Thus far, its been interesting being back. Our house was finally vacated the day after we arrived and we were able to go in and see how its doing. There is much cleaning to be done...but the disappointing part of it all was the state in which the appliances were left. The dishwasher unworkable...the range door glass broken...the 4 yr old microwave oven stained yellow inside with grease. sigh.
So, what initially was hoping to be a somewhat smooth move in, had turned into a shopping adventure this week for appliances. And, for anyone that has shopped for this sort of stuff before, you can go super cheap and have stuff that doesn't perform as you wish...or you can go super expensive and have stuff that will last a lifetime. Our challenge is to go somewhere in between. With a tai-tai that loves to cook...its only fair to kit out her 'office' with the latest and greatest in equipment...while also trying to maintain some sort of sanity in budget. For instance...a stove-top range varies in price from $699 to $5500. Pulling a budget number out of my butt, I told her $1500...well, its looking like it might be slightly over that, given what we have seen. Man...I wish our tenants would gave taken care of our stuff.
Yesterday, though, was the big day for the kid...13 yrs old. He had become a 'teenager'...oh dear. We spent the day doing some of the things he wanted to do. Firstly, shopping for one last gift for him...then having lunch at Burger King (something he has wanted for a long time as we didn't have them in China). We then headed to our house and put our butts into our swimming pool...for the first time. Expat son, having swam in many pools while on holiday in Asia, got his shorts on, walked to the edge and jumped in for a cannonball...only to come up SCREAMING. Errr...the water is a little colder here. Topping off the day with a massive birthday meal at Jake's.
Today is our first 'do nothing' day since arriving...we're going to sort of take it easy. Tai-tai needs to do some shopping and we'll catch up on laundry and just take it easy today, I think. Hopefully, this is what 'getting settled' is about.