We’ve made it past the month mark and nothing bad has happened to us in Shanghai, so I guess it’s safe to start blogging. My plan for this blog is to provide friends and family with regular updates, pictures, and information on how Karen, Howard, Cassidy and Stephanie Hampton are faring on their insane adventure in Shanghai China. I also intend to provide information and anecdotes about our move to this exotic city, which is thousands of miles from our home in Detroit, Michigan. I also intend to highlight the potential pitfalls, mistakes, successes and overall fears related to a move halfway around the world, and impart the lessons we have learned in the hopes it can help others moving to China.
Our trip to Shanghai started inauspiciously with a 10 (yes 10!!!) hour delay of our flight from Chicago to Shanghai. Now, it was delayed because Typhoon Haikui was wreaking havoc through coastal China, so we were generally understanding. And all hail the AA Admirals Club — food, booze, and best, a kids play area.
The girls were wonderful during the delay and built a giant throne of leggos while mom and dad pursued more adult distractions. The delay gave us the unexpected opportunity to see several of Karen’s siblings and nephews, who happened to be flying into O’hare later that afternoon from a family trip to California (Karen has lots o peeps in Chicago). The girls had the pleasure of seeing their Uncle Dennis, Aunts Peggy and Casey, and cousins Eric and Scott. It was a crazy-wonderful family reunion at the AA international terminal.
And then we got on the plane. All four of us as nervous as I’ve ever seen. It was real now and we were definitely on our way to new lives in Asia. What was also real was business class. Oh sweet mother, thank god! Pod seats that turn into full-on beds, individual video screens for movies and TV, and champagne (though god-awful) when airborne. Ford generously allowed us to fly business class for our initial flight and, as it is a 14 hour flight, I don’t think I could have survived it in economy. Also, it’s wildly expensive and probably not a luxury I should get used to…..
And then we were in Shanghai. Big, foreign, loud, crowded — home. We had 12 suitcases between the 4 of us and it took two cars to get it all loaded. Since our new house wasn’t quite ready, we stayed at a Western-style hotel called Kerry Parkside. I will say that going to a hotel first, instead of directly to a dark, unfamiliar house made our arrival in Shanghai a little easier. Room service and a glass of wine go a long way toward calming the nervousness engendered by a move around the world. But we were all excited to get out the next day and see our new home, which was a weird word to use considering we still had our “real” home back in Grosse Pointe.
Much more to come.