August 3rd, 2016.
Today is also my 47th birthday. Today is also my first full day the first full day of the two years I have committed to living in Shanghai, China.
Just four weeks ago, I was supposed to move into my lover’s house. If you told me that would never happen, I would have told you you were crazy. Four weeks ago I was an exhausted teacher happy for the year to have ended and looking forward to unpacking my things and blending them with his. He had proposed the idea early on in our relationship. I was thrilled and excited. It had been planned for months. After my mother died in January, we agreed that I should start bringing carloads of my stuff up to his place on the weekends. So I did. Every Friday night I raced home, threw as many boxes as I could fit into my car and press my foot to the gas pedal, cruising my usual 80 mph most of the way from my place in Stamford along the I95 corridor to his place in Providence. All my books and kitchen things had been moved up to his place in Providence, RI. I was hopeful, and excited for this new chapter. You know what they say about the best laid plans….
So today, despite all my plans, I am sitting in a staff room in Shanghai, China. I am leaving in ten minutes to have dinner with strangers, sho so far, have been lovely and open and warm.
The most impressive thing that happened today is that it rained for about an hour and the city was flooded. People were crossing the street barefoot. Cars and vans were stopped in the middle of the street or trying to trudge on through the water. I went into a store to get a sim card for my phone and when I came out, the streets were bone dry again. Crazy shit. Today is my birthday and it was my first day in China.
I wonder what tomorrow will be like.