Out and about

October 07 2020 - Living the expat life, Exploring different Cultures

Last Tuesday we were finally released from the long period of quarantine and home isolation. After 21 days in “confinement” and 4 negative Covid tests , we got the green light on a very sunny Tuesday, that we were allowed out and about.

So the first thing we did, after Hendrik Willem checked out his future classroom (with an incredible view), was visit the most important centre of operations: The HR department! We received a very enthusiastic and warm welcome by Xuehua and her team, who have been so supporting and helpful during all these steps on the way to get here. And being an HR leader myself I know how hard these times can be, keeping the staff happy and supported through all this turmoil and stress.

The UWC Campus is a gettaway in itself!


Next big thing on our list was to get our groceries and “first essentials”. As the apartments come equipped with furniture, but without kitchen utensils and other essentials. So the welcome team of Roxanna and Risa, who already took such good care of us delivering groceries last week, now took us shopping to the mall! Which was an experience in itself, obviously.

After 3 weeks of solitude, mindfulness and being away from the crowds, spending an afternoon in an overly crowded supermarket (duhh…holiday week) was somewhat of a challenge for mind and ears. But apart from rice we managed to find everything we needed! And equipped with 2 pans, some plates, cups, cutlery and a coffee plunger we are now somewhat organized to run our own household again. And….eat whatever we want and whenever we want. How lovely life can be…

Chinese language obstacles have so far been minimized to the menu on the larger than life tv, the washing machine and the refrigerator. But luckily Google Translate comes to the rescue on these occasions. Although we still need to figure out why our fridge has a button that, when translated, says “Call the Police”…


Shopping with Risa and Rox


Next important milestone is coming Friday, when we will be visited by representatives from the Chinese telecom and the bank. Without a phone number you are, in the words of a colleague, literally dead. Non-existent. So that is clearly a must-have. And so is a bank account, for the obvious reasons.

And after that? Well… there seems to be one international bar in Changshu. I suggest we explore and start making it the place “where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came” .

Cheers y’all!