Tag Archives: culture

Back into writing mode

19 Mar

Anyone who knows about or has visited my blog in the last 9 months or so must’ve noticed the lack of activity. I have clearly been very lazy over the last year even though it was not for the lack of events or interesting things I came across or experienced. The idea of dropping the blog altogether never crossed my mind and the very few times I had a look at the stats I was surprised to see that I still had a decent number of visitors despite not adding any new content. (For some odd reason I happen to have a very strong readership in Brazil so far in 2015. So much so that it has overtaken the US in number of views). Anyhow, maybe as a belated new year resolution, I intend to get back into writing and try to catch up for the past year. I hope I’ll be able to relate past events and experiences (though perhaps not in their strict chronological order) in an interesting and pertinent way and be able to convey the feeling I had at the time it happened. Before I start writing about these individual events and experiences, I thought I’d do a short recap of 2014 so that those among you who are not family or friends and read this manage to make some sense of the changing context.

So here we go.

Unequivocally, the most important thing that happened to me not just in last year but in my life is the birth of my daughter S. in late October 2014. So I have spent most of 2014 pregnant in China and have given birth in Shanghai. Therefore, indulge me if too many of the posts relate to pregnancy, giving birth and babies. I promise to try and make them interesting.

Due to the pregnancy and other reasons, we haven’t done much travelling in 2014. We went near Hangzhou for a couple of days with four friends for a quick Chinese New Year escape. I might write about it as the Chinese concept of natural reserve was a bit skewed we thought at the time. We went (again) to Beijing with J’s parents and sister in early May. And that’s it, nothing else in China or Asia in 2014.

We’ve had some important defections in the first half of 2014. Our dear friends M. and L. and their son I. moved to Beijing about a year ago. C. and E. and their daughter A. went to Seattle. Bastards. I still can’t get over it. On the other hand – not that it replaces the aforementioned’s absence – we’ve had the pleasure of having our small Lebanese community grow with new joiners and I’ve made good friends via the pregnancy channel.

Overall 2014 was a lovely and fairly sedentary year, very much centred on myself and my growing belly. What we missed in geographical coverage was made up for in equally interesting cultural differences and a lot of emotions. As many of the upcoming posts will relate to this topic, maybe it turns out for the best that I write about it with some distance as I now realise that some of my reactions at the time may have been a bit exaggerated – hormones not helping – and it’s probably saner to be able to reflect and rationalise some of it now. In any case, I hope you will enjoy reading about it.

%d bloggers like this: