Monday, August 27, 2007

Four Weeks Gone By

Four weeks ago we arrived in Beijing, which means only 152 weeks to go, but who’s counting?

Slowly, slowly, we’re settling in. Shay hates school. Hates it. The teachers are too mean, the work is too hard, the days are too long, the friends are too few. We’re hoping once he finds a good friend in his class, some of these objections will fly out the window. The elementary school counselors, who hold monthly meetings to educate parents, inform us that it takes 6-12 weeks before the average kid begins to feel at home here. So I suppose this is normal.

Aidan, meanwhile, desperately wants to go to school. This morning there were even more kids than usual at the bus stops, as the rest of the schools started this week, including the pre-schools. So he saw several of his friends in their school uniforms. Not good. But I explained to him that A.) he’ll have to rob a bank to pay for private school here, and B.) those kids in the cool uniforms? Not gonna watch Scooby Doo in the morning. That seemed to appease him somewhat.

Kyra has learned her first Chinese word. She wanders through the house muttering “shi shi, shi shi,” which means “thank you, thank you.” It’s unclear if she knows what it means, but hey, the kid’s got manners. Just don’t ask her to share her cookies.

Bart’s attitude is similar to Shay’s. Not about the teachers or friends. But if you ask him, he’ll tell you that the days are too long and the work is too hard. The difference between the two of them is that, no matter how frustrated Bart gets with his day, he rarely calls me a “stupidhead” when I tell him to go to bed.

And me? Well, I have my ayi, which feels quite luxurious. I’m working on a few story ideas, and I’m eager to make them work. I have a job interview at the Embassy this week for a job that I’d really be quite good at, but which I’m not sure I want (Because, as you might have guessed, the days would be too long and the work would be too hard. We’re a whiny family). So I keep hoping to sell something, anything, before they make a decision about whom to hire. Maybe then I can talk myself out of taking it and focus on being a “real” writer.

But for now, well, the day really has been too long, and so I’m off to bed.

Good night.

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Please. Write your own stuff.