Saturday, July 30, 2011

Coming to a close

This week marked 2 months since we returned home; the time has gone extremely quickly, and we have quickly settled into American life. (Adam sometimes jokes that it's American life with Chinese influences--more negotiation when possible, going to different parts of the city that are "closer" than they seemed before, less Land Thai Kitchen--seems salty to us, no cable TV, and probably a few other things I'm missing). 

Some highlights of big things happening:
--I got a job!!!!!! I'm thrilled to be the founding 6th grade writing teacher at Brooklyn East Collegiate, a middle school in the Uncommon Schools charter system. Orientation for the teachers begins on August 8th and the kids start on the 30th. I'm really looking forward to the positive school environment and working alongside dedicated, driven teachers.

--Adam is finishing up his first 4th year rotation, Emergency Medicine. He liked many aspects of it, but overall decided he still loves OB/GYN. It's been hectic because the shifts are at all different times, but he has enjoyed finishing when the shift ends and getting home as scheduled.

--Our apartment is [basically] together, and we love living here. Having a doorman and an elevator is novel for me, and it feels luxurious. Though it's not exactly a neighborhood, the location is perfect for the hospital and public transportation. Here are some pictures:
What you see when you walk in the front door.
Kitchen (table on the left folds up and down and is amaaaazing for space!)
Our favorite pictures displayed on the wall
Wall opposite the pictures
Bookshelf next to Adam's Navajo rug *on the wall*
Adam's CICAMS colleagues told us that the 2 side panels were upside down...oops!
Bedroom (now our silk rug is on the floor instead of the Mexican rug)
As my friend Lauren pointed out, our apartment is pretty Chinafied. We love that each of the pieces from China is meaningful to our experience, and they're pretty unique.

We also spent a week in Charlotte; it was relaxing and suburban--lots of gym time, sleeping in, hanging out with old friends. A great way for Adam to gear up for the start of 4th year!

A big thanks to the Raphaels, Balicks, Browns, and Levinsons (!!) for a beautiful engagement party--we had a fantastic time with our families and friends.

The last "biggie" is that 2 of Adam's CICAMS colleagues came to NY for 3 days. We had a great time giving them a tour of the city and American life. 
A close up of Lady Liberty.
Passing 3 out of 5 boroughs from the Staten Island Ferry
They were also visiting amidst a heat wave, so we basically sunscreened and sweated for the entire trip. Luckily there was a breeze on the water :)
They really loved being in our apartment and seeing what our lives are like.
The most incredible air mattress you've ever seen (thanks, Cathy!). Yes, that's a headboard.
He was at the hospital most of their visit :(
Some highlights of their trip include asking about the meanings of "statue" and "liberty" (oh, Communism), constantly wanting cookies and muffins, and mistaking bath towels for blankets.

The "full circle moment" came when I took them to the grocery store. They were both fascinated by our food shopping, just as we were in China! WangShaoMing couldn't get over the size of the peppers and the varieties of cookies, and she pointed to asparagus and asked what it was and if we could try it for dinner. LiRong didn't understand the fish situation. She kept pointing to a picture of a whole fish and saying "This is China!" They were unsure about fish that was already filleted. They both also wanted to try apple pie, as it is "so American" (I can't tell you the last time I had apple pie!), so I got the closest I could find--apple crumble--for dessert. WangShaoMing took pictures of every step of the dinner process, from the asparagus baking in the oven, to my cooking fish and chopping vegetables. They definitely felt just as Adam and I did in China!

Pop Quiz: Where are we now?
We had a wonderful year in the Far East, and we are settling in to our life together on Upper East Side!