Sunday, January 31, 2010

We're BACK

posted by Alan
click on the pictures to see them full sized

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday MLK and soon to be Happy Chinese New Year! That's alot of holidays since we've last posted. Had an awesome visit home to NYC for the holidays and it really does seem like a new chapter is beginning here in Shanghai. It feels like the first 8 months were an orientation period. It took time to adjust to a new culture and language, to find the rhythm of the city and find our way around. Now that we've done all of that, I'm personally excited to really dig in and start to make an impact in what is slowly starting to feel like our city.

It was really really good to see everyone at home. Three weeks was just about enough time to spend catching up with people and doing some of the things that we missed:
- Kids getting bigger, but are still the same kids.
- Family Christmas dinner with the same insane amount of food.
- Since when were there so many Five Guys' Burger chains everywhere?
- Avatar in IMAX 3D. Thank goodness we saw it at home because it's a phenomenon in China and impossible to get tix.
- CEMCQ Winter Retreat.
- The bitter cold NYC winter makes Shanghai's winter much easier to bear.
- Sour Patch Kids, Amy Ruth's, Hot Dogs, NYC Pizza, parents home cooking, Taco Bell, I could go on....
- ...I will, White Castle, Twizzlers, gyros, big fat STEAKS. Just a list of what not to expect if you come visit.
- Did u know that the internet is blazing fast in the US?

Yep, a great trip home. In many ways, it felt like we never left, which was very comforting. Home will always be home. But after three weeks, we were ready to get back. We're here for a reason and it was time to get back to that. We didn't like leaving, but we came back recharged and refreshed. With the winter about to break, the World Expo and the World Cup a few months away and Chinese New Year just around the corner, this is an exciting place to be. As big as this world is, we have the capacity to appreciate all of it. That's a blessing if I ever heard one.

More frequent updates to come!!!

Random pictures from the past month:
Actual video played at Shanghai Int'l Airport (click on it and see what it says); "Avatarrrr"

Daisy makin Mochi; Henry and Grace...soon to be in Shanghai?

Christmas dinner with the cousins; Amy Ruth's soul food in Harlem