Yes, it's true, dear reader, that you probably expect updates from me more frequently than, say, once a month. And I'm trying, truly I am. But here's the deal. If you've been paying attention, you'll know by now that I have four kids. Sometimes, just sometimes, they need my attention. And then there's that pesky husband: he gets annoyed if I'm on the computer all night instead of chatting with him when he gets home about how simply lovely my day was. Also, two of my kids are sick, as am I (it's coal burnin' season in Beijing; expect us to be sick til spring). So I'm spending oodles of time driving back and forth to the Embassy to visit the doctors there, who scratch their heads in befuddlement at the vast list of symptoms I put forth for their consideration. And I have several friends who currently need talking down from ledges, so there's that.
See? I have all kinds of excuses, people. But I promise I'll be back with something substantial soon. Because, you know, my sons are back in school this week, and since I haven't lifted a finger to work toward my New Year's resolutions yet, well, why start now? There's always next year. That buys me lots of free time.
I'll leave you with one observation and one link.
Observation: I've been here too long. Here in Beijing, when someone hands you something, be it a business card or change at the grocery store, they do it with two hands. Never one. This used to bug me, especially when I was trying to hand over money for my latte and I was also holding car keys, a phone and a wallet. How could I possibly free up two hands to fork over my money? And why should they care? But on our recent trip to Thailand, I was quite startled to find myself getting offended when shop clerks tossed me my change with one hand. How rude! How boorish! How soon can I return to the States and straighten out this confusion?
Second, a link: In last month's beijingkids Magazine, I wrote an article titled "Expat Economics," about how expats can weather this financial storm. You can read it here, though you'll note that their tech person accidentally titled the article "Expat Economies," which makes no sense. Gotta get that fixed. Anyway, go read the article. I hope you like it.
Me? I'm off to bed now.