nihao, friends.

the power of yahoo answers is the worst thing in existence since crop tops. especially if you are wide-awake in colorado awaiting your upcoming transition to asia and start to doubt everything in life at 2:00am on another sleepless night.

will my cats die on an international flight? 

 – yes, thousands of animals die per year due to heart failure while facing unimaginable pressurization in the cargo area.

am i signing my death certificate if i fly on an asian airline?

– 2014 was the worst year for flying. the majority of planes were asian and yes, you will die. or disappear. 

is it possible to make new friends in your 30’s? i’m asking for a friend…

– no, you are old and lame. especially if you are married. 

once i go, will china ever let me out?

– once you are there, you will have to spend 20+ years making abercrombie and fitch booty shorts for a wage of $0.20 a day. after that, they will consider letting you return home after briefly exporting you to north korea for five short years of collecting rocks for the president’s private fossil collection.

you know, just a few important questions that i figure would be best answered by the logical and sound minds of people around the world. of course, tim interjected multiple times on behalf to tell me that i needed intervention.

seriously, bethany, stop looking at that. 

clearly, i am the most logical during rem sleep. luckily, with the morning light came the rationalization. i would realize two things: first, i really should have nyquil on hand. and secondly, those questions are the result of listening to others’ fears about the situation, allowing myself to believe them and thus freaking out in the middle of the night. it is incredible how the power of words can greatly affect how we think.

bethany, you have moved to asia before. bethany, you know that you can only those words with a grain of salt. bethany, if that person’s main source of information is fox news, then why are you even considering their concerns.

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“you can do this!” love, gin. 

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now, i am here in shanghai. [that is located in china for those of you who work at chase bank and had no idea where it was]

another one of my bucket list items is now checked off:

#20 Become a serious spandex-wearing cyclist 

#21 Go to 20 countries before my 30th birthday 

#22 Become a dog-mom 

for those of you who are extremely confused on what has happened the past three months of this blog’s life, here is a short synopsis. we were in san diego, road-tripped to colorado, flew to california, flew out of california to china. i was intentionally limited on-the-social-media-grid for a while there. mainly because tim and i needed to detox from chaos of working 90+ hours to moving our entire lives out out northern california to waiting for our visa paperwork that took six months. [it wasn’t until two days ago while talking with foreigners who affirmed that they too waited that long. but the award goes to a sweet south african girl who waited over a year for hers. and as my real estate agent has told us, we are lucky we even got our visa].

we needed to disconnect from the online world, reconnect with family and close friends and breathe.

now that we are here, it seemed that all of the work was effortless. it wasn’t. it was long, frustrating and stressful six months with a ton of “are we sure about this?” moments.

and then it was go-time. this past week we…

– got our paperwork in california

– got our visa rushed at the san francisco embassy

– flew out of lax that same night

– landed in guangzhou, slid through customs/inspection with the happy and healthy kitties [ha! take that stupid yahoo answers! no quarantine!]

– flew business class to shanghai on a pretty bumpy flight…i didn’t care, i had a recliner.

– got to our hotel and finally showered

– apartment-searched with our real estate agent: house hunters international style

– navigated the most simple yet ginormous metro system i have ever been on

– signed a contract for an extremely expensive yet super small apartment in the city center

– started and completed two-day orientation with our company

–  mandatory registered with the police station each time we moved accommodations (hotel to apartment)

– fought off jet lag [going west is not as bad as going east though!]

– got very invasive physical exams at the international hospital we did this yesterday. tim and i thought of it as chinese scavenger hunt “go to room 211. go to 201, etc”. we made a game of it by asking the most random questions to each passing doctor we saw.

tk: do i have a baby?

abdominal ultra-sound doctor: no, no no no, she laughs. 

needless to say, we got through the exam and all of the other moments with a much-needed laugh or drink. there is so much to do just to get to china and now so much to do just to stay here. i have never traveled to another country with so many stipulations on visas. we were told though that it is just as messy and complicated a process for the chinese to go to america. tit for tat. thus, i haven’t had a moments breath until now to write. i am looking forward to our slow days. the ones that i know are possible in an expat life. the type that allows us to work on personal projects and to wander our neighborhoods and learn the language. i assume that next week will be when life slows down a bit.  i hope.

for now, i will leave you with this –> the truth about the extremities i read on yahoo answers.

will my cats die on an international flight? 

– no, the cats were in a private temperature controlled, pressurized, quiet room outside of cargo. they were in their respective kennels with water and a big dinner beforehand. so basically, they had a first-class flight experience while we were in coach sitting next to a man that was very comfortable stealing our leg room. 

 i signing my death certificate if i fly on an asian airline?

– hmm, maybe. but china southern was pretty great flight and honestly, i think i am signing my death certificate everyday by walking across the streets in china. it is cray-cray. imagine los angeles traffic with vietnamese speeds and lack of driving laws.  

is it possible to make new friends in your 30’s? i’m asking for a friend…

– yes, especially as an expat. tim and i think we have already but it is too early to tell. i’ll keep you posted. we don’t want to scare them away. 

once i go, will china ever let me out?

– yes. of course. maybe. i hope.