I'm not yet certain if I can say, for SURE, that I'm happy I made the move. There's a lot less ruckus, which is nice, but the office atmosphere is a bit stark and everyone's a real grown-up here, which harshes my doofus buzz to the max. I like that I get to work with my best friend (my current boss) and our awesome, insanely intelligent co-workers. I don't like that starting next week I'm going to have to be running all over the city doing tutorials. I also don't like that our workday starts at 9:30 and ends at 6:30, or that my weekends are now Thursdays and Fridays because we work all day every Saturday and Sunday. Then again, there ARE other perks, such as...
- It's like I live in a fucking 5-star hotel.
I moved out of the ZhongXue dorms to an amazing downtown apartment last month. The place is 200 square meters, incredibly conveniently located, and beautifully maintained. I have two roommates, both of whom are, as far as roommates go, wholly acceptable. My bedroom has a king-sized bed and a private bathroom with a big ol' bathtub. The icing on the cake, however, is that we have an ayi (maid) come 5 days a week. If you dind't catch that, let me reiterate: I HAVE A MAID CLEAN MY HOUSE FIVE DAYS A WEEK. I don't have to do SHIT as far as domestic duties are concerned. No dishes, no laundry, no sweeping, no scrubbing...When I come home, my bed is made and the kitchen is clean and the bathtub is freshly scrubbed. I realized how spoiled I'd (already) gotten when, after my first week there, I got really angry when I arrived home to find my laundry hamper still full. Then I laughed, because I have a maid cleaning my house five days a week.
My beloved older little brother has moved to Shanghai! He lives with a couple of my good friends in an even MORE lovely, MORE centrally located apartment on Huaihai Lu. He's doing well and has just found a job at an international kindergarten. Overally, it's just badass to have family here to hang out and play tennis with.
It's summertime in Shanghers and, since I always used to go back to the States during this time, it's also my very first time experiencing day after day 95 + degree/100% humidity city weather. Overall assessment: Fuck. At least in the winter you get to put a couple of layers of clothing between you and the universe, but the challenge these days is to find clothes that walk the thin line between preventing me from drowning in a puddle of my own face sweat and being acceptable enough to please conservative parents. Stepping outside is like walking into a sauna, except the sauna is a concrete box full of garbage.
This summer, I've become totally obsessed with both 30 Rock (I AM Liz Lemon, for better or worse) and C.S.I., with which I have a long-standing love affair. But the main thing I'd like to mention here is the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated. It's basically his report and opinions on a personal research project to investigate anything involving the subject of animal-based food production. Holy shit. All I can say is read it and make up your own mind on how to best go about living as an ethical omnivore (or even an ovo- and/or lacto-vegetarian) because damn, it's not easy. Wow.
Last, but not least, I've shrunk significantly. Since February, I've lost a total of 23-25 pounds depending on where I am on any given morning. My goal is to get it down to a consistent 25 pounds and then maintain this until about October, after which I want to lose another 15-25 pounds, depending on where I feel happiest. As I was losing the weight, I was hungry pretty much constantly, but that has changed, which is why I'm maintaining at the moment. Also, I work out on a fairly regular basis (though it's gone down from 4 days a week to 2 since Brother arrived), and the other day I walked up ELEVEN FLIGHTS OF STAIRS to get to a job when I thought the elevator was broken. Turns out it wasn't, but the point is that I didn't die.