... to make me feel like I have a handle on things? Well, I really am hearing from just about everyone in Shanghai, and that's bound to make a body feel good. I now have two staff email buddies (Wendy of language arts and Steve of orchestra), I have heard from the principal of the Upper School (Roger) and our Head of School (Michael), and today I got a note from our IT guy (Chris). Of course, Ms. Kasono (Jeff's secretary) continues to drop little helpful notes every now and then. The last one was the contact information for a shipping company that has a relationship with SCIS, so that makes me think that I might not have to squeeze my entire life into four suitcases (well, three, because I have to carry on my violin). I'm verifying that point with Ms. Kasono before I ship anything, though.
One of the really nice things I heard from Wendy has to do with our first week in Shanghai. A school administrator will pick us up at the airport and take us to our apartment, which will have a fruit basket (ooh, like a tropical vacation!) and some basic food supplies. During the week, we will take guided trips to the bank, the grocery (the big one is called Carrefour), and a big shopping trip to Ikea, where we will buy everything not already provided in our apartment (or maybe shipped ahead). Neither Joe nor I have been to Ikea, so we are a little uncertain about that part, but one of our friends explained how the store works and I think we can do some advance planning through the Ikea website (assuming, of course, that whatever we see on the website is available in China and not just made there).
We didn't do much for our Chinese adventure this week, because we were getting our house water leak repaired, and that meant construction all week and painting all weekend (and into next week as well). I have a nice string tie folder with all our SCIS documentation and anything else I think will be useful, and at this point I couldn't tell you where it is, which is somewhat unnerving since our passports are in there. I have a general idea, so I hope I find it before Joe does so I can put it someplace familiar. I did manage to create a beaded watchband from some of my copper beads, so my Arizona jewelry collection has begun, and I will post a picture if I ever figure out how. If the furniture gets back to normal, I'll try starting my Arizona necklace, having created a general design.
We are still working on the two big issues: renting the house and finding a home for Jack. We have two or three potential groups to rent the house, so we just need to get our lease hammered out and find the best match. One group is four music majors from the university, another is a family from up our street, and a third is a mom and daughter to whom we haven't actually spoken, but heard about from a construction guy who knows our construction guy. I am going to miss the haphazard yet efficient social networking of the small town!