to French music (La Vie en Rose) and, if I closed my eyes, I could have been in any city around the world.  There are times I have gotten slightly overwhelmed–setting up the classroom, unpacking and trying to set up a home, lesson planning for little kiddos–when I just have to remind myself to breathe, look around, and enjoy the fact that I am here, thousands of miles from anywhere I’ve ever known and, so far, having a fantastic time.

I will close with pictures of my apartment.  Please forgive any mess!  These were taken when I was just moving in, at night, with a fish-eye camera lens…

The view from my front door.

View from Front Door


Turn right to see the living room/batcave.Living Room

Through the living room is an enclosed balcony.
Through the living room is the enclosed balcony

Turn left inside the front door to see the dining room…
Dining Room

Walk through to the kitchen…
Through the dining area is the kitchen

Then out to the outdoor balcony with the washing machine.Balcony with Washer

Going straight when you get in my front door leads you to a hallway…Hallway

with a guest bath, Guest Bath

a guest room with a large bedGuest Room 1

(and plenty of storage),
Guest Room 1

and a guest room with a small bedGuest Room 2

which is currently being used to hold my suitcases.Guest Room 2

The master bedroom has school spirit.  Rock on, William and Mary!Tribe Pride

This is the master bath, complete with my time machine bathtub.  You step inside and it takes back to the year Blade Runner took place in.  Wait, what?  That’s still in the future?  Whatever.  Still true.  And still creepy.  I can’t believe that movie predicted flying cars but had Harrison Ford making calls on a pay phone.  You fail, Hollywood.This is my time machine bathtub.  You step inside and you are transported to whatever year Blade Runner took place in.  What?  That's still in the future?  Still true.  And creepy.  I can't believe that movie predicted flying cars, but still had Harrison Ford using a pay phone.  You failed, Hollywood.

My thought when I saw this room?  “And Australia’s all like…”
Master Bath

Master bedroom…
complete with crazy curtains that Julie Andrews or Scarlet O’Hara could have a field day with…

Master Bedroom

Master bedroom…no more quips

Master Bedroom



  1. Anne · August 26, 2014

    Hi Katie I’m really happy to hear how well you’re doing. Love the apartment and the fish eye camera look. Looks like you have plenty of room. It’s wonderful to have an experience like you’re having. Take the time to enjoy the whole of it, something you’ll never forget. Are there expats living there because of jobs, transfers, excitement or just because they like the country? Love you honey, Love, Grandmom

  2. Katie · August 27, 2014

    Chengdu seems to have a relatively small expat community. But expats are living here primarily for work. China’s a bit tough for visas, but a lot of people working here ended up marrying someone Chinese and now can stay as long as they’d like. There are a couple things people complain about in Chengdu: the pollution, the humidity, and the traffic. Otherwise, life here is pretty nice. Prices are low, people are kind, and there is so much to experience!

  3. Karen · August 27, 2014

    You know another Karen, right?

    • Katie · August 28, 2014

      Tag. You’re it! 🙂

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