Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Counting Flowers on the Wall

Come January 2016, we're moving back to the States. Mike's last day as an English teacher will be in early January and then we're relocating to Washington DC. That means I'm officially in my last couple months as a lady of leisure and I'm taking full advantage of it. I'm staying up late, lying in, killing my days with nothing but game playing and movie watching. Basically, "playing solitaire 'til dawn" (but electronically, so my deck is not missing a card).

I did have every intention of maintaining my healthy living regimen during this time but we had a guest in town for two weeks (!) which threw me off my routine. She left early last week and I took that week to ensconce myself in the pleasure of solitude without commitments. But, I did truly have every intention of restarting my healthy living routine this week. And then I stood on the scale. More than three weeks of inactivity, drinking, and poor diet have caused me to lose more weight than I've lost in the preceding three months of focused intent. If ever there was a reason to continue a poor lifestyle that, my friends, would be it.

Pai, Thailand
So, I'm luxuriating. This is where a pool would be nice. But, no pool. So, I just sit on the couch, in a/c, multi-tasking with tablet games, computer games, and movies. Sometimes I get bored, but then I realize I have the luxury of boredom and just embrace it. Who knows when my next opportunity for wasting this much time will be. If DC's anything like New York, which we don't believe it will be but we're mentally preparing for that rough of a transition, then I have a good four months of job searching and financial stress to look forward to in the new year. Thus, I'm taking this opportunity to luxuriate in my boredom.

Chiang Mai zoo
Though we are mentally preparing for a rough transition, we're leaning heavily on our past experiences to help us predict the situation and mitigate any potential issues. Happily, so far, all indications are that this move to Washington DC might be more akin to our experience in London, which was a dream, than to our experience in NYC, which wasn't.

Having friends in and near DC will undoubtedly help with our transition. The job market appears more welcoming too. Plus, there aren't any songs about "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere," which is probably the most reassuring. Additionally, we found a furnished, temporary home with ease, which, besides employment, is usually the most daunting task. So, though we're mentally preparing for a rough transition, so far all signs are allowing us to hope for a smooth one.

Hong Kong
In travel news, Mike & I spent a week in mid-September traveling in northern Thailand. We spent the bulk of our time in Chiang Mai but we also ventured towards the Myanmar border, stopping in Pai and Mae Hong Son. We've also just returned from a few days in Hong Kong, the city I originally wanted to move to prior to coming to Taiwan. I still love that city but living in Taiwan has cured me of any desire to live there, though I wouldn't mind if it still happened (it probably won't).

Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong
Besides a trip down to Kenting (Taiwan) in December and a day's layover in Shanghai in January, on our way back to the States, our travel in this area is nearly finished for the foreseeable future. Once we move to DC we probably won't be planning any Asian vacations for a while. Still, though we're returning to our home country, it'll be our first time living below the Mason-Dixon and, though DC itself may not be considered a southern city, our proximity to that area will undoubtedly bring us some new experiences and adventures.

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